World War II Journal
Today is Sunday, the 7th of December, and I’m John Braydis, the sailor on the USS Arizona. A lot of my friends were dismissed due to the weekend. Suddenly I’ve heard a loud sound and the ground has shaken. I fell on the floor and heard one more bang sound. When I pulled myself together and ran on the deсk, I saw a horrible picture. On the other side of the ship there were lots of bodies, and the ship itself was destroyed and was sinking.
Me and the others who were alive were taken from the ship. We’ve received an order to protect the harbor. Everybody hardly could understand what happened. There was lots of military aviation above the head, and also some submarines which continued to shell us. A lot of people died. There were explosions here and there, a lot of dead bodies and blood. Here and there people were falling wounded by shot. A lot of ships were destroyed.
I was very angry to know that there were Japanese who killed so plenty of my friends. I saw the symbols of the Imperator on their planes. We knew that they were going to attack, but didn’t expect it would be so soon. I was twice angry because I was alive and now had to watch how do my friends die and tell their families what happened. When everything was over, I went to the medical office to help with those who were wounded.
Somebody told that there were more than two thousand people dead. I felt really upset and depressed. Nobody knew it was going to happen that day. We were caught by surprise, sitting in our pajamas and discussing our private businesses. When the attack finished we couldn’t believe it actually did. That was so quick, early and unexpected that we came back to the reality when everything was over. For lots of my friends their clock stopped at 9:45 am.
I hope that soon the USA will soon give the worthy answer. I will be the first volunteer to do that. I’ve heard that today the war is going to be declared and Roosevelt declared yesterday, the 7th of December as a “date that will live in infamy”.
Yesterday the Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbor. It was an unpleasant surprise. A lot of people died and a lot of techniques were destroyed. Although they managed to destroy only old examples of ships, it was really harmful to the military power of the USA. The attack lasted only for 110 minutes, but still, it was enough. There were lots of people who died or were wounded. There were even several civilians. They were going to destroy aircraft carriers, though they weren’t in the harbor.
It is beyond doubt that now the USA must be involved into the war. The losses are too great to be ignored. Almost two and a half thousand people died and half of this amount is wounded. Though it was clear that the war between the United States and Japan was going to happen, their attack was a big unpleasant surprise.
Japan was going to win the authority on the Pacific Ocean Arena. But this operation wasn’t really beneficial to the Japanese government, since they’ve only destroyed old models of the military aviation and techniques. I am sure Japan has been angry with the USA since the time we’ve stopped to sell resources to them for their operations in China. They’ve managed to sink all our battleships or destroy them. I’ve heard that the commander said it was easy to repair them.
I am dead sure that American people are ready to fight for the USA sake. A lot of people have died, and a half of the America was sure that the war will erupt sooner or later. I am not sure if it is good or bad that at the time the attack happened, the new models of the techniques were not in the Harbor. On the one hand, that would be easier to defend the navy. On the other hand, only some old models were damaged, so that is not so big harm to the USA military power as it could be.
After the order on February 19th, 1942 a lot of Japanese people were placed at the Manzanar, one of the first concentration camps. A lot of them were native-born Americans, though placed here. We were departed and placed in the barracks.
The weather was awful. We didn’t expect that there would be so cold and the walls of sheds would not protect from the bad weather. It was awfully cold in winter and boiling hot in summer. Also in summer there was a lot of dust.
The facilities were not good as well. There were big barracks where families several lived. Though several families could live in the same building, there was no privacy due to the absence of ceilings. The same was about the showers. There was a complete mess inside an apartment. In the hall there could be a common room where you could do the ironing or whatever.
There were some farms inside the ‘reservation’, school and staff buildings, church and shops with all the necessary things. Though there was almost everything you needed for living, you couldn’t leave the territory, so easily since there were also several watchtowers. All the territory was surrounded by the barbed wire.
Everybody, including me, felt both shameful for the actions of the Japanese militaries and hated the American government since almost everyone inside his camps wasn’t guilty for their actions. You could continue doing usual life things here. For example, you could go to work or whatever. But people who were placed here lost the only thing they came to find in the USA, their freedom. They became victims of the international situation, just because of being ethnic Japanese people. Due to the primitive conditions people got depressed. So did I.
