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Canmoore
13 Aug 07,, 07:14
I just finished watching this film.. finally. I have been wanting to see this film for a long time, I wasn't able to see it when it was in theaters, and I just now got myself a copy... it has been a long time coming, but finally I got to watch it... And I was not disappointed!

What a powerful film. It also helps to have previously watched Flags of our fathers, as the two movies are meshed together. Sort of like viewing the war from both sides. However, Flags felt to "Hollywood" it didn't feel real, and you didn't really get a sense of what the people were going through. Letters however, was a much much better film. It focused more on the people, rather than the actual war.. Some of the scenes were extremely powerful.

Perhaps the best scene was when the Japanese captured an American, the Japanese commanding officer told the men to treat him, when his order was challenged "but sir the americans would not do the same for us", the CO replied have you ever met an American?...

When the American died, the CO took a letter from the American, and read it to his men. The letter was from the captured soldiers mother, the letter was about general happenings back home, and how she missed her son and wanted the war to end so he can come home safely.

This was especially moving, because it showed the men, that there is no difference between the Americans and Japanese. Both sides far away from home, both want nothing more than peace so that they can be with there loved ones.

Most war movies, show the allies as courageous soldiers, and the enemy as wicked monsters.

This film portrayed the Japanese soldier as a scared man, sentanced to death by there Culture of Honour on the battlefield

...To be captured or to surrender is to dishonor your family and country... The only way to bring honour to your name, is to die by the hands of your enemy, or by your own...

It was interesting to watch each soldiers struggle with knowing that they will never see there loved ones again, and waiting to die in an un-winnable battle.

My stepfather, who raised me. Is a second generation Japanese Canadian. I grew up with both a large Canadian, and Japanese family. I feel that I am blessed to be able to witness both cultures. This film was done with the utmost respect of the Japanese people, and I really admire how it was done. I do not think that had it have been Canadian, American or British soldiers on some shitty island, abandoned by your own government and left to rot.... That we would have done what those Japanese did. More than likely we would have negotiated a mass surrender. The Japanese fought to the last man, in honour of there loved ones...that speaks volumes to me.

Letters from Iwo Jima has just won a special place in my heart, and now sits high on my favorite war movie list alongside Das Boot and the Band of Brother series.

Repatriated Canuck
13 Aug 07,, 08:28
Yeah it's too bad the Japanese had to fight so hard, if they didn't they might have avoided 2 nuclear weapons.

I agree, I just watched it last week and it was a fantastic move. Much better than Flags.

Stan187
13 Aug 07,, 08:41
I have my doubts about the way the Japanese were portrayed in the movie.

Canmoore
13 Aug 07,, 08:57
I have my doubts about the way the Japanese were portrayed in the movie.

How so?

Stan187
13 Aug 07,, 09:19
They tried to portray the main guy (a lost, Charlie Sheen in Platoon portrayal), as well as the General(?) as your average honorable joes who seemed to not fit with the desperation and indoctrination of the Japanese at the time. From what I understand, indoctrination and draconian discipline were instilled more and more as time went on and losses mounted during the war. Much the same thing happened toward the end of the war with Germany. They were brutal, that is how they were taught. I couldn't buy that "Have you ever met an American?" line from the General. More particularly, I couldn't buy the fact that the soldiers bought it. They were taught for years that Americans were the equivalent of demons come to life, and then the General says one line and they feel instant empathy?

Out of 22,000 Japanese troops, only 216 or something like that surrendered, and not all of them by choice.

That said, it was definitely better than Flags of Our Fathers, IMO.

gunnut
13 Aug 07,, 10:33
The average Japanese was taught that if captured, the Americans would torture the men and rape the women. It was logical for them to believe as it was a convention for thousands of years in warfare. They truly believed the Americans were the devil. You can tell by the mass suicides of the civilians on Okinawa to avoid capture.

I have no doubt the average Japanese soldiers thought of the Americans, in fact, any non-Japanese, to be sub human and deserved no better than the worst treatment.

To be fair, we weren't much better. Our guys would kill any Japanese soldier if given a chance. But we drew the line at killing defenseless soldiers and civilians. We didn't treat them well (not by today's standards) but we treated them better than how they treated others.

