1945
THIS YEAR IN LAS VEGAS ...

WHILE IN THE WORLD ...

Bugsy Siegel gets El Cortez
The New York gangster Benjamin Siegel, known as ''Bugsy'', purchases the El Cortez Hotel and Casino. He will sell it next year.
In the meanwhile, Bugsy Siegel starts planning the building of a new, far more luxurious, casino on the Las Vegas Strip.

Death of Scrugham
James Scrugham dies on June 6.
Born in 1880, as a Nevada governor from 1923, he has actively worked to the development of Las Vegas.
He has also been among the promoters of a dam on the Colorado River.

The end of the Reich
The Allied forces on one side and the Red Army on the other invade the German territories. The Nazi Army cannot withstand this offensive. On May 2, Berlin falls.
On April 30, the Fuehrer has committed suicide in a bunker in Berlin, together his mistress Eva Braun. They were officially married two days before.
On April 28, Italian partisans catch Mussolini. He will be shot, together with his mistress Claretta Petacci, and their corpses shown in Piazza Loreto, in Milan.

The Pacific front
Americans defeat Japanese forces in several Pacific islands, and use them as strategic air bases. The two most important battles are those for Iwo Jima and Okinawa.
On February 19, Americans attack Iwo Jima, while on April 1, they start the invasion of Okinawa. Both battles will be extremely cruel, with many deaths on both sides.
From the Pacific bases, the American bombers reach many Japanese towns. On March 10, Tokyo is heavily bombed, and about 100,000 Japanese civils die in the raid.

The horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
On August 6, an American atomic bomb of about 15 kiloton hits the Japanese town of Hiroshima, leaving behind 80,000 dead people, and an amount of horror difficult to quantify.
Four days after, at Nagasaki, a similar bomb and a similar scenario: 40,000 victims. Many others will die, in the next years, for the consequences of radiations.
After all this, the Japanese Emperor Hirohito accepts an unconditional surrender and abdicates. It is hard to guess how many further deaths, without these two bombs.

Rescuing the camps survivors
When the Allied troops enter into extermination camps, like Auschwitz, Treblinka, Majadanek, they see scenes and are told stories beyond human imagination.
Most prisoners are used like animals for sadistic experiments, or sent to gas chambers, and their corpses have been burned into crematoriums or used to make soap.
Only the strongest ones have survived, heavily working as slaves, with only very little food. When rescued, most of them look like walking skeletons.

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