Japanese Atrocities.

Discussion in 'War Against Japan' started by Kaiser, Mar 27, 2005.

  1. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    The big difference, in my view, was the differing motivation for these atrocities. For the Japanese, it was more cultural and I suspect viewed even today as normal wartime behaviour. Their actions seemed to show no favourites. Every opponent received the same treatment. As pointed out, there was a consistent pattern but administered differetnly depending on the local commander. Unlike Germany, where the conduct was more ideologically driven and following a state sponsored plan. You could say that the Japanese were scarier in that it was part of their national and cultural psyche vs a (hopefully) situational, one time event in Nazi Germany.
  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Just watching a programme called Hell in the Pacific.

    There was some interviews with allied PoW's (British and American) and they were speaking very highly of various Japanese guards who looked after them and one PoW/Thai-Burma Railway, Scotsman Duncan Ferguson even went as far to say 'He was one of the finest men I have ever met'.

    Another spoke highly of the Camp Commandant of a British Camp in Japan that they were in. The commandant was called Lt. Kuber (Spelling may be wrong)

    Anyone heard of him?
  3. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

  4. Joefraser

    Joefraser Junior Member

    Friedrich H wrote.
    "final example could be the cold-blooded execution of unarmed German guards at Dachau by American G. I.s from the 42nd infantry division. Some 60 or so guards were shot, in contravention of the Geneva convention. But one cannot ignore the fact that those same guards, just a few hours before, were torturing and assassinating prissoners by the dozens, and that it was those G. I.s who put an halt to that."

    In actual fact these were wounded Waffen SS troops dragged from the hospital and were not "torturing and assassinating prisoners by the dozens." The camp guards had, for the most part already fled.
    Also, and a moot point mind, Dachau was not a "death camp" as such. It was a series of labour camps. Yes, it was a concentration camp and yes, the prisoners were not treated well, but it wasn't an extermination camp. There were no gas chambers, there were ovens to burn the bodies of those who had died "naturally" ( Been worked to death and kept on low rations ) from the sub-camps.
    The reason I point this out is that, if we don't get things right, it gives people like Irving more ammunition to use in his stupid denials.
  5. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    I suppose you can quote a source for your opening statement.

    Yes, those US troops were entirely in the wrong, they ought to have bought those SS guys a beer instead of shooting them. After all, Dachau was not an extermination camp, and the guys below were on hunger strike.

    A-58 likes this.
  6. Elven6

    Elven6 Discharged

    If that's the case, were the wounded guilty? Yes? Shoot them! I think it's a universally agreed fact at this point that a majority of the Waffen SS units were responsible for war crimes? I'm not saying all SS members were criminals because there were some exceptions from what I've read.

    Drew5233: I wouldn't doubt that, I've heard of a few exceptions where the Japanese camp conditions were good. Although from what I've read so far it seems the bad far outnumbered the good.
  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I wouldn't doubt it either...after all he was there :)
  8. Recce_Mitch

    Recce_Mitch Very Senior Member

    Za Rodinu, Interesting link, I joined to seach some more.

  9. Joefraser

    Joefraser Junior Member

    Dachau Concentration Camp - Liberation April 29,1945 Timeline Dachau
    Here is a link to a source for my statement.
    No they shouldn't have shot them, they should have tried them or it just makes us as bad as them.
    So Elven, you think that out of a total of 900,000 Waffen SS, there were only a few exceptions that were not war criminals? Is that just your own opinion, or based on any facts?
  10. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    A perhaps relevant section of the Nuremberg judgement." It is impossible to single out any one portion of the SS which was not involved in these criminal activities. The Allgemeine SS was an active participant in the persecution of the Jews and was used as a source of concentration camp guards. Units of the Waffen SS were directly involved in the killing of prisoners of war and the atrocities in occupied countries. It supplied personnel for the Einsatzgruppen, and had command over the concentration camp guards after its absorption of the Totenkopf SS, which originally controlled the system. Various SS Police units were also widely used in the atrocities in occupied countries and the extermination of the Jews there. The SS Central Organisation supervised the activities of these various formations and was responsible for such special projects as the human experiments and "final solution" of the Jewish question.