My name is Walter Burmeister and I have been working as a driver for 20 years. The only thing I could say is that I hate my job. I’ve started to dislike it since the beginning of the war. The only thing I like about it is the fee. I need to feed my family and this is not the worst variant to get some money at such period.
Every week I can see a lot of people dying. The despair in their eyes and hope make me hate this business. I have an order not to stop, or some serious actions will be used against me. They feel nothing bad while getting inside the van, but once the engine starts I can hear lots of cries. The other thing I hate about my job is to clean the lorry after a race.
Though it’s too cruel to kill someone who doesn’t look like the rest, I think if I’ve got such an order, it is necessary. I was hired to drive a lorry and not to ask questions. If someone has decided that they must die, maybe that would be better for the society. Personally, I think that there must be some more, much more considerable reason to kill the people than just non-being Aryans. Of course I wouldn’t take such a decision myself. If I were one of these soldiers, I wouldn’t do such a cruel execution. People who are guilty must be punished, but I am not sure that somebody within these poor people has done some serious crime during the life.
All in all, although I think that it is wrong, I will continue doing this till I get such an order. I hate this job and hate myself for doing this. But I am also afraid to break the order. In that case I am not sure that I will meet happy end. Killing so many people in order to survive…. I hope they will forgive me.
My name is David Stoliar and I would like to tell the story. I don’t know who is going to read this, but I am lucky at least to be able to write it down. The other people I knew and whom I had a chance to meet recently died in a catastrophe, so I am the only survivor and witness.
To begin with, all the people on board wanted to run away from the war. We’ve paid lots of money to get on the board of the ship, so we wanted to leave Romania and escape to Palestine. There were maybe more than seven hundred immigrants on the board and some dozen of the crew.
There was everything fine, we left Romania. But suddenly the engine had destroyed. The crew didn’t want to repair it until they get some money. Me and the rest of the passengers didn’t have money, since we gave everything to buy tickets. Then people gave everything what they had including their wedding rings and the other things. The engine was repaired, but soon broke down again. At that time we were not far from the Istanbul.
Since the Britain was against Jew migrations to Palestine due to the White Paper, they asked the Turkish government to stop our ship and not to let her go. That is why Istanbul authorities didn’t let us disembark. Later on they let some children go and gave them visas.
The rest were trying to escape, but nothing came out. The police tried also to get on the board of the ship, but the passengers didn’t let them. Then they pulled us to the Bosporus. We just could drift since our engine didn’t work.
Some days later, when the passengers were exhausted, we were sitting on the board and just waited for something to happen. There weren’t enough lifeboats to escape on the shore. We’ve sent signs for the people to save us, but nobody came. Suddenly a powerful explosion has thundered. I still don’t understand what happened, but I’ve managed to survive. I overgot myself when I was already on the shore.
Later on I’ve tried to understand what happened. Though I was in despair and had just lost my friends and family, I wanted to know the truth. They said that the ship was bombed. It was a Soviet torpedo.
I don’t know what to say. Actually, there is nothing to say. We just wanted to live a normal silent life, but somebody was against it just because we were Jews. To say that it wasn’t fair meant say nothing. I am half angry and half depressed. But if I am the only one who has survived that means I can’t lose my faith. I must continue living and use this second chance. I don’t know why, but the God decided that I deserve it. That is why I must continue living with my heart and head full of grief and sorrow.
Those who were sent to Treblinka, knew their fate beforehand. If you are here that meant only that you are going to be dead soon. Thousands of people have already joined the majority, but there were still those who hoped for a better fate. They knew that there may be a way out, to the freedom. This way was a general uprising. Some group of prisoners has been planning it for a long time and soon everything had to be completed. The revolt was planned to be done in July, but was postponed due to the situation with explosions around.
Monday, was chosen as it was a day-off for gas chambers. The prisoners managed to steal some guns and to explode the tank of petrol. I am not sure if it was a good idea to use children for the plan execution. But on the other hand, there is nothing for them to lose; they will die sooner or later.
I hope that the plan will be executed successfully. There are less of soldiers in the camp and there must be a chance for those who will manage to scape.
