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APUSH Oral History: WWII


The Second World War (1939-1945) is the deadliest conflict in human history. The war was fought between the Allied powers, the United States, Great Britain, and the USSR, and the Axis powers, Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, and Italy. Ideologically, the war was fought to stop the spread of fascism by the Axis powers. Starting in 1939 after Germany’s invasion of Poland and ending in 1945 after both Adolf Hitler’s suicide and the dropping of two atomic bombs, WWII had an immense global impact. It led to the deaths of between 50 and 80 million people. Genocides like the Holocaust destroyed entire races of people, and the development of nuclear weapons ushered the world into the atomic age. For the United States, it had a great influence. WWII left the United States as one of the world’s superpowers following the war, where it has remained to this day. It economically and militarily strengthened the nation, and restored a sense of pride in the nation after years in the Great Depression. Hear the stories of those who lived through the war on the interviews on this page.

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