    The Tribunal finds that knowledge of these criminal activities was sufficiently general to justify declaring that the SS was a criminal organisation to the extent hereinafter described. It does appear that an attempt was made to keep secret some phases of its activities, but its criminal programs were so widespread, and involved slaughter on such a gigantic scale, that its criminal activities must have been widely known"
    Judgment: The Accused Organisations - The SS - Criminal Activities

    I would agree that any 'on the spot' execution may be questionable, and I also agree that there were men fighting with the SS that did not partake in any war-crime, but I believe I've said before that I find the massacre carried out by US troops that had encountered the stench of Dachau first hand was entirely understandable.
    Two wrongs don't make a right, but is it really worth putting up any defence for anyone with those collar-flashes on the site of a concentration camp?

    The SS soiled it's own hands, and any member, whether in '44 or now, no matter his direct involvement in atrocity, must live with that. Sympathy is pretty unlikely, and I think that's entirely understandable. Mercy was not generally their strongest quality when they themselves were in a position of strength. It can't be a surprise that people still despise them, whether generally or individually, and despised them enough 'on the spot' to feel justified in killing in colder blood than combat.
    Their 'image' can muddy attempts to seriously/historically understand them, automatic condemnation sometimes clogging up genuine analysis. Often, for the purposes of discussion/study it's better or more interesting to take their overall grim nature as a given, and get to the actual details of whatever specific aspect's being looked at, but lets face it; that image was self-generated.

    Back to the Japanese:The big difference, in my view, was the differing motivation for these atrocities. For the Japanese, it was more cultural
    I sometimes wonder to what extent atrocity was inevitable within the IJA. It does seem that the brutality was inherent to their entire military system, deeply ingrained and an essential motivating factor for their troops. Could they have achieved what they did militarily without the brutality, or did one walk hand-in-hand with the other?
    I suppose that's just a chicken/egg thought though. Without brutality in the system they may not have been the pretty consistent aggressors/torturers they proved to be, but without that militaristic pride in ruthlessness they probably wouldn't have been raping Nanking (etc.) or taking Singapore in the first place and we wouldn't even be talking about them.

    BTW, I re-opened this thread a while back chaps, lets keep it as chilled as possible, or it'll just disappear ;).

  11. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Please look at this online book. Mengele was an angel compared.



    Extremely grim reading, but thank's for the link.

  12. Joefraser

    Joefraser Junior Member

    Wait a minute Von Poop:

    "BTW, I re-opened this thread a while back chaps, lets keep it as chilled as possible, or it'll just disappear [​IMG]."

    If, by that, you mean if someone doesn't agree with some of the biased views on this site, then you close threads, what sort of site is it. I joined here because there were some genuine Allied Vets on it and I wanted to hear their views and pose some questions. However it seems that you want your "blinkered" view of the war where the Allies did no wrong and the Germans, especially the Waffen SS were guilty of everything. Reality check folks, our fighting troops were sometimes just as bad as the Germans they faced for war crimes.
    Someone on here thought I had an agenda, wow, I think it may be the other way round. Actually I am quite ashamed of the Vets on here, in a way. After going through it, they had a duty to make sure the truth was told fully, not distort it like some Hollywood movie. I will leave you to your distorted views.
  13. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    I open threads, hate closing 'em.
    If, by that,
    You misunderstand me; 'by that' I mean nothing more than I'll close threads if they move too far beyond the polite.

    Nobody sensible has a blinkered view that the allies did no wrong whatsoever, it was a big old war, but banging on about the examples of misbehaviour of allied troops, particularly before settling into the site and working out it's ways will immediately raise an eyebrow. It's hardly controversial to see the Allies as generally more wholesome than the SS.
    I'd love to see some more dispassionate discussion of the SS from time to time, I'm fascinated by 'em, but this jumpiness seems so familiar. There are ways of attempting discussion of the SS soldier in history without getting too immediately polarised or shouting at anyone.

    Ashamed of the Veterans on here?
    They, like you, are entitled to their own opinions. (Maybe even more so than others as they were there; we should certainly try our hardest to respect that). I'm sorry to hear of shame at people who disagree with a given viewpoint. Personally I always thought that was all part of life's rich pattern.
    Perhaps choosing to be less instantaneously defensive/assumptive would mean the overall discussion of SS History might get more of a reasonable boost.
    The culture here, I hope, is largely one of self-moderation.

