You know about the events…but not about the historically hidden facts!
In analyzing the past, we often find ourselves captivated by the well-known narratives of historical events. But, beneath the surface, there lies a treasure trove of mysteries waiting to be unveiled.
As we delve into the archives of time, we discover that behind every well-documented moment, there are concealed truths, untold stories, and overlooked details that add new dimensions to our knowledge of the past.
Join Devastating Disasters as we shine a light on the concealed corners of history, peeling back the layers to reveal the often overlooked and shocking aspects that have remained in the shadows for far too long.
Prepare to be intrigued as we bring to light 4 historically hidden facts that reshape our view of the events that have shaped our world.
The reimprisonment of gay Holocaust survivors by allied forces
Prior to 1933, Berlin had over 80 gay bars and nightclubs. Within a month of assuming power, though, Hitler outlawed all LGBT publications and organizations, famously raided the Institute of Sexual Science, and destroyed its “degenerate” research.
Thousands of gay people were sent to concentration camps, where roughly 60% of them died. Those who survived were tortured, starved, and exploited in medical experiments. By the time the Allies liberated the camps, only about 4,000 were left.
It quickly became clear, though, that the Allied powers weren’t much different. Gay people had been imprisoned under Paragraph 175, a part of the German criminal code that came about before the Nazis.
As such, the American authorities treated anyone charged under Paragraph 175 as having been justifiably detained, and the holocaust survivors were forced to finish the remainder of their punishments.
To make matters even worse, war criminals who experimented on these prisoners were mostly allowed to go free.
The most notorious, SS Dr. Carl Vaernet, who castrated and injected hormones into prisoners in an attempt to “cure” them, was allowed to flee to Argentina by Danish and British authorities.
The Doolittle Raid Resulted in Horrific Retaliations
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the US government embarked on the infamous Doolittle Raid, a suicidal bombing targeting the Japanese mainland.
This attack might not have yielded too much physical damage, but it was a vital psychological victory for the United States. It gave the American public its retaliation for Pearl Harbor, and it made Japan doubt its safety.
In most history books, this is where the tale of the Doolittle raid ends: with an American triumph. But the Japanese had just lost many civilians. Schools had been struck in the raid, children slaughtered, and homes destroyed.
Japan was furious, and that wrath fell upon the occupied Chinese population. The Japanese instantly set about destroying airfields and infrastructure in coastal China to prevent the possibility of another raid.
Whichever villages and towns were suspected of helping rescue bailed pilots were demolished to the ground. For instance, Nanchang, a city of roughly 50,000 people, was diminished to little more than “charred earth.”
Anyone who had assisted the Doolittle raiders was tortured. They were identified by the gifts, like cigarettes, nickels, and parachutes, given to them by grateful US pilots. An outbreak of cholera didn’t make the situation easier, either.
Hospitals were raided by the Japanese, and refugees had to drink dirty water. In total, it’s estimated that approximately 250,000 civilians died as a result of these attacks.
Native Americans died due to the Nuclear Arms Race
The arms battle between the US and the Soviet Union demanded considerable amounts of uranium. Residues were discovered on Lakota and Navajo lands, and Navajo workers extracted between 1944 and 1989 almost 4 million tons of uranium ore.
Most were paid less than minimum wage, and many miners worked with handpicks or horses. To make matters worse, many didn’t speak English and weren’t instructed on how radiation could affect them.
90 Navajo workers were even studied after to try and determine the risk of radiation without being informed of the potential dangers. What followed were high rates of kidney failure, cancer, and miscarriage in the area.
An estimated 500-600 of the workers died of lung cancer between 1945 and 1990. And a recent study performed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found uranium in the urine of 27% of modern-day Navajo people.
While the US government is now making an effort to clean the abandoned mines and supply clean drinking water, the arms race will keep killing Native Americans for many years to come.
Thousands of dogs were euthanized when the Vietnam War ended
The exit from Vietnam is one of the lowest points of American military history. And it’s made even worse, knowing it drove to the deaths of thousands of military service dogs.
They were used for various purposes, including detecting weapon caches and booby traps, scouting for ambushes, and guarding military bases. Approximately 4,000 dogs served in total throughout the Vietnam War, and it’s estimated to have saved over 10,000 lives.
But, the war’s end raised the thorny question of what to do with them all. The US military was leaving Vietnam, and they didn’t have time to take all their equipment. Despite the requests of many handlers, only about 200 dogs made it back to the United States.
The rest were either euthanized or given to the South Vietnamese, who either let them loose or euthanized them, too.
One handler offered to pay to have his dog returned to the US but was told that they were “surplus equipment” and that if the men didn’t drop the matter, they would be left behind with the dogs.
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Did you know about any of these historically hidden facts? Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments section. And if you like this post, Devastating Disasters recommends you also read: 5 Deadliest World Events in Our History