All in all, in a final result, though some people managed to escape, much more paid with their lives. They failed to cut phone lines, so camp guardians found some of them. Those who survived, hid in the forest or joined Armia Krajowa. Some of the rebels were fed by the villagers of Poland. Me and some my friends managed to escape and survive.
After several years of restoration and severe politics, we’ve managed to become a powerful country which is ready to claim its name for the rest of the word. We need to start the war to declare the name of German once again.
First of all, we need to keep a serious rival next to ourselves. And the best way to do it is to sign a contract, a pact which will help to build a Nazi regime. Officially that would be a treaty for the non-aggression. Actually, we need something to start the war and to keep a powerful rival into the shadow. And the best way to do that is to make him our accomplice.
Germany will keep the treaty until it is necessary. It is nice to give the USSR what they want and to take everything we will be able to conquer. This pact must also put the priorities and set what territories must be controlled.
Though the pact is a necessary thing, the break of it may bring unexpected results for Germany.
The ‘Final Decision’ is my politics and my complex of actions against Jews. It will be synonymous to the death forever. Actually, these politics are perfectly conveyed and worked out. A lot of concentration camps for people extermination were built. They say I’ve already destroyed two thirds of the Jews population in the Eastern Europe.
I think I will be successful in my military operations since I’ve managed to find strong allies, quick and merciless to the rivals.
My name is Adolph Hitler and I’ve just been informed that the defense was broken. Now the rivals are coming to me to take everything and to tell me I have lost. Actually, from the very beginning the tactics of blitzkrieg was ideal and nothing like this had to happen. And now I’ve heard that the rival is next to me, he came to win. I don’t even know where I’ve failed.
That is too hard to understand, that is why I want to die. If they will catch me alive, That would be a complete fail. That is why I am sitting in front of the mirror and thinking of deaths. The soviet army is near. I am depressed because I won’t be able to convict everything I was going to. Now for me the war is over. I hope that somebody will finish all the things instead of me, and will do it effectively.
My name is John Miller; I am a part of 6th Airborne Division. Together with an Allied army we were going to land next to bridges at the river Orne and not far from Caen Canal. Within two minutes of landing, we’ve managed to capture them. It was risky, but quick and successful. It will be called D-Day in the future.
The general plan was to land a lot of people, to press the Germany from the west and to start moving German soldiers out of France. The armies had to act together.
Actually, I was afraid. We had to finish everything quickly and successfully. The active phase, Neptune operation, seemed to be very dangerous. Hope it won’t take a lot of lives.
Our next planned action is to drop troops on the South of France to let them also move and push German soldiers further on the East.
I am one of those who are called Tuskegee Airmen. The alien in any situation, I’ve got used to such a reaction. I am fighting together with the US army, though there wasn’t a wide practice to hire Negroes. They were still segregated and I could easily feel that on my own.
First, it was very strange to be the African American pilot, of course. There weren’t a lot of them. Only our Tuskegee Airmen crew consisted only of Black Americans only. Though we are still must convict Jim Crow’s Law. I could easily feel the discrimination both inside and outside the Tuskegee. We were separated, lived and trained separately. To tell the truth, that didn’t make out national spirit higher.
Though we are segregated, I must do my plan and kill as much enemies as I can. Every dead enemy, every plane I’ve managed to destroy is putting the war closer to the end. I will try to overcome all the discomfort in order to kill the rivals and to bring the USA closer to the victory.
I hope if I will serve well as a pilot that may help such Black American guys as I am overcome segregation and ruin the wall of misunderstand. I strongly believe that fighting shoulder to shoulder with other American citizens and not only makes us closer to each other. Who knows, maybe my personal example will put the segregation to the end and will let the Afro-American soldiers feel themselves a really significant part of the victory.
My name is Keith Little and I am a code talker in the USA army. I have been successfully engaged in lots of battles as a code talker. Actually, there is no code. We had to use our native language to convey the message. It was very useful, since the Nazi Germans couldn’t easily find the translators.
I think that my language is a nice way to outsmart the enemy. While using only native speakers, it is easy to convey the message without spending some time on the cypher. It is not very easy to find an interpreter in the USA. Not to say that it is almost impossible to do in Germany.
A lot of my friends decided to join the American army. So did I. First, there is nothing interesting at home at the times while the war is in the world. I wanted to see everything on my own and to create the story with my own hands. Moreover, they said we were going to receive a lot of money for taking part in the actions. Finally, how could I sit at home while all my friends went to protect the world from the new catastrophe?
