During the Dachau liberation reprisals, German prisoners of war were killed by U.S. soldiers and concentration camp internees at the Dachau concentration camp on April 29, 1945, during World War II.It is unclear how many SS members were killed in the incident but most estimates place the number killed at around 35–50. A soldier swung the wooden handle of a pickaxe down across the man’s back, knocking him to the ground. He was sent to a disease-ridden prison in Singapore and twice feigned injury in order to be sent to hospital. During the Meiji period the Japanese government adopted western policies towards POWs, and few of the Japanese personnel who surrendered in the Russo-Japanese War were punished at the end of the war. There, he was locked in a 5ft cage that soon became full of red ants, mosquitoes and his own filth. Lomax got a copy of Nagase’s book and found it very painful to read, especially the details of his interrogation and torture. When his wife asked him what was wrong, Lomax remained tight-lipped and sullen. On December 7, 1941, USS California’s crew fought bravely to save her. While Lomax was extremely reluctant to contact the very object of his hatred, Patti gently suggested, “Maybe it’s time to step out of the darkness.”. [8] Fighting forces turned into forces of occupation, working to maintain a fragile peace while living amongst former enemies. By comparison the United States has some 72,000 unrecovered service members from World War II in all theaters of the conflict combined, with about 26,000 deemed recoverable by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA). Maizuru, Japan, 1946. After surrendering to Imperial Japanese Army forces in a revenge act for the sinking of a Japanese minesweeper they rounded up 300 Dutch and Australian POWs at random and executed them at Laha airfield in the Dutch East Indies (Now Timor). In the early 1990s, after the Cold War ended, Russian authorities published the names of 46,000 Japanese who had died in the Soviet prison camps. It had no effect on Lomax, who was consumed with hatred for Nagase. He gagged and frantically gasped for breath as water filled his throat. When officials found human remains in an old Japanese medical dump in Papua New Guinea this year, they may have done more than locate two missing World War II commandos. The interrogation and torture finally stopped after more than a week. American experiences on Tarawa, Saipan, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and other islands, where so few Japanese surrendered, cemented the expectation that the armed forces of Japan, if not the civilian population, would fight bitterly to the very end if the country were invaded. When Lomax woke the next morning, his body was numb. Lomax travelled to the Far East with Patti. There are a few sad stories of prisoners or their liberators taking revenge against the Japanese. Indonesia. He felt boot heels on the back of his head, crunching his face into the gravel. Courtesy of "Showa Day by Day" volume 7, Kodansha Co., 1989. Vanderbilt University historian Yoshikuni Igarashi more than doubled that number, estimating that 100,000 Japanese captives perished in the Soviet camps. It was not until 1991 that the Japanese received the names of the 46,000 mentioned above, and learned the location of the mass graves where the Soviets buried them. info@nationalww2museum.org The face was much older, but still instantly recognisable. “You said, ‘Keep your chin up.” Lomax paused, then smiled. Finally Lomax spoke, “Do you remember what you told me when we last met?”. Over the next three days, the men talked about their lives since the war. By an … The beating went on until he lost consciousness. Many films have been made about those POW in the hands of the Japanese, but this is one of the more unusual examples. New York: Columbia University Press, 2016. His fate rested in part on the attitude of General Douglas MacArthur. The Japanese had brought Lomax as close to death as possible, yet he showed no signs of giving in. The terms of the Geneva Convention were ignored by the Japanese who made up rules and inflicted punishments at the whim of the Camp Commandant. Starting in late 1946 the USSR began to repatriate the POWs, freeing 625,000 in the following year alone. Fort Leavenworth: Combat Studies Institute, US Army Command and General Staff College, 1983. The Soviet 1945 Strategic Offensive in Manchuria. “Are you ready to talk?” Nagase asked. He hid his map in the latrine. Expressing empathy with the prisoner, Nagase said, “Keep your chin up.”. What happened to these men and where were their remains? However, they are relatively few, probably fewer than a dozen. Various shots of the Japanese prisoners loading lorry and clearing dump. He retired from the army in 1948, worked abroad for some years and later got a job teaching personnel management at Strathelyde University in Glasgow. “I counted 900 blows over six hours.”