Canmoore
13 Aug 07,, 18:28
I couldn't buy that "Have you ever met an American?" line from the General. More particularly, I couldn't buy the fact that the soldiers bought it. They were taught for years that Americans were the equivalent of demons come to life, and then the General says one line and they feel instant empathy?

The General in question, had been to America. He had American friends and knew what they were like as a people. His own people however were brainwashed. When he read that American soldiers letter, it was no different than any letter that a Japanese soldier would have received from home. It showed a human side to the "monstrous" Americans.

wkllaw
13 Aug 07,, 18:48
Letters from Iwo Jima was a powerful movie, much better than flags, but while I respect the men from both sides, it did reinforce my dislike of the japanese warrior and samurai culture.

astralis
13 Aug 07,, 18:52
wkllaw,


it did reinforce my dislike of the japanese warrior and samurai culture.

rather, the culture as it was interpreted and badly twisted by the militaristic japanese government of the 30s and 40s, into a strange, fascistic, death-cult.

wkllaw
13 Aug 07,, 20:05
wkllaw,



rather, the culture as it was interpreted and badly twisted by the militaristic japanese government of the 30s and 40s, into a strange, fascistic, death-cult.

Yes, I guess I should be more specific next time. Japanese culture now is pretty interesting with nice dresses for women of course the clothes for men suck, but the culture as a whole is pretty interesting and I have deep respect for it with the exceptions of a few things like the clothes men wear.

xerxes
13 Aug 07,, 20:23
My problem with Letters from Iwo Jima, was mainly to badly edited, mutilated form of the movie. It felts copy and pasted. Also for some reason the Letters from Iwo Jima had far less gore and blood than the Flags of our Fathers.

Stan187
13 Aug 07,, 20:49
The General in question, had been to America. He had American friends and knew what they were like as a people. His own people however were brainwashed. When he read that American soldiers letter, it was no different than any letter that a Japanese soldier would have received from home. It showed a human side to the "monstrous" Americans.

I understand. My point was that the soldiers who were brainwashed, didn't seem to be brainwashed too well, considering the took the human side of Americans to heart almost instantly on the words of the letter and the general. But there is a lot of stigma about the militaristic culture Japan used to have, so they didn't want to portray it in the movie. And that's exactly what I had a problem with.

Canmoore
13 Aug 07,, 20:50
My problem with Letters from Iwo Jima, was mainly to badly edited, mutilated form of the movie. It felts copy and pasted. Also for some reason the Letters from Iwo Jima had far less gore and blood than the Flags of our Fathers.

I think the movie was ment to be that way. I think what Eastwood was trying to do, was to show almost a snapshot of the men on that island through those long lost letters. No one will ever know what those people really did on that island, we only have a snapshot of the human side of those people through those letters.
I think that it really added to this movie, and made it much better..

As for gore and blood, this is not a movie about the horrors of war as much as it is about the horrors these people must endure in war.
In most war movies, the soldiers themselves serve as the backdrop behind the war. In Letters however, the war serves as the backdrop for which these soldiers are painted on..

For example, in Flags the emphasis was around the raising of the American flag on Suribachi. In Letters, the flag raising was barely visible in the background as the Japanese officers discussed what to do next.

Canmoore
13 Aug 07,, 20:52
I understand. My point was that the soldiers who were brainwashed, didn't seem to be brainwashed too well, considering the took the human side of Americans to heart almost instantly on the words of the letter and the general. But there is a lot of stigma about the militaristic culture Japan used to have, so they didn't want to portray it in the movie. And that's exactly what I had a problem with.

War can break down any man... When your government abandoned you, and you are left to die on some bleak island knowing that you will never see your family again.. Only the most zealous spsychotic people can hold onto such a lie..

dalem
13 Aug 07,, 22:09
Perhaps the best scene was when the Japanese captured an American, the Japanese commanding officer told the men to treat him, when his order was challenged "but sir the americans would not do the same for us", the CO replied have you ever met an American?...

When the American died, the CO took a letter from the American, and read it to his men. The letter was from the captured soldiers mother, the letter was about general happenings back home, and how she missed her son and wanted the war to end so he can come home safely.

This was especially moving, because it showed the men, that there is no difference between the Americans and Japanese. Both sides far away from home, both want nothing more than peace so that they can be with there loved ones.

Did it then show the Japanese CO taking the next prisoner, cutting off his head, then stuffing the corpse's genitals in its mouth? Because that's how the Japanese treated most of their prisoners.

