As World War II ended, Americans looked forward to resuming their lives. For millions of people in Europe and Asia, though, life would never be the same. Over 55 million people worldwide had been killed (400,000 Americans) and millions were separated from their families or left homeless. Cities throughout Europe and Japan had been destroyed.
- The United States government set up temporary housing sent food, supplies, and funds to Europe to ease the suffering of refugees there. Additionally, individuals, churches, and community groups also sent supplies and money.
- The United Nations was founded in April 1945, two weeks after President Roosevelt’s death. Roosevelt believed that the only way to assure lasting peace would be through the establishment of an international organization comprised of countries dedicated to maintaining world peace and security. Eleanor Roosevelt, FDR’s wife, worked as a delegate to the United Nations. She is credited for crafting the UN Declaration of Human Rights.
- Shortly after the war ended, 22 Nazi leaders were brought before an international court. During the Nuremberg Trial, concentration camp survivors testified of their brutality. Nineteen leaders were convicted of crimes against humanity. Twelve were committed to death, including top leader, Hermann Goering, who committed suicide on the night before his scheduled execution.
- As people learned about the atrocities committed by the Germans, they became sympathetic to European Jews. Many Jews immigrated to the United States. Others wanted to create a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Palestine lies along the Mediterranean Sea and was the Biblical home of the Jews. It is also a sacred site for Muslim and Christian faiths.
- In 1947, the UN proposed that Palestine be divided into two distinct areas with separate governments: an Arab (Muslim) state and an Israeli (Jewish) state. Jews living in the region readily accepted the UN’s proposal and formed the state of Israel on May 14, 1948. Palestinian Arabs weren’t so happy. They rejected the UN decision and deployed troops to destroy Israel. During the first Arab-Israeli War, more than 500,000 Arabs fled Palestine. Arab countries refuse to recognize Israel and conflict continues even today.
- Comprise: to make up of or consist of
- Maintain: to keep or continue
- Delegate: someone sent to represent others
- Atrocity: a horror
Questions and Answers
Question: What happened to the Japanese-Americans who were sent to military camps during World War II?
Answer: Beginning in 1942, some 110,000 Japanese-Americans were taken from their homes, businesses, and farms and sent to internment camps. Some were sent to Japan. In 1944, a Supreme Court ruling made it illegal to send Japanese-American citizens to a camp without a probable cause. After this ruling, people slowly started leaving the camps and rebuilding their lives. In 1946, the camps were closed. Imagine how hard it must have been! People had lost their homes, their businesses, their belongings, and their friends. Adults had to find new jobs; children adjusted to new schools and friends.
Visit the Atlantic to see photos of Japanese-Americans during and after World War II.
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Declan, Tobin. " Facts for Kids about World War II - The Aftermath ." American History for Kids, May 2019. Web. 20 May 2019. < https://www.americanhistoryforkids.com/aftermath-world-war-ii/ >.
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Tobin, Declan. (2019). Facts for Kids about World War II - The Aftermath. American History for Kids. Retrieved from https://www.americanhistoryforkids.com/aftermath-world-war-ii/