Unit 5: Crisis and Change
Lesson G: Theaters and Consequences of World War II
Review and Assessment: Nations on Trial - Genocide in World War II
The United Nations, formed on October 24, 1945 by the Allies was to replace the League of Nations, to stop wars between countries, and to encourage and support dialogue among countries.
The U.N. adopted The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. This document was intended to be a guide and standard for all member countries. Prior to this, of course, was World War II. Among the many casualties of World War II were victims of racially and ideologically motivated torture, ethnic cleansing, or genocide. These activities further demonstrated the barbarism of World War II.
For instance, consider the following.
- The Canadian and United States governments collectively interned 150,000 Japanese-Americans, as well as nearly 11,000 residents of German and/or Italian descent.
- Germany enslaved about one million laborers, mostly Eastern Europeans.
- The Japanese made slave laborers of more than 18 million people in East and Southeast Asia. In Java alone, the Japanese military forced more than 4 million manual laborers to work on projects in support of the invading Japanese. 270,000 of these laborers were sent to other Japanese held areas in Southeast Asia. Only about 20% were returned home after World War II.
Most colonizing countries victimized - in some way or another and to varying degrees - the native people. During times of war, this victimization seems to grow more extreme.
Select this link to review the pre-assessment prior to completing the lesson assessment. (Select it a second time to hide it.)
Historical Investigation - Genocide
Directions: For this activity, open the student resource titled "Historical Investigation - Genocide." Use the documents to think about how the United Nations and individual countries might prevent the atrocities in the future such as those committed during World War II .
- Download Student Resource: Historical Investigation - Genocide (doc).
- Select the link to review how to complete an Historical Investigation.
- Submit your answers to the completed historical investigation to your teacher as instructed.
Classroom Activity - Genocide
Directions: Prepare a response to the discussion questions below. Follow your teacher's directions to participate in your class discussion.
- How might something such as a United Nations policy address issues of global concern?
- Why do you think that the actions of some countries were tried at Nuremberg and others were not tried?
- Could or should other countries be punished and held accountable? Explain why or why not?
Select the link to review the Discussion Scoring Tool (pdf).