-dale

Stan187
13 Aug 07,, 22:12
War can break down any man... When your government abandoned you, and you are left to die on some bleak island knowing that you will never see your family again.. Only the most zealous spsychotic people can hold onto such a lie..

That can go both ways. Those kind of conditions can make a normal man give up. But they can also make an indoctrinated fight even harder. As I said, only some odd two hundred of them surrendered, and not all of these prisoners willingly chose to surrender themselves. They were damn committed. If you know that there are these devils-come-to-life are coming after you, and you're dead for sure, it ain't too much of a stretch to say that you'd fight your hardest to take down as many of them with you as possible. In fact, from what I understand, that is exactly what happened.

dalem
13 Aug 07,, 22:14
War can break down any man... When your government abandoned you, and you are left to die on some bleak island knowing that you will never see your family again.. Only the most zealous spsychotic people can hold onto such a lie..

It wasn't "breaking down" that caused the Japanese to burn Nanking.

It wasn't "breaking down" that caused the Japanese to perform biological warfare experiments on prisoners.

It wasn't "breaking down" that caused the Japanese to turn out female prisoners as "comfort women".

It wasn't "breaking down" that caused the Japanese to routinely torture defenseless soldiers, prisoners, and civilians.

It was, in fact, exactly what the Japanese had been "built up" to be over the previous generation.

Whatever the reason, whatever the roots, they were indeed monsters at that time.

-dale

glyn
13 Aug 07,, 22:33
[QUOTE=dalem;397440]

Whatever the reason, whatever the roots, they were indeed monsters at that time.

They undoubtedly were, but what I still cannot fully comprehend was what made them so bestial in so short a time. Prisoners of the Japanese during WW1 were treated humanely.

entropy
13 Aug 07,, 23:38
[QUOTE=dalem;397440]

Whatever the reason, whatever the roots, they were indeed monsters at that time.

They undoubtedly were, but what I still cannot fully comprehend was what made them so bestial in so short a time. Prisoners of the Japanese during WW1 were treated humanely.

Dalem, Officer of Engineers and me have had a discussion about what turns people into monsters, and how quickly it happens. It is in the thread about the Mecca bombing. Perhaps it can be applied here as well.

Gun Grape
14 Aug 07,, 02:45
I do not think that had it have been Canadian, American or British soldiers on some shitty island, abandoned by your own government and left to rot.... That we would have done what those Japanese did. More than likely we would have negotiated a mass surrender. The Japanese fought to the last man, in honour of there loved ones...that speaks volumes to me.


Then I suggest you read about the Marines at Wake Island. Where a 523 man Marine Defense Battalion, VMF-211, 68 Navy Personnel and 1200 civilian construction workers made their stand.

The ONLY repulsed amphibious invasion in WW2 and the first Japanese defeat.

The Marines sank 2 Japanese destroyers from the shore and VMF-211 sunk 1 from the air.

The Japanese then had to dispatch 2 aircraft carriers and more soldiers.

The second attempt was a success and of the 2500 Japanese soldiers in the landing force the Americans (according to Japanese records) Killed 900 and wounded 1000.

After the First attempted landing, the US Commander Navy Commander Winfield Scott Cunningham sent the famous request "Send More Japs".

Granted they didn't fight to the last man. But against all odds, knowing there would be no help they made the enemy pay.

dalem
14 Aug 07,, 05:36
[QUOTE=glyn;397452]

Dalem, Officer of Engineers and me have had a discussion about what turns people into monsters, and how quickly it happens. It is in the thread about the Mecca bombing. Perhaps it can be applied here as well.

It was different for the Japanese - simple but deliberate education and indoctrination over a generation or two as opposed to rapid degeneration in a year or two.

Again, building up as opposed to breaking down. The common thread is that we are, all of us, capable of such bestial behavior. It's all about who you think deserves what.

-dale

Canmoore
14 Aug 07,, 09:39
It wasn't "breaking down" that caused the Japanese to burn Nanking.

It wasn't "breaking down" that caused the Japanese to perform biological warfare experiments on prisoners.

It wasn't "breaking down" that caused the Japanese to turn out female prisoners as "comfort women".

It wasn't "breaking down" that caused the Japanese to routinely torture defenseless soldiers, prisoners, and civilians.

