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Posted: 6/17/2003 2:55:15 PM EDT
Is it my imagination, but do I read and hear a lot more about WWII German atrocities against US POWs than what I hear about atrocities committed by the Japanese? If so, why? Thanks, John
Link Posted: 6/17/2003 3:35:25 PM EDT
I've always noticed just the opposite. I hear far more stories about Japanese atrocities than German.
Link Posted: 6/17/2003 3:51:28 PM EDT
Far fewer POW's were taken in the Pacific, by either side. Far fewer POW's taken by the Japanese forces survived.
Link Posted: 6/17/2003 4:31:46 PM EDT
It just seems like the Japanese got a walk, compared to the Germans after WWII. A lot of Japanese didn't do time for committing atrocities against the Chinese or the Americans & Brits.
Link Posted: 6/17/2003 11:32:06 PM EDT
It has now been realized that many of the German "atrocities" never happened. Or have been blown out of proportion. (etc Babi Yar massacre 100,00 Russian civlians dead - never happened, no record of any German unit eing within 20K of the area. Katayn (sp) forest - the Russians did it. This is not to say that they did not do MANY numerous horrible things, but remember, history is written by the winners. As for the Japanese, many of them were let go for the information it was thought they had. Thier bio-weapons guys for example. The info was a waste of time, they got off. IIRC, the guys incharge of cetrain famous acts were taken care of, (Battan etc) but most were killed in action or killed themselves. Read the book, "The Rape of Nanking". It will change your outlook. BTW, don't let your wife or kids see the pictures in the book. I think when it comes down to it, the German theater of war is more interesting to more people, so you hear more about it.
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 5:15:17 AM EDT
I had a history teacher in high school who was a POW held by the Germans. He never claimed any abuse by them. He said they didn't get enough to eat, but followed it up by noting that at that point the Germans couldn't feed their own people properly. He wasn't bitter about the experience. I think the POWs were better treated in the European theater because of European concepts of chivalry & honor in battle (This is a broad generalization). However, in the Pacific theater the attitude was quite different because of how the Japanese viewed non-Japanese (subhuman) and the disdain for those who would surrender rather than die. The acts of the Japanese (from the Rape of Nanking as noted above to the cannibalism of Australian POWs) made it easier to make the decision to use the Bomb.
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 6:31:11 AM EDT
The Japanese also considered all POWs "Criminals", and never declaired them properly as POWs. This had alot to do with their treatment. Watch the movie "Bridge on the River Kwi" It will give you a good idea. You will also get to see Obie-Won-Kinobi get to be a Japanese whipping boy. For the most part the Germans treated American and British POWs as well as they could with the exception of bomber crews. Russians and others were treated very poorly but could get out if they would be of use to the German army. The Japanese had no such concept, all prisoners were just sub-human as Brohawk said.
Link Posted: 6/20/2003 2:40:03 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Cougar8045: I've always noticed just the opposite. I hear far more stories about Japanese atrocities than German.
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This is what I was told by someone in the know about the German treatment of American POW's. In south-central Texas many German prisoners were sent to work on the farms and ranches. They were for the most part treated kindly and given special privilages, never over-worked. Germans officials with some agency would inquire of them regarding their treatment, and nearly always got positive feedback. The Germans were very suprised and impressed with this. Consequently, American POW's were treated much more humainly by the Germans, than by the Japs. After the war, some of those same German POW's refused repatriation to Germany, and those that left soon returned.
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 3:29:51 PM EDT
What is disturbing to me is that the German POWs, some of whom may have killed Americans, got better treatment than did black American citizens who never killed anybody.
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 4:14:18 PM EDT
Do you mean black soldiers? Not to turn this around, but there is one very noteable case of one American run POW camp where several thousand Germans were starved to death, and in most cases, Germans being held in assembly areas in Europe were treated extreemly poorly by the Americans. Seams the British were a little better in this respect, but then hell, they never followed the rules of naval warfare and let many German sailors die. War brings out the best and WORST in everyone.
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 4:25:33 PM EDT
German POWs in America were, in a few cases, documented,where they were brought to restraunts and were served food, whereas black Americans were not allowed in. I don't believe anybody here can dispute that black Americans were denied entrance to certain 'white' establishments for years. Nazi prisoners were treated better than black Americans in 1942-1945. As for the allegations of deliberate starvation of German POWs, that has been disputed. Members of the SS were treated much worse than standard Wermacht POWS.