    Ray Hanson likes this.
  14. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Eh Joe, I think you misunderstood VP's statement and I mean in the context of which it was written as opposed to the actual wording. If you read posts 1-56, you will see how the discussion started to get out of hand. In fact the previous administration closed the thread. VP re-opened the thread as it was felt that people might be able to discuss it in a well-meaning manner. There is a willingness to give any subject a chance and, provided it doesnt get confrontational and agressive, pretty much any viewpoint will get a listen. Threads dont get closed here because of disagreements over opinions, threads get closed because members postings get overly agressive, personal, contain character attacks and so on. Sometimes people need to be reminded that they should remain respectful towards each other. This is a general point, Joe and not directed at anyone. Yes threads can be closed and will happen if things get out of hand but not because the mods dont agree with an opinion.

    We welcome open discussion here BUT we like to keep it pleasant for all if at all possible. If you take that to be distorted well I'm sorry but thats the way it is.
    von Poop likes this.
  15. Steve G

    Steve G Senior Member

    Mengele was an angel compared.

    I think That's grossly unfair to Angels, Za! ;)

    Hell of a read, that was, mate! Dear god! I've been tattooed on my chest and stomach and thought, at the time, how it felt like being carved with a scalpel ..... And I thought That was excruciating pain? Hardly bears thinking about, what went on there.

    But, one should and must think about it. Or else it was all for nothing, right? We simply cannot let such things be forgotten.

    And this has all left me in a quandary now. I've just finished yet another 'German' book and was up for a rest from it all. Fancied starting " Freefall ". Only, it's Lads Night In, tonight. Dean O' asked me what was on the menu and I'd suggested " Cross of Iron ". But, having read this, last night? I'm wondering if either of us could stomach a disc or two of " Shame of a Nation ".

    I must be a glutton for punishment. Just can't help myself. Moth to a flame, me and the Nazi atrocities.

    Keep looking at Posner and Ware's " Mengele ", sat there on the shelf, daring me .....
  16. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Joe not wanting to prolong a discussion away from the thread title you may wish to have a look at some more of the previous threads and you'll see that they are far from beening one sided. 'First War Crime on D-Day springs to mind' that suggests that the Allies (British) may have been the first to comit war crimes after the Allied Invasion of France on June 6th.

    Trust me you won't find a more balanced WW2 forum.

    Anyway back to the Far East :)
  17. Elven6

    Elven6 Discharged

    Dachau Concentration Camp - Liberation April 29,1945 Timeline Dachau
    Here is a link to a source for my statement.
    No they shouldn't have shot them, they should have tried them or it just makes us as bad as them.
    So Elven, you think that out of a total of 900,000 Waffen SS, there were only a few exceptions that were not war criminals? Is that just your own opinion, or based on any facts?

    A few in the grand scheme of things could be near 200k for all I know, it's a pretty supported theory that states many SS units were involved with atrocites, not all of course.

    This forum is anything but biased, you have people here from all over the world and all sorts of faith ready to discuss anything. Ask a question about Germany, it will gladly be answered, ask one about Mexico, the same would happen! Hell even the Axis dedicated forums are more pro Allies then even the Allies dedicated forums! :lol:
  18. Operation Detachment

    Operation Detachment Junior Member

    One very disturbing story is that of a group of American airmen onboard a B-29 bomber which was shot down by a Japanese fighter over Kyushu after a firebombing mission on May 5, 1945. Eight of the eleven crew members were dissected alive without anesthesia at Kyushu Imperial Hospital by the Japanese. One of the airmen died before ever reaching the ground, the other committed suicide when he landed, and the pilot of the bomber was sent to Tokyo for questioning and later interned at a P.O.W. camp. There were acts of cannabalism performed after the dissections, where one of the doctors cooked one of the American crew member's liver, seasoned it, and ate it. The Japanese consider the B-29 to be one of their most hated enemy during the later part of the war. These actions definitely confirm with that idea.
  19. martin14

    martin14 Senior Member

    It disturbs me deeply that the Japanese have been given a free pass for what they did

    It disturbs me more that the various Allied governments seem perfectly happy to let this
    situation continue, as the Japanese continue to revise or hide their own history in
    their own favor, going so far as to say the US started the Pacific War.

    But I suppose I am in the minority, and nothing will be done about it.

    A real shame.
  20. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    If you think about it in the same vein as the German Rocket specialists who were recruited after the war and became involved with NASA, one became the head of NASA, then it is not too surprising.

    Experiments by the Japanese on POW's produced nerve gasses which were wanted by the West.

    This is when the politics take over and we all know what happens.

    It may be considered a can of worms that no-one wishes to open.

    War is hell and Politics is a dirty game. How very true.

    Heimbrent likes this.

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