It was, in fact, exactly what the Japanese had been "built up" to be over the previous generation.

Whatever the reason, whatever the roots, they were indeed monsters at that time.

-dale

War can turn anyone into monsters Dalem.

Yes the Japanese conducted horrendous tests on POW's and on people from countries they had conquered. However, the Americans were no saints either.

The american military dropped incendiary bombs onto Japanese civilians...targeting Japans civilians rather than its military. Japanese huddled together in bomb shelters would melt into a gelatinous mass from the intense heat..

American soldiers would keep the skulls of the Japanese as trophies...they treated the Japanese as if they were not even human. Like you would keep the head of a deer..

American media demonized the Japanese as savage monsters. North American Japanese where targeted by this, and sent to camps... families were torn apart and lives ruined.

Both sides were victims of a brainwash attempt, in order to keep the troops fighting, and support for the war on the home front.


Even today Dalem, American soldiers have done, and are are still doing horrendous crimes against humans.. from dropping napalm on villages in Vietnam, the sickening treatment of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison. To the use of depleted uranium shells in current conflicts, with its lasting impacts on civilians and soldiers alike.

Also "down-winders" from Nevada, would have you believe that they are "unofficial" guinea pigs of the American Government, to study the effects of Nuclear Fallout, and radiation on humans during the testing of its nuclear weapons.

Stan187
14 Aug 07,, 12:02
War can turn anyone into monsters Dalem. But societies where hate and superiority and militarism were indoctrinated into the civil society even without the military produced such monsters on a much more consistent and predictable basis.

Yes the Japanese conducted horrendous tests on POW's and on people from countries they had conquered. However, the Americans were no saints either.
In comparison to the WWII Japanese they damn well were. I'm sure you've heard of Nanking, and that was just the tip of the iceberg. Some of their live human bio-chem weapons testing gives Hitler's cronies a run for their money in gruesomeness.
The american military dropped incendiary bombs onto Japanese civilians...I've read that at least at first, this was overlooked in intelligence. The Americans apparently hadn't done their homework, and did not know that most all Japanese houses were made of light/flammable wood. So when they did the calculations for how much incindiary they needed, they really overestimated. However, as the war went on and the Japanese were encouraging everyone to manufacture for the war effort in their backyards as opposed to just factories. Mass firebombing cities where such manufacturing is prevalent is no more and no less brutal that firebombing Dresden's ball-bearing factories.
.

Officer of Engineers
14 Aug 07,, 12:11
Oh come on, Canmoore, at least read up on the Winnipeg Grenadiers and the RRC. The Americans did not adopt their attitudes until the Bantan Death March. It was the Japanese who started it's better to die than to surrender thing. The Americans simply obliged.

You're trying to tell me that our Canadian boys at Hong Kong should be understandable at the treatment they've got. Not a chance in hell!

Canmoore
14 Aug 07,, 18:23
Oh come on, Canmoore, at least read up on the Winnipeg Grenadiers and the RRC. The Americans did not adopt their attitudes until the Bantan Death March. It was the Japanese who started it's better to die than to surrender thing. The Americans simply obliged.

You're trying to tell me that our Canadian boys at Hong Kong should be understandable at the treatment they've got. Not a chance in hell!

I am not trying to make excuses for why any side did what they did in the war. The Japanese did unspeakable things to the people they had conquered in the war yes. There is no denying that war crimes were committed by the Japanese.

I am just trying to point out that there was a human side to the average Japanese soldier who probably wanted nothing more than to just be at home living his normal life. We are not talking about mindless robots programed to murder and torture, we are talking about human beings capable of free thought and feelings... however superstitions and fear were exploited to keep such things in check.

I think that it is obvious that such crimes were not committed by the lower ranks voluntarily. But commanding officers are more likely to be blamed for such atrocities, the lower ranks just carried out the dirty work. The same can be said about the Holocaust.