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 4:47:05 PM EDT
OK, I wasn't sure where you were going with your statement. It is hard to argue. Most German soldiers held in the U.S. were treated better than blacks in that time, or the next 20 years for that matter. To counter my earlier point, there was a case of a lightly guarded prison camp; in the south I believe. The commander of the camp garison was asked if his security was good enough. He opened the gates and told all the prisoners to go home. They just stood there. When asked why they didn't leave, (the reporter was trying to get them to say they would be shot if they tried to) they told him they had no reason to want to leave. They were treated better, were warm and dry, and had more and better food than they had seen in years. They thought it was great. There are too many personal accounts from former German military personell to dispute the poor treatment, especially starvatian in detention camps. Not much can be said about thet, they had just lost the war, that is what happens to the loosers. The mass starvation at the camp in GA. is a little controversial, but I have not seen an arguement against it that didn't sound like a cover-up. Again, these things happen. As for the SS, it has been well noted that their treatment was pretty poor. Some of it deserved, probably most of it was not. As for the Algemeine SS.........F*ck 'em
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 6:35:34 PM EDT
Ober, I have a story about the POW thing, and it came from a personal source, fairly reliable. I was told that a US B24 was ferrying German POWs back to England when the crew opened the bomb bay doors over the Channel. A pretty horrible way to go, I believe. I don't know whether they were SS or what. The Japanese beheaded several US POWs, considering them to be war criminals. I wish the US would have killed the lot of them, myself.
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 7:36:57 PM EDT
One of our neighbors as I was growing up fought in WWII on the German side and he made several comments on how nice he was treated as a POW (he was in an alpine unit along the german/italian border and surrendered at the end of the war). He said he ate better as a POW than as a wermacht soldier. . He just died recently and he was a really neat dude. Take care, Josef Bauer. As far as SS units and specific individuals that intel said had murdered aviators and other prisoners, I can easily believe they were shot as they were found... My barber fought in the pacific theater and he still hates anything Japanese...
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 8:03:56 PM EDT
I believe the systematic way in which the Germans went about the Holocaust throws more attention on them in general. The Japanese were every bit as vicious and in some cases such as American POWS worse. It is documented that they used American and British POWS in medical experiments. As mentioned their war crimes were less known due to the Americans offers of immunity in exchange for information on their bio-weapons program.
Link Posted: 6/23/2003 3:15:28 AM EDT
MrClean: I concur that the situation regarding German POWs and Black American soldiers was wrong. I use incidents like that as waypoints to measure how far we've come since then. Of course racial harmony is not perfect. There are still plenty of people on [i]both[/i] sides of the issue who don't want it. However, I had my first personal contact with Black people in basic training. Over the 21 years of my AF career I worked with people from all kinds of backgrounds. When I was a supervisor managing crew chiefs on the flightline it didn't matter if the airman was black, white, purple, or green. I saw a technician in a green uniform with a tool box and an airplane that needed to be fixed. We should remember the past so we can learn from it and measure our progress. The error some people make is in pointing at an event that occurred 60 years ago (and has been corrected) to try and make a case that it is evidence of current injustice. I don't really think that's quite where you were going, but I hear slavery talked about that way so often. Rather than point at slavery as a evil institution that has been rightly abolished, some people talk like it's still happening today. Well, it is, but not in the US! It's alive and well on the African continent. But, that's a subject for another thread...
Link Posted: 6/23/2003 4:50:16 PM EDT
Brohawk, I agree with you. I was merely illustrating a point about treatment of German POWs. I brought up the true stories about them as they worked in the US. In my opinion, when you fast forward from 1945 to 2003, the racial situation is totally different. As for slavery, one of the first acts of the people in Liberia, founded with freed American blacks, was to institue slavery, which was not abolished until 1922. People like Jesse jive Jackson and Al Sharpton are the ones who won't let the issue die, as if they did they would not have a job. Sorry to digress. John
Link Posted: 6/23/2003 4:57:33 PM EDT
Don't worry about digressing. [:)] It's a valid point.
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 2:54:29 AM EDT
MrClean, your points are valid. One of the difficulties of this medium is that we can't hear the inflection in eachothers' voices, see facial expressions, etc., so we have to discuss a bit more to make sure we have a clear understanding. The situation you brought up did indeed trouble me when I first learned of it, viewing it through today's value system.
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 3:29:14 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 4:23:33 AM EDT
Good point. You can't even count on our "allies." I have a book at home that tells of the Soviets "liberating" POW camps and sending the Allied POWs eastward by the trainload to provide manpower for rebuilding after the war. There were stories of American & British POWs having to E&E westward, avoiding the Soviet army. All around, it sucks to be a POW. Several years ago I got to attend a lecture by Col. Bud Day (USAF, Ret.). A bit of advice: Don't mention Jane Fonda in his presence.
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 6:29:35 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 6:32:27 AM EDT
Yeah, when she apologized a couple years ago I thought it was a step in the right direction. Heck, believe it or not, I did some dumb things I regret when I was young. However, some comments she's made since then moved her back over to the "X" column.
Link Posted: 6/24/2003 7:13:46 AM EDT
I don't believe jane Fonda has ever 'changed her spots.' For economic reasons - i.e.- sales of her crap, she has made a half hearted appology. I don't believe she regrets what she did. She and Tom Hayden and the rest of the far left dickheads will never change. Just like those who hate George Bush. It won't matter what he says or does, they still hate the guy. When we find WMD, they will claim he had them planted. Now I degress some more. John
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