. Like Imperial Japan, the USSR had not signed the Geneva Conventions of 1929 regulating the treatment of POWs. He wanted to remember him, and someday find him and make him pay. The fractured bones in his right arm and wrist never set properly, making it painful for him to write. Most of those interred had been exhumed and repatriated from Russia and the Solomon Islands. As John Dower describes, this announcement led to enormous confusion in Japan. All members of Kato’s unit formally became POWs on arrival at Zhangzhou in central Henan Province. They did so in a completely foreign, Siberian environment and climate that was merciless. American troops 'murdered Japanese PoWs' By Ben Fenton 06 August 2005 • 00:01 am . That hope dissipated in the lightning advance of the Red Army launched on August 9. To obtain war news, Lomax and a few other prisoners had secretly built a radio receiver from scrap materials they collected. In Lomax’s mind, Nagase personified all the atrocities committed by the Japanese. Largely unknown in the United States, a memoir literature about life in the Soviet POW camps burgeoned in the immediate postwar years. Then he saw a slight Japanese man walking towards him. It turned out that the ROK officer had been a particularly brutal guard in the same Japanese POW camp where the British officer had been a prisoner. Japanese Minister of Welfare Yasuhisa Shiozaki presents the remains of an unknown Japanese soldier. Similar to the atrocities they perpetrated in Germany, Austria, and Hungary earlier in the year, the Red Army sullied their triumph by engaging in mass rape and systematic pillage against the populations of these newly occupied areas. A labor shortage meant that these prisoners of war could expect arduous toil. He would lose his temper over trivial matters, such as bureaucratic requests for personal information. After initial resistance, Japan’s forces on the Korean peninsula, Sakhalin, and the Kuriles also laid down their arms to the Soviets. Lomax ducked into the latrine and grabbed the map. Lomax refused, but gave her grudging permission to send a letter on her own. Lomax was next. This is the first account published by a former Japanese POW that I have seen since the War. Food, or the lack of it, and the elements worked against the men. But his wartime past wouldn’t leave him. I met and interviewed many Japanese prisoners during that time. But Roger also mentions some POWs' remarkable human capacity to have compassion for Japanese civilians who they knew were also suffering. I have tried to keep as much of his own words as possible, but to make it more readable and put it into chronological order, some changes were made. 30 people identified as Y-DNA descendants of ancient Boyd family of Scottish aristocrats. An account of his story published in the Reader’s Digest in 1994 generated such interest that, a year later, he published his own memoir called The Railway Man. By night, they slept on wooden planks in dismal bamboo huts. Fifty years later, he was to meet his chief tormentor again. This was just under half of the 3.5 million Japanese combatants left abandoned outside of Japan when Emperor Hirohito announced his country’s acceptance of Allied terms. They concealed it in a coffee tin and huddled around it at night. To Lomax’s amazement, the article explained how, “the author has flashbacks of the Japanese military police in Kanchanaburi torturing a POW accused of possessing a map. Maj Gen Cullen said the killings happened just after the Australians overcame the Japanese at Milne Bay, New Guinea. If earlier documentation was truly reliable, the actual number of POWs should have been closer to 300,000. At one point the train derailed, with many guards and civilians killed and injured. Associated Press. No other campaign surpassed that number. The construction of a democratic order in Japan during the American occupation was one of the more significant outcomes of the conflict. It was Japan's first defeat in the Pacific war. Fifty years later, he was to meet his chief tormentor again. He also had frequent nightmares in which he would see Nagase’s face and hear his voice. The tension began to vanish. The stories about and by these former POWs haunt present relations between Japan, Russia, and the United States. Books in Japanese - POW Research Network Japan (English website). “My husband is the man you describe being tortured so terribly”. Source: Japan Times, Unknown Author. Nagase informed Lomax that he was being transferred out of the camp. 3 (1995): 612-629. www.dpaa.mil (Personnel Accounting Cooperation with Japan). “I think you’d like to have this,” he said. Would Japanese Emperor Hirohito remain in power after his nation’s surrender? The Soviets inflicted terrible brutality on their Japanese captives. Source: Battling Bastards of Bataan. A