Officer of Engineers
14 Aug 07,, 18:25
I think that it is obvious that such crimes were not committed by the lower ranks voluntarily.Of course they were - the very definition of no quarters asked nor given.

astralis
14 Aug 07,, 18:31
canmoore,


I think that it is obvious that such crimes were not committed by the lower ranks voluntarily. But commanding officers are more likely to be blamed for such atrocities, the lower ranks just carried out the dirty work. The same can be said about the Holocaust.

that is where you are wrong. on both counts. in both the holocaust and the japanese occupation (but more so the latter), the lower ranks not only carried out the dirty work, they did so quite happily.

you are right in that each individual japanese soldier had, of course, his own hopes and fears and family. most of them were probably decent human beings. however, put in mob mentality, ultra-nationalism, racism, and militarism to boot, and soon you have a bunch of soldiers who went above and beyond their disgusting call of duty to "kill all, burn all, and loot all" (sanko sakusen, the "Three Alls" policy, something btw, was authorized by hirohito). so yes, they committed these crimes voluntarily.

you cannot make unwilling people commit this level of war crime. one of the reasons why the germans moved to the gas-concentration camp formula was because individual german soldiers were breaking down and committing suicide when they had to gun down (and thus see) the people they were murdering. the japanese did not seem so inhibited.

dalem
14 Aug 07,, 19:04
War can turn anyone into monsters Dalem.


The war didn't do it, gorrammit, they did it to themselves. Read a f*ucking book or talk to a guy who was there. They. Were. Monsters. When. They. Started.

Even the frikkin' Nazis treated their (Western) opponents well and relatively chivalrously at times. When you compare unfavorably to the Nazis, you have a serious problem.

-dale

dalem
14 Aug 07,, 19:06
I am not trying to make excuses for why any side did what they did in the war.

Yes, you are. You are claiming that the Japanese' barbaric behavior was a result of the war (a war THEY started, by the way).

-dale

Canmoore
14 Aug 07,, 19:58
Whatever, you can think whatever you want.

entropy
14 Aug 07,, 20:57
Whatever, you can think whatever you want.

The Germans (except SS barbarians) were very respectful of the civilian population. Up to the level that they were welcomed as liberators. Sometimes the Russian was more feared than the German by the Russians.
Although racial superiority was promoted, the Germans usually stayed civilized.
The SS was a copy of the NKVD and therefore brutal.

The Japanese were brutal from the beginning, as they were following some Bushido-Imperial death cult.

dalem
14 Aug 07,, 23:47
Whatever, you can think whatever you want.

Well it all boils down to one question doesn't it? Did the Japanese start the war by burning and torturing civilians and prisoners, or did they degenerate into that behavior? Two choices:

1) Started the war doing it.

or

2) Only began doing it once the war had "affected them".

-dale

smilingassassin
15 Aug 07,, 01:28
The Germans (except SS barbarians) were very respectful of the civilian population. Up to the level that they were welcomed as liberators. Sometimes the Russian was more feared than the German by the Russians.
Although racial superiority was promoted, the Germans usually stayed civilized.
The SS was a copy of the NKVD and therefore brutal.

The Japanese were brutal from the beginning, as they were following some Bushido-Imperial death cult.

The Japanese also did not recognise the Geneva conventions, while the Germans did, though this didn't prevent a few atrocity's against captured troops.

Stan187
15 Aug 07,, 10:02
Even the frikkin' Nazis treated their (Western) opponents well and relatively chivalrously at times. When you compare unfavorably to the Nazis, you have a serious problem.

-dale

Well... mostly, there were occasional slips. Sepp Dietrich in the beginning of the war, Malmedy and the like towards the end. I'm sure someone could post a long list of such things, I just don't feel like it, I'm sure you get my point.

Stan187
15 Aug 07,, 10:07
The Germans (except SS barbarians) were very respectful of the civilian population.

That's pure bunk. It is a myth that was put fourth by Heer officers looking for someone to take the blame. The truth is that it happened at every level, done by normal units. As I mentioned before, it was quite ingrained in society on how to behave and what not prior to anyone joining the army.

I might suggest something like "Hitler's Army" by Omer Bartov as an interesting read to start with.

Stan187
15 Aug 07,, 10:08
The Japanese also did not recognise the Geneva conventions, while the Germans did, though this didn't prevent a few atrocity's against captured troops.

Yeah I'm pretty sure Hitler specifically said that Commandos, for example, were to not be treated by the Geneva conventions. It was in the wake of the Dieppe raid, I believe.

entropy
15 Aug 07,, 12:57
That's pure bunk. It is a myth that was put fourth by Heer officers looking for someone to take the blame. The truth is that it happened at every level, done by normal units. As I mentioned before, it was quite ingrained in society on how to behave and what not prior to anyone joining the army.