On the other hand being just a soldier is very frightful. We don’t have to protect our families or houses, but still went to the war. I am not afraid not to come back. I am surprised, but my patriotic feelings are strong enough to be ready to give my life for.
It was very easy to become a code talker. We had to train to deliver messages, based on the code, developed from my native language. That is why only a short training tutorial was necessary to pass before becoming real code talker. Since most of us were volunteers, there was nothing hard in motivating us, we have come already motivated to serve to people and destroy the Nazi empire.
It seemed nothing good in being involved in such a project. The project itself was really dangerous from the very beginning. A lot of people were working with it. I am a part of the event and have several thoughts about the creature of this new type of bomb.
Creating something like this will not finish very well for ordinary people. Though it has massive destructive force, I hope that the business won’t move further then just creating and showing it to Hitler.
Even if this weapon is created to have some contra-action against Nazi, I am afraid that the effect and consequences of it may be horrible. It is ok if nobody will ever use such a massive weapon. But what if it would be used one day? As I am involved into the development, I can easily say that using this will lead to the catastrophe. People have never experienced something like that. It may be compared to the explosion of the star. And the name of these weapons is the nuclear bomb.
What I really think is that using such a thing must be the last point. That will affect not only militaries, but simple people around. The result may be shocking and I can presume if someone somehow will use those weapons, even one single time, they will never do that again. A lot of lives would be taken and those who will survive will live or die in tortures.
All in all, using something like that will affect not only army, but civil people as well. Hope that nothing like that will happen, and if only they decide to use it, they will never repeat their experiment.
Now I am going to take the hardest decision in my life. One the one hand, we could continue fighting with Japanese people, but they are very brave and will fight till the last soldier. It is not very well since we are spending a lot of human resources and can’t continue the war when the European campaign is over. On the other hand, the bombing will stop the actions, but millions of civil people will pay for it with their health and lives.
They’ve refused to stop fighting officially, so I had no other choice than to take this hard decision. They say that I may start the new era in American history as an unpleasant nuclear terror. Some people say that Japan is already on its knees and I have no need to drop bombs. But on the other hand their commanders rejected our order to surrender. Seems I have no other choice and use these terrible weapons, just fresh from the laboratory. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were chosen to be destination points for the new inventions.
Even if I am sorry there is no more chance to change something. I am sorry that there are so many victims within civil people. But to prove me right I must say that they were warned and they had a choice. It wasn’t me who decided they must be tortured. “Remember Pearl Harbor”. That is what all the soldiers were shouting
But on the other hand, when I received first reports, I was astonished and felt that have made an awful mistake. One person can’t take decision to destroy so many lives with the only word. Though my decision was completely military, it wasn’t racism or some personal ideas. I did it since it was necessary. Maybe even more. These bombs saved more lives that could take. If Japanese people continued the struggle, there would be nobody to rebuild the country after the world. So I hope I made a right decision.
After the war Europe was completely in ruins. On the contrary, the USA became prosperous country and could let itself to help Europe in the economic sphere. Sure, after Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombing the USA felt some necessity to help Asia as well. The steps of the plan were the next.
First, the USA gave 16 billion dollars to the countries to rebuild their economics. That would turn them again into economic and market partners and let the USA to build some new relationship with them.
Second, not only in money, but Americans tried to help with non-material resources. A lot of statistics specialists were sent to the Western Europe to teach them to use statistics and calculations in manufacturing. That must be effective and help raise the productivity of the labor. That was called technical Assistance Program. But seems to me it was a better idea to ask them to the America for them to watch everything in action for their experience.
The prevailing amount of the money was given to restore the industry. Europe’s economies were very slow to become strong. On the other hand, the USSR didn’t want to take the help and decided to do everything alone.
All in all, the providing of Marshal Plan was profitable for the USA. The amount of loans and income from it made the USA an economic giant till the end of the war. As the result, Europe managed to restore its level of living. So that was also good for the United States of America to become a creditor for those who couldn’t do it. That made the positions on the international arena stronger, and the economics was also at its highest level compared to the pre-war period. The plan itself was a good idea for all the participants.