The Other Holocaust

The Nanjing Massacre and Unit 731

Angry at the Japanese atrocities in Nanjing during WWII, German diplomat John Rosen sent Magee's film to Nazi government and requested film be shown to Hilter and claimed Japanese army was a "Violent Killing Machine".

At a time when Japan is seeking permanent status in the United Nations Security Council, Mr. Chan's death serves as warning that a nation with a history of aggression, crimes against humanity, and with no signs of remorse, is not worthy of occupying a seat in the UN Security Council.

"The fellow knew that it was over for him, and so he didn't struggle." recalled the old former medical assistant of a Japanese Army unit in China in World War II, "But when I picked up the scalpel that's when he began screaming. I cut him open from the chest to the stomach, and he screamed terribly, and his face was all twisted in agony. He made this unimaginable sound, he was screaming so horribly. But then finally he stopped." The former medical assistant who insisted on anonymity, explained the reason for the vivisection. The Chinese prisoner had been deliberately infected with the plague as part of a research project - the full horror of which is only now emerging - Japanese Army set up Headquarters of Unit 731 near Harbin, China to develope plague bombs for use in World War II. After infecting him, the researchers decided to cut him open to see what the disease does to a man's inside. NO anesthetic was used, he said, out of concern that it might have an effect on the results.

The research program was one of the great secrets of Japan during and after World War II : a vast project to develope weapons of biological warfare, including plague, anthrax, cholera and a dozen other pathogens. Unit 731 was comprised of over three thousand researchers and technicains. It was a gigantic research center focused on biological weapons. The vivisection was also routinely used for practicing various kinds of surgery says Dr. Ken Yuasa, a former Japanese doctor working in China during the War. First an appendectomy, then an amputation of an arm and finally a tracheotomy. When they finished practcing, they killed the patient with an injection.

Medical researchers also locked up diseased prisoners with healthy ones, to see how readily various ailments would spread. The doctors put others inside a pressure chamber to see how much the body can withstand before the eyes pop from their sockets. To determine the treatment of frostbite, prisoners were taken outside in freezing weather and left with exposed arms, periodically drenched with water, until the frozen arm emitted a sound resembling that which a board gives when it is struck.

The doctors even experimented on a three-day-old baby, measuring the temperature with a needle stuck inside the infant's middle finger to keep it straight to prevent the baby's hand clenching into a fist. Victims were often taken to a proving ground called Anda, where they were tied to stakes and bombarded with test weapons to see how effective the new technologies were. Planes sprayed the zone with a plague culture or dropped bombs with plague-infected fleas to see how many people would die.

The Japanese Army regularly conducted "Field Tests". Planes dropped plague-infected fleas over Ningbo in eastern China and over Changde in north-central China, Japanese troops also dropped cholera and typhnid cultures in wells and ponds.

Sheldon H. Harris, a historian at California State University in Northridge and author of a book on Unit 731, "Factories of Death" estimates that more than 200,000 Chinese were killed in germ warfare field experiments. Professor Harris also says plague-infected animals were released as the war was ending and caused outbreaks of the plague that killed at least 30,000 people in the Harbin area form 1946 through 1948.

In what Harris describes as a "Faustian bargain", the research was kept secret after the war in part because the U.S. granted immunity from war crimes prosecution to the Japanese doctors in EXCHANGE for their data. Japanese and American documents show that the United States helped cover up the human experimentation. Instead of putting the ringleaders on trial, U.S. gave them stipends.

When Japan launched its full scale invasion into China, Japan claimed that it would take only three months for them to conquer the whole China. Yet they had to spent three months just to capture Shanghai with great casualties to Japanese army. In December 13th 1937, Nanjing, the capital of China during the war, finally fell to the Japanese. Japanese military force immediately systematically start murdering Chinese civilian under the 'Take all, Kill all, Burn all' military policy. It was a well planned, full scale revenge designed to intimidate and crush the spirit of China. In the next six weeks, the Japanese committed the infamous Nanjing Massacre, or the Rape of Nanjing. The brutalities included shooting, stabbing, cutting open the abdomen, excavating the heart, decapitation, drowning, punching the body and eye with an awl. Thousands of civilians were buried or burn alive, or used as targets for bayonet practice, shot in large groups and thrown into Yangtze River. Soldiers competed in all kinds of "KILLING CONTEST" and sent the number of murders back to newspaper in Japan to publish.