I might suggest something like "Hitler's Army" by Omer Bartov as an interesting read to start with.

In fact, it's something I've heard from my mother's family, who were Polish in Belorus and Ukraine, near the Polish border.
The thing in those regions was that the Ukrainians always were very nationalistic. Starting with the nationalistic Banderovets movement in the Russian civil war, the Ukrainians were generally very anti-Soviet. The anti-Soviet sentiments, multiplied by Stalin's atrocities in the region, made the population to welcome the Germans as liberators. Naturally, barbaric acts did happen, but they always happen in wars, but in general, the Germans were well-treated by the population and treated the population the same. Even love affairs between German soldiers and Soviet girls did happen.

The good treatment of the population in those regions is probably done strategically. If you see that the population treats you well, it is obvious that you have to do the same to prevent insurgencies to happen.

As for the Partisans in the region, they were not the people's army everyone believes them to be. They had a military leadership, and membership was stirred up by local comissars.

Stan187
15 Aug 07,, 22:40
In fact, it's something I've heard from my mother's family, who were Polish in Belorus and Ukraine, near the Polish border.
The thing in those regions was that the Ukrainians always were very nationalistic. Starting with the nationalistic Banderovets movement in the Russian civil war, the Ukrainians were generally very anti-Soviet. The anti-Soviet sentiments, multiplied by Stalin's atrocities in the region, made the population to welcome the Germans as liberators. Naturally, barbaric acts did happen, but they always happen in wars, but in general, the Germans were well-treated by the population and treated the population the same. Even love affairs between German soldiers and Soviet girls did happen.

The good treatment of the population in those regions is probably done strategically. If you see that the population treats you well, it is obvious that you have to do the same to prevent insurgencies to happen.

As for the Partisans in the region, they were not the people's army everyone believes them to be. They had a military leadership, and membership was stirred up by local comissars.

Notice what part your statement I quoted, because I'm usually pretty careful about being specific with that. I didn't argue that they were not greeted as liberators in some parts (Western Ukraine and Baltics in particular). They were well-liked, but mostly at first, until people realized what kind of deal they were in for. Many in these parts actually murdered Jews on their own, without the Germans needing to do it, and cooperated with them very willingly.

But then the Germans started taking all of their food, and using collective punishment (burning a whole nearby village with everyone inside if a partisan attack happened in a nearby forest). Suddenly, they were not as well liked as before. The Germans would get ambushed, and in frustration of not being able to catch the perpetrators, took it out on non-combatant civilians. After a while, people understood that their new saviors were no better than the Soviets.

The Germans were actually pretty bad at preventing insurgencies because of how brutal they were in terms of punishments and responsibility. This often swelled the ranks of the partisans. Counterproductive. As far as this not being a people's army, yes and no. Some of the insurgency was organized by Soviet soldiers behind enemy lines. Some by civilians trying to protect themselves. The Bielski partisans in particular come to mind, because they were Jews and didn't have the option of just staying among the population. And there were a whole bunch of little groups of Jewish partisans everywhere. Some joined up with Soviet troops as they came through, or commanders who were paradropped in. Others didn't.

The army partisans were more professional, especially those with leaders who were dropped in, because those people were trained in partisan tactics. The political commissars probably had little effect. They were the arm of a regime everyone was scared of, but once the power of regime is not longer there, and replaced by the Germans, they aren't listened to as much. Not to mention that the Germans were adamant about executing all of them, and the political commissars usually got caught when armies were encircles, because their standing orders were to fight to the last man, not fall back into the forest.

No, the Germans did just fine in encouraging people to join the insurgency with the way they acted. And this was the regular army, not just the SS. Their brutality caused many to go join for vengence. This is much more dangerous. Unlike many Jewish partisans who were just trying to survive, those Ukranians, Russians and Belorussians that joined up were out for blood, out to kill as many Germans as they could.

I've heard a lot of this from my family. They lived in the Bessarabia region, mostly. My grandparents were either in the Soviet army or fled. My grandpa was 16 and from Iasi, Romania when he tried to join at the outbreak of war. Because it was an enemy country, he was not allowed. So he lied and said he was from the city Iasi, Odessa Oblast. He enlisted in the Naval Infantry and fought all the way from Stalingrad to Vienna. As you have, do trust that I've heard my fair share of stories too.

dalem
16 Aug 07,, 00:07
Well... mostly, there were occasional slips. Sepp Dietrich in the beginning of the war, Malmedy and the like towards the end. I'm sure someone could post a long list of such things, I just don't feel like it, I'm sure you get my point.

