World War II was a global conflict that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It was the deadliest conflict in human history, with an estimated 50 million to 85 million fatalities.
The origins of the war can be traced back to the aftermath of World War I, with the Treaty of Versailles imposing harsh penalties on Germany as the defeated nation. The economic and political instability in Germany eventually led to the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party.
In 1939, Germany invaded Poland, prompting Britain and France to declare war on Germany. The war quickly spread across Europe, with the Axis Powers (Germany, Japan, and Italy) fighting against the Allied Powers (Britain, France, the Soviet Union, and the United States).
The war had a significant impact on civilians, with many forced to flee their homes and seek refuge in other countries. The Holocaust, the systematic murder of six million Jews by Nazi Germany, is considered one of the most heinous crimes in human history.
The war ended in 1945 with the Allied victory, following the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States. The Nuremberg Trials held accountable those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the war.
World War II brought significant changes to the world, including the formation of the United Nations and the rise of the United States and the Soviet Union as superpowers.