When I was in my teens I spent a few days with an Englishman who was visiting in California. I was driving a Japanese car, and, to my amazement, he would not ride in it. He flattered me by explaining something he almost never talked about (according to his family). He had been a soldier and was captured by the Japanese, captured when Singapore fell. He spent the whole of the war as a slave laborer under the Japanese. He said he very much regretted that he could not forgive them for their horrid treatment of the Allied prisoners. We drove around in my father’s Chevy.
Robert Asahina review a new book by Brian MacArthur, Surviving the Sword: Prisoners of the Japanese in the Far East, 2942-45. The tale is a relentless tale of savagery.
Numbers can only begin to suggest the staggering dimensions of the horror. Within five months after Pearl Harbor, more than 50,000 British and Australians in Singapore, 52,000 Dutch and British in Java and 25,000 Americans in the Philippines had fallen into Japanese hands -- a total of 132,142 Fepows. Most spent the next three and a half years in prison camps, where 27 percent of them died (compared to 4 percent of Germans in Allied prisons). A third of the dead -- 12,000 men -- perished during construction of the Burma-Thailand railroad, immortalized in "The Bridge on the River Kwai."
The story just gets worse. (Thanks to Powerline).