I'm thinking mainly of the Western Desert here.

-dale

chankya
16 Aug 07,, 09:32
Well... mostly, there were occasional slips. Sepp Dietrich in the beginning of the war, Malmedy and the like towards the end. I'm sure someone could post a long list of such things, I just don't feel like it, I'm sure you get my point.

Sepp Dietrich was SS. As were the troops involved in the Malmedy massacre. In any case I know that the US then ordered "no SS to be taken prisoner".
'Fragmentary Order 27. issued by Headquarters, 328th Infantry, on 21 December for the attack scheduled the following day says: "No SS troops or paratroopers will be taken prisoners but will be shot on sight."'

Stan187
16 Aug 07,, 20:49
Sepp Dietrich was SS. As were the troops involved in the Malmedy massacre. In any case I know that the US then ordered "no SS to be taken prisoner".
'Fragmentary Order 27. issued by Headquarters, 328th Infantry, on 21 December for the attack scheduled the following day says: "No SS troops or paratroopers will be taken prisoners but will be shot on sight."'

Nevertheless, plenty of SS people were taken prisoner. There are plenty of pictures of it in history books. Especially of the Hitlerjugend SS division.

xerxes
16 Aug 07,, 21:02
The personnel character of each commanding officer should be also taken into account. Unlike Army-turned-WaffenSS Hausser, the Sepp Dietrich was a butcher - as a profession - before the rise of NSDAP. I do not know of the Japanese commander in Iwo Jima, but based on ones level of education and familly background and past profession, one can have a better idea. I have no doubt that had Dietrich been serving in the regular army, he wouldnot have been a better man. But then, again we had Prussian gentleman generals turned into Nazi lovers: von Reichnau, von Busch.


Generally speaking, people who have not seen the world (travel) are generally bigoted and incredibly stupid. Lack of education adds to that. The more one travels, the higher is the mountain where he is standing and seeing things from an overview pov free of bigotry and stupidity.

Stan187
16 Aug 07,, 21:07
The personnel character of each commanding officer should be also taken into account. Unlike Army-turned-WaffenSS Hausser, the Sepp Dietrich was a butcher - as a profession - before the rise of NSDAP. I do not know of the Japanese commander in Iwo Jima, but based on ones level of education and familly background and past profession, one can have a better idea. I have no doubt that had Dietrich been serving in the regular army, he wouldnot have been a better man. But then, again we had Prussian gentleman generals turned into Nazi lovers: von Reichnau, von Busch.


Generally speaking, people who have not seen the world (travel) are generally bigoted and incredibly stupid. Lack of education adds to that. The more one travels, the higher is the mountain where he is standing and seeing things from an overview pov free of bigotry and stupidity.

That's the fascinating thing about Nazism. Not so much how many useful idiots they got on board, but how many supposed intellectuals and educated people they took in.

chankya
16 Aug 07,, 21:44
That's the fascinating thing about Nazism. Not so much how many useful idiots they got on board, but how many supposed intellectuals and educated people they took in.

That was because for a little while things actually looked good after the Nazis came to power. Mind you the economy was being sustained by things like armament production and road building(the autobahn) and as such in the event there had been no war the economy would have shortly thereafter tanked. But for the man on the street, they had gone from hyper inflation( I was seeing a documentary from the BBC in which they talk about a million papiermark for a single sausage), extreme unemployment and poverty (people being reduced to boiling wallpaper to try and eat the glue off the paper) to a more prosperous brighter future. Their experiment with democracy had brought them misery. Hitler did what most countries do to unite a country. He created an imaginary enemy( Jew and communists). Even the people who had problems with him only had a problem with him because they thought he was an upstart, a corporal playing at leader.

Thats why Germany is such a fascinating study. An ordinary country where ordinary people happily gave up their neighbors for a little prosperity and a little imagined security. I don't buy the whole "Only the nazis knew". Everyone knew. At the least they turned a blind eye for the reasons I mentioned. I see shades of the same tragedy in the debate over muslim citizens in other countries today. The same accusation of putting religion before nation.

xerxes
16 Aug 07,, 21:55
That's the fascinating thing about Nazism. Not so much how many useful idiots they got on board, but how many supposed intellectuals and educated people they took in.

