June 10, 2014 | By: Vince
Today, when people talk about winning World War II, they often talk about freedom defeating tyranny. That is mostly true as the United States, the UK, Canada and Australia were indeed democracies. But it was not tyranny we went to war against. Indeed one of the powers that helped defeat Hitler was itself a dictatorship that only declared war on Hitler after having been invaded.
Adolph Hitler didn’t suddenly become a dictator in 1939 or even 1941. He had been a dictator for years before war broke out. While he didn’t start out as such, soon after getting power legitimately in January of 1933, he became one. Mussolini similarly became dictator three years after coming to power legally in 1922. At the same time, in Japan Emperors had ruled without opposition for more than two generations. Dictatorship, as unseemly as it might be, is rarely a reason to go to war – however it can be a great motivator once war is declared.
We also hear people talk about WW II as a fight against evil. Again, while true, we did not go to war against evil. The Nazi’s came to power on a platform imbued with anti-Semitism and for most of the 30’s they were engaged in marginalizing, quarantining and murdering Jews and others who didn’t fit the profile of their superior Aryan “race”. In Asia the Japanese had been massacring Chinese for years, and in one of the most horrific events in modern history, they raped, mutilated and murdered hundreds of thousands of Chinese men, women and children in Nanking in 1937.