World War 2 is quite likely the most-studied conflagration between nations in history –it practically makes half the ratings of the History Channel, which prompted comedian John Cleese to call it ‘the Hitler Channel’.
The above video does not employ any actual footage of World War 2. It doesn’t show recorded statements of Holocaust survivors either. The only tools Neil Halloran –the sole creator behind it– used was infographic-style animation and statistics extracted from Steven Pinker’s book The Better Angels of Our Nature [Amazon US & UK]; and yet I dare you to watch it without shuddering at least ONCE, when gauging the terrible cost in human life which was paid to secure victory against the Axis powers.
It certainly plays a different picture from how we tend to view a war we may think we know so much about. For one thing, I think it clearly shows Joseph Stalin was a greater criminal than Adolf Hitler himself –and yet his cold-blooded willingness to sacrifice the Soviet people to defeat the Nazis is what (probably) significantly reduced the casualties suffered by the rest of the Allies.
Halloran and Pinker’s Neo-Hobessian opinion that we seem to be well in our way to eradicate war altogether –despite evidence to the contrary offered by our media on an almost daily basis– is open to interpretation. Again, my personal take on the matter is that Poverty itself is the worst kind of violence you can subject a human being to; that said, I’m aware I have the liberty to proclaim such ‘naive’ thoughts, because I’m living in an unprecedented time devoid of open conflict between industrialized nations –something Halloran asks us NOT to take for granted.
To have a more interactive experience with this project, visit fallen.io where you can also donate the suggested ticket price.