US Navy lieutenant with a Japanese skull used as a mascot. Then, in October 1989, a friend gave Lomax a newspaper clipping about the publication of Crosses and Tigers, a book by Takashi Nagase. Despite their small, fluffy nature and their propensity to do as they please, even cats had a place in the military. A towel was put over his mouth and nose. His wife suggested that he write to Nagase. Hong Kong Veterans Commemorative Assocation - books on Allied POWs. His stomach began to swell. Named the Manchurian Strategic Offensive Operation but better known now as “August Storm,” a term popularized by historian David Glantz, it was a gargantuan undertaking coordinating air, sea, and land forces. Top Image: Japanese soldiers returned from a Soviet POW camp in Siberia. “I am so very sorry,” he said softly. Finally, that night, one of the prisoners was ordered to raise his arms above his head. The number who surrendered in the weeks after August 9 is astounding—between 1.6 and 1.7 million men. During the interrogations, Lomax memorised every feature of Nagase’s face: the dark eyes, the small nose, the broad forehead. He was relieved to find, however, that his fiancée had waited for him. They lay under the fierce sun for two days before fellow POWs were sent to carry them to the camp hospital, where a Dutch doctor treated them as best he could. Every Japanese treated our countrymen harshly. He was drowning on dry land. Eventually Lomax agreed that Nagase’s remorse must he genuine and replied with a note, “Perhaps a meeting would be good for us. Lomax was tried in a court in Bangkok for his ‘crimes’ and sentenced him to 5 years’ hard labour. Stripped and tied with wire in such a way a sudden movement would cause strangulation, soldier, and civilian alike were made to sit in the sun on the concrete they had recently poured. After the Nazi attack on Russia in 1941, the Japanese were torn between German urgings to join the war against the Soviets and their natural inclination to seek richer prizes from the European colonial territories to the south. Nagase looked up and grasped Lomax’s hand. Now tell us: Who else was involved?”  Lomax refused to tell them. Homecomings: The Belated Return of Japan’s Lost Soldiers. Some men, like Junpei Gomikawa, reentered Japan radicalized after prolonged exposure in the camps to the ideas of Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, and Vladimir Lenin, filtered, to be sure, through a rigid Stalinist lens. The Japanese Communist Party, led for several years after World War II by Tokuda Kyuichi, attracted many of these radicals. References Containing Information about Prisoners of War of the Japanese in World War II - ADBC site. Massacres of POWs, Dutch East Indies, 1941-1942 ... (56 men) were the victim of the Japanese revenge, which originated in the fact that the airfield of Koetaradja had been damaged before KNIL troops left the city. “I have often prayed I would meet your husband again and be able to seek forgiveness for what I assisted in.”, Convinced of Nagase’s sincerity, Patti suggested to her husband that he should write himself. Tens of thousands of these nearly forgotten Japanese dead had once been prisoners of war in Soviet captivity, seized in the global conflict’s final weeks. When the towel was finally removed and Lomax had recovered from his delirium, he still refused to confess and name his confederates. First, there was the history of the Russo-Japanese War, then the Japanese government’s intervention in Siberia against Lenin, Trotsky, and the Bolsheviks during the Russian Civil War. They were read by a Japanese public not yet beyond the association of surrender with dishonor and, at the same time, bombarded by the American occupation with stories of their armed forces’ atrocities in World War II. “I have suffered tremendous guilt all these years,” he wrote. An account of his story published in the Reader’s Digest in 1994 generated such interest that, a year later, he published his own memoir called The Railway Man . 1. He even once refused to take a seat in a restaurant because a Japanese couple was eating nearby. He heard the crack of his own bones. Former prisoners put to paper what they experienced. Maybe the worst aspect of their treatment was the absolute lack of contact with relatives. Beneath the waves of the Pacific Ocean and under the soil of the lands which border it lies one of the starkest reminders of Japanese imperialism: the remains of some one million soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen of Imperial Japan’s armed forces who perished in World War II. Perhaps half of them are potentially recoverable. The water torture began once more. Sadly, Mr Lomax will not now see the film’s release next year. Probably the biggest reason why some Filipinos—especially those belonging to the older generation—still harbor feelings of hatred for the Japanese