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Citizens of a country defeated in battle that had to find another job post conflict

  • #2
    Registered Users Posts: 3,270 ✭✭✭ xieann

    I'm talking here about the likes of post war Germany and Japan. Where did the former soldiers find work and the nature of the job? I'm taking the year 1950 as the year in question. I am not dealing with those who were unemployed due to physical injury or PTSD.


  • #2

    Considering the sheer volume of men who would have been in service in both countries - they did everything; absolutely every traditional male job (this being the late 40s/early 50s). There was no specific preferred option - you are dealing with the bulk of the male workforce returning.

  • #2

    In a lot of cases, the immediate postwar clearing up was carried out by German ex-soldiers who were technically PoWs. They were detained to clear roads and streets, clear wrecked vehicles, rebuild public infrastructure and so on. In special cases, German soldiers were retained under arms and in uniform and paid to guard special events like the Nuremberg trials. Another example was ex-Luftwaffe pilots and techs being employed to keep selected aircraft like the Me 262 serviceable for the Allies to test fly. In other cases, PoWs were released to help the harvest or by request of employers for tradesmen. Denmark even kept Germans for at least three years after the war to clear mines. In the UK, Italian and German PoWs were kept as agricultural labourers and many stayed in the UK when they were officially released. In many Eastern European countries, they were kept/detained as labourers until 1948 and Germany paid to get them back. In Japan, the American administration under McArthur kept hundreds of thousands of Japanese soldiers in uniform, as it was simpler to control them and get the wrecked cities cleared. In all of the war-ravaged countries, the priorities were rebuilding housing, public infrastructure, clearing scrap,clearing unexploded ordnance, helping displaced persons and so on. As an example, Stalingrad had been so smashed by the war that it wasn't considered near to the pre-41 condition by the mid 60s,despite being prioritised for rebuild. One characteristic of all the damaged countries was the priority given to education and schools and colleges were re-established within days of the end of fighting. In places like France, they had often only stopped functioning when directly threatened by fighting or bombing. For women, having borne the greater burden of the home front in many of the countries, it was often a severe shock to have to go back to domestic life after having been employed in factories during the war.Many of them resented it and often spoke of their time in factories or the military in ww 2 as having been the greatest time of their lives.

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