"I have never been to hell, but there is a hell, it was in this city," reporter for the Tokyo Times told the killing in Nanjing. "At one time, after Nanking was captured, more than 30,000 Chinese were driven to the foot of the city wall. Machine guns then swept the crowd and grenades were thrown from atop the wall. The 30,000 people were all killed, most of them were women, children, and elderly." reported Toyoko Asahi Shimbun correspondent Yoshio Moriyama on December 14, 1937. A Dec. 15, 1937 entry to the diary of a Japanese soldier in the 23rd Regiment of the 18th Division, published in Tokyo Asahi Shimbun on August 4, 1984: "When we were bored, we had some fun killing Chinese. Buried them alive, or push them into a fire, or beat them to death with clubs, or kill them by other cruel means."

Witnessed the atrocities, Reverend John Magee used his camera and recorded the Massacre in a 16mm film. It is believed to be the only documentary about this infamous incident. He was an Episcopal pastor in charge of the so-called Nanjing Inernational Safety Zone created when Japanese army captured Nanjing in 1937.

Angry at the Japanese atrocities, German diplomat Mr. John Rosen sent a copy of Magee's film to the Nazi government. He also included a long report which claimed that the whole Japanese army was a "Violent Killing Machine". In it, he requested that the film be shown to Hitler.

Chinese and Japanese scholars were aware of the film but were unable to locate it. Japanese then said that since there was no proof, the Nanjing Massacre never occurred.

When the German Archive at Botsdam was opened in 1990 after collapsing of the Berlin Wall, the Rosen report surfaced, but the film's whereabouts were still unknown. After a long search, the four rolls of the film and the diaries were finally found in Yale University Library and in the house of Mr. David Magee, Reverend Magee's son. According to Magee's dairy, he could only record a very small part of what he witnessed since he was too busy to save lives.

Brackman, a reporter at the Tokyo Trial and author of the book "The Other Nuremberg" commented "The Nanjing Massacre was not the kind of isolated incident common to wars. It was deliberate. It was policy. It was known in Tokyo." Yet it was allowed to continue for over six weeks.

"In terms of measures and cruelty of the genocide, its duration and large numbers of people killed," says professor of history of Southern Illinois University "Neither Hiroshima nor Jewish Holocaust can rival the Nanjing Massacre." The international community estimated that more than 300,000 Chinese were killed, and 20,000 women were raped within six weeks of continuous Massacre.

Yet Japan often said that Japan's aim in World War II was simply to liberate Asia from Western colonialism and project themselves as the victims instead of perpetrators of World War II because atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ignoring all the facts that Nanjing Masscare and infamous Unit 731 were one of the Ugliest chapters against Humanity in the 20th century. Japan is responsible for the deaths of more than 20 million Chinese during the 14 years of invason, not to mention large numbers of Koreans, Indonesia (4 million), Vietnam (2 million), India (1.5 million), Filipions (1 million) and other Asian countries. It was a Holocaust committed by Japan in World War II and not yet confessed.

The debate has been smouldering in Japan for the past 40 years. History professor Saburo Lenaga, who has now become for many the living *conscience of Japan, has launched no less than three highly publicized lawsuits against the Department of Education. Based on his own research, he wrote a high school textbook which included Japan's terrible War crimes : Nanjing Massacre and infamous Unit 731. Time after time again, his manuscripts were sent back from the Education Department. He was asked to delete a reference to the Japanese "aggression" in China and told to use the words "military advance" instead. Regarding the Nanjing massacre, he had to haggle with education officials over the number of Chinese civilians killed. As for the infamous Unit 731, it was made clear that any mention of its existence would quite simply bar the book from publication. Finally Mr. Lenaga got angry and sued the Education Department.

The Lenaga's cases have encouraged testimonies and historical research. In view of the evidence being unveiled everywhere, the Education Department examiners have had no choice but to relax their criteria even before the final decision of the Supreme Court is handed down. It has now been 12 years since he launched his third lawsuit against the Education Department and there is no telling when the Supreme Court will deliver its final decision. He has lost all his cases before.

"Japan is a very strange country, truth cannot prevail," Nagase Takashi another former imperial solder, says in a mock incredulous voice. "So I am a citizen of the world and NOT a Japanese." Mr. Nagase is also a devoted crusader for a just cause. He dares to do the unthinkable in Japan. He calls the Japanese royal family the war criminal family, saying the Emperor should either commit harikiri or become a Shinto priest. Herohito could have stopped the war at any time. And he never took any responsibility.