is because of the brutality they suffered under their rule. While they did fight hard at the outset of August Storm, Japanese soldiers eventually capitulated in droves to the Soviets. In the bloodiest  battle in Marine Corps history, 27 Marines and sailors were awarded the Medal of Honor for action on Iwo Jima. Not surprisingly, the vicious cold of Russian winters claims disproportionate attention in these works. Beginning from mid-1945, there was a concerted effort to locate Allied POW's held by the Japanese on mainland Japan -- details on those efforts can be found in "Operation Blacklist" (see the original Aug. 8, 1945 document, Basic Outline Plan for Blacklist Operations, pages 134 to 163; 218-page document, Basic Outline Plan for "Blacklist" Operations to Occupy Japan Proper and Korea After Surrender or … Eric Lomax, who died on Monday aged 93, was starved, viciously beaten and tortured as a prisoner of the Japanese during WW2. Close up shot of a sign reading 'Japanese Civilian Camp General Office'. Tortured by the Japanese in WW2, what happened when a former POW met his chief tormentor again 50 years later. He wrote beautifully about one episode that took place right after the end of the war. The best explanation, however, is that the Stalin regime treated its enemies, external and internal, ruthlessly. Books relating to Guam POWS. The surviving POWs then suffered treatment on a par with the worst of all the POW camps. Igarashi, Yoshikuni. The confrontation stemming from border disputes between the Soviet Union, Japan’s puppet state in Manchuria and Mongolia, culminating in the 1939 Nomonhan Incident, had not faded from memory. On instinct, Lomax put out his hand, and Nagase clasped it tightly. I had no reason to doubt him.”. “75 Years Later, One Million Japanese War Dead Still Missing,” August 13, 2020. The indoctrination these men had undergone in Japanese military culture taught them to prefer death to surrender. Kuznetsov, these memoirs document camp regulations, the labor system, and the food—mainly bread, cabbage, and potatoes, but little rice, the mainstay of the Japanese diet. Dower, John W. Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II. When Lomax finally returned home to Britain, he learned that his mother had died three years before, and his father had remarried. It is time to bring the men back to Japan, their homeland. Launched in 2016, this effort will last until 2024. That, however, was not the only reason why Soviet personnel often acted so cruelly. By August 1945, war weariness, overwhelming odds, and sheer self-preservation exerted countervailing pressures to the indoctrination. Patti understood that her husband’s angry outbursts were related to his wartime experiences and assumed things would get better with time. On the day of the meeting, he nervously paced about the museum’s terrace. Assistance from DPAA with issues of forensic science and greater cooperation from the Russian government will lead, with any hope, to scores of identifications of these prisoners, among the final casualties of the Pacific War. Many Japanese firms, suspicious of the politics of such men, simply would not hire them. Starting in late 1946 the USSR began to repatriate the POWs, freeing 625,000 in the following year alone. Unsurprisingly, his explanation that he was a railway enthusiast who had simply mapped it for pleasure on his own devices did not convince them. The Japanese speculated that it might have been the work of local Chinese, who wanted to get revenge on Japanese troops whom they knew to be on board. The Second World War ended 75 years ago. UNIT 731--JAPAN'S DEATH LABORATORY . They wanted to know why Lomax had secret map of the area around the railway, and where he had got the information to draw it. 945 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70130 Courtesy of Kyodo News. Processing and sustaining such a massive array of prisoners would have been a daunting task for any military. Eventually the military policemen began to slap Lomax, and then deliver repeated blows to his face as his silence continued. The total lives lost by the Japanese was close to 1000. She went on to say he had lived with many unanswered questions all these years and ended with a request: “if you are willing, perhaps you would correspond with my husband?”, Patti Lomax was moved to tears by Nagase’s reply. But, he remained darkly obsessed with his torturers, especially the interpreter. Good information about everyday life, abuse, comfort women, starvation and other depravities. What lay ahead for them in Siberia was long and dreadful. Nagase was always on hand as interpreter. Based on the book by James Clavell, with screenplay and direction by Bryan Forbes, the film stars George Segal in the lead, together with British actors John Mills, Tom Courtenay, and James Fox. 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