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You don’t understand how deadly World War II was. This video explains why.

Zack Beauchamp is a senior correspondent at Vox, where he covers ideology and challenges to democracy, both at home and abroad. Before coming to Vox in 2014, he edited TP Ideas, a section of Think Progress devoted to the ideas shaping our political world.

We all know, abstractly, that World War II was one of the most destructive conflicts in human history. Indeed, the scale of the devastation was so large that it's almost impossible to appreciate the vastness of the loss when we consider it in the abstract.

That's why this video from filmmaker Neil Halloran, whose simple illustrations show the true numbers of soldiers and civilians killed during the war, has such a powerful emotional impact.

It's the starkness of Halloran's video that really hits home. He simply represents the total death tally with a series of human figures, each standing in for 1000 deaths. So when the gigantic column of dead Soviet soldiers flies by, dwarfing every other combatant, you get a chilling sense of just how immense the conflict on the Eastern Front was. And when you see the column of Jews murdered by the Nazis, broken down by where and how they were killed, you understand the true enormity of the Final Solution's apparatus of murder.

It's an extraordinary film. And once you've watched it, you'll appreciate just how lucky we are to be living through the most peaceful time in human history.

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