Japan has successfully brainwashed its own people by glorifying Convicted CLASS A War Criminals As National Heroes and publicly denied the atrocities - Nanjing Massacre and Unit 731. In August this year, the Japanese Prime Minister and many officials even paid their respect at the shrine honouring their War Criminals. 80 % of the Japanese now do not know that Japan had ever invaded another country, he says. "They only know the atomic bomb exploded over Hiroshima and we lost the war." Mr. Nagase believes Japan DESERVED the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki because the atomic bombs immediately stopped the war, saving numerous lives of Japanese, PoWs, and civilians in Asian countries.

Japan, driven by the frenzy of militarism, committed unspeakable war crimes and atrocities of such great magnitude unmatched even by the Fascism and Nazism that most people have termed it "The Forgotten Holocaust in Asia". Following table is a comparison of the war atrocities :

US POWs captured & interned in WWII by Nazis: 96,614
US POWs captured & interned in WWII by Japan: 33,021

US POWs died while interned by Nazis: 1,121 (1.1 %)
US POWs died while interned by Japan: 12,526 (37%)

US civilians captured & interned in WWII by Nazis: 4,749
US civilians captured & interned in WWII by Japan: 13,996

US civilians died while interned by Nazis: 168 (3.5 %)
US civilians died while interned by Japan: 1,536 (11%)
(source: The Center for Civilian Internee Right, Inc.)

Germany has now regained the trust of her neighbours while Japan continues to invite suspicion from Asia.

In 1987, Japan shamelessly moved their war criminals' momorials into Yasukuni Shinto shrine to be worshipped as national heros. In July 1996, the Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto broke a decade long taboo by visiting shrine honoring these war criminals. The Japanese ruling Liberal Democratic party and right wingers even incorporated the worship as the national policy that the cabinet ministers should officially pay tribute to the shrine.

The Japanese constitution bans "land, sea and air forces, as well as other war potential." Yet, because of the wonders of constitutional interpretation and encouraged by United State, Japan has now built its self-defense forces into one of the most powerful armies in Asia, supported by the equivalent of US $50 billion military budget, second or third largest in the world only after that of the United States, and probably Russia. From 1985 to 1994 Japan's military spending increased 58 % as Europe and US decreased theirs. For example, Germany decreased their military spending by 24.7 %. In contrast, Japanese military spending in 1994 was 44.6 billions in exceess of 61.1 % compared to China's spending of only 27.68 billions. Japan was the number 1 in the world spent $76,500 per military personnel which was 4.4% more than U.S.

German leaders consistantly apologize for their past aggression in the clearest possible terms. Former Chancellor Willy Brandt once even fell to his knees at the site of the Warsaw Ghetto in the tribute with the utmost sincerity to those who died there at the Nazi hands.

In Germany, it is a Crime to utter what is called "the Auschwitz lie" - denial of the death camps. For more than five decades, the Japanese have danced and dodged around the edges of their war Crimes and atrocities.

Germany has made generous acts of atonement and has paid 88 billions Mark in compensation and reparations to Jewish Holocaust victums and will spend another 20 billions Mark by 2005. Yet, Japan has virtually paid nothing and continues to maintain an innocence that contracts vividly with Germany's profound self-examination.

Also in contrast, the United States has compensated Japanese held in WWII internment camps with $20,000 each. Similar compensation was also given to the Candian Japanese by the Canadian government few years ago.

The constant reminders of the atrocities of Germany's Nazi regime is now recognized as a major preventive measure against the revival of Nazism in Germany. The annual commemoration of the victims of Hiroshima provides a strong basis for the resistance to the dangerous of nuclear wars. To bring attention to the Ugliest War Crimes against Humanity in 20th century committed by Japan can prevent the current resurgence of Militarism in Japan and anywhere in the world as well.

If Japan wants to play a larger political role in the World or to secure a permanent seat on the UN Security Concil, Japan MUST settle its past. Simply adopting a "No War Resolution" after half century denial without a formal sincere apology to the victims during the War, Japan missed again a golden opportunity to reconcil with its neighbours. Denial will not make the past go away. Only by facing the truth of history with courage as Germany, can Japan bring the wounds of war to a final closure. Until this is done, Japan remains as a country without SOUL.

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