Why do some natural disasters cause more impact on some places than others?
There are many reasons for a difference in impact on an area from a natural disaster. If we take earthquakes as an examples we can see that the level of preparation and protection in place has a direct impact on the effects on the country. In 2010 two similar earthquakes took place in Chile and Haiti but with dramatically different impacts. The main difference between these events comes down to the level of development of the country. Chile being in part a HIC (Higher Income Country) was more prepared than Haiti. The emergency services were more equipped and practice drills had taken place to focus on what to do in this situation. Because of this they were on the scene quickly and intervening in the situation. Alongside this, financially they were able to support emergency aid internally and through support from economic neighbours soon had the situation under control. Long term responses were focused around rebuilding and regeneration and power and water supplies were soon reconnected. In comparisons Haiti suffered a much more devastating impact. Poorly built buildings collapsed leaving thousands homeless and damage to the main port area meant aid was impossible to be brought into the country. The sheer numbers of dead overwhelmed the poorly equipped emergency services and soon the bodies were decomposing, due to the heat, in the streets. This led to impacts of secondary effects of disease which swept through the area leading to thousands more dying and causing problems for the aid teams coming in from abroad. The infrastructure was completely destroyed and guidance as to how to move forward severly hampered by the destruction of the Government buildings. The lack of preparation and protection in Haiti due to economic issues in comparison to Chile, led to a massive difference in impact from a similar strength earthquake.
What are the main causes of growth of shanty towns and favelas in LIC's?
In countries such as Brazil the continued growth of poorer quality housing is driven by a culture of push factors which still move people from rural to urban areas in vast numbers. The destruction of the rainforest and impacts of this deforestation cause people from these areas to move as land becomes less fertile and quality of life falls dramatically. The belief that cities provide jobs is still a strong pull factor in these countries and the understanding that education can lead to a better quality of life and standard of living cause people to move in search of better opportunities for their children. The link into these areas will be family and friends who have already moved there and so people develop their own houses in these areas building from what they can find. The reality of lack of jobs causes people to become trapped in these areas which are controlled in large parts by criminal gangs who run the areas by fear.
To what extent were the German people aware of the Nazi atrocities against the Jews?
There are many views on this but overwhelmingly historians believe it was almost impossible for the German people to not know to some extent what was happening. From early ages German children were taught about how the Jew was not to be trusted and the portrayal in books and propaganda materials painted a picture of a monster who was focused on harming children. Alongside this it would have been impossible to ignore the labour teams from the camps working in areas around towns and cities and the enforced 'death/labour' marches as the Nazi's lost their grip on the country. One such place was Sachsenhausen outside of Berlin where the camp was a short walk from the railway station and detainees were marched through the town to get to the camp. Add to this the sheer number of soldiers involved in this process. Whether as part of kill squads or working in the camps or transports, these people would confide in their families and the stories of these atrocities would be shared outside of the camps and areas in which they took place. So in conclusion, the level of knowledge may have varied but the populace had some level of understanding of what was taking place during this period.