Then again Stan, while we might know about the intellectuals and educated that got converted, we are neglecting those intellectuals and educated that did NOT joined in. Sure, of those very few took active resistance: Beck, Stauffenbeg, Canaris, while the rest remained silent. But nevertheless, percentage wise the number of those intellectuals and educated people that were took into the NSDAP was few.

and I dont think it was the Nazism that had any special attraction, but rather it was its nationalistic componant that tapped into people. Nationalism is great weapon.

entropy
17 Aug 07,, 00:35
Stan187,

Thank you for your input. You made me feel that I have to read up on some things, a feeling that I appreciate when someone awakes that in me.

To stray off-topic: your family were East European Jews? How did they manage to get to the US? And how much anti-semitism did they face in the place where they lived?

dalem
17 Aug 07,, 06:04
Generally speaking, people who have not seen the world (travel) are generally bigoted and incredibly stupid.

That's a pretty standard lefty argument these days. Do you have evidence that it's true?

-dale

Repatriated Canuck
17 Aug 07,, 08:39
[QUOTE=dalem;397440]

Whatever the reason, whatever the roots, they were indeed monsters at that time.

They undoubtedly were, but what I still cannot fully comprehend was what made them so bestial in so short a time. Prisoners of the Japanese during WW1 were treated humanely.


They where like that for a long time before that. They have been exceedingly violent in the past. It's just their culture has no value on life. To surrender is a massive dishonour and so anyone who did in their eyes is less than human. Also they have been the biggest xenophobes ever completely isolating themselves and only allowing the west namely the Portugese around for the silk trade as China wouldn't trade with them. That was over 500 years ago.

None of their behaviour is new or sudden. I quite admire their culture even if it is really hard to understand, in fact knowing some of their history and culture makes me understand just how necessary it was to nuke them, twice.

Repatriated Canuck
17 Aug 07,, 08:57
That's pure bunk. It is a myth that was put fourth by Heer officers looking for someone to take the blame. The truth is that it happened at every level, done by normal units. As I mentioned before, it was quite ingrained in society on how to behave and what not prior to anyone joining the army.

I might suggest something like "Hitler's Army" by Omer Bartov as an interesting read to start with.


I've seen photo's of civilians joining in. The one that comes to mind most is a man who clubbed 9 Jews to death with a big grin on his face.

Repatriated Canuck
17 Aug 07,, 09:04
Yeah I'm pretty sure Hitler specifically said that Commandos, for example, were to not be treated by the Geneva conventions. It was in the wake of the Dieppe raid, I believe.


They where to be executed on sight, standing orders.

I nearly got into an altercation with some Germans at the sight where the executed Canadian Paratroopers. They came to see the spot and proceeded to be very rude as I stood over the little Canadian Flags planted in the ground where they died.

It was in a church yard a few clicks from the Normandy beaches.

Repatriated Canuck
17 Aug 07,, 09:09
That's a pretty standard lefty argument these days. Do you have evidence that it's true?

-dale

Well from personal experience I've noticed that also. I've also noted the well travelled (of which I'm one) can get all high and mighty and have their head equally crammed up their rectum.

It's usually the dreadlocked ones with the ALF hoodie. God damn I hate hippies.

Kansas Bear
17 Aug 07,, 09:41
The more one travels, the higher is the mountain where he is standing and seeing things from an overview pov free of bigotry and stupidity.


Which makes for an excellent historian, my friend!

Bigfella
17 Aug 07,, 11:46
Then I suggest you read about the Marines at Wake Island. Where a 523 man Marine Defense Battalion, VMF-211, 68 Navy Personnel and 1200 civilian construction workers made their stand.

The ONLY repulsed amphibious invasion in WW2 and the first Japanese defeat.

The Marines sank 2 Japanese destroyers from the shore and VMF-211 sunk 1 from the air.

The Japanese then had to dispatch 2 aircraft carriers and more soldiers.

The second attempt was a success and of the 2500 Japanese soldiers in the landing force the Americans (according to Japanese records) Killed 900 and wounded 1000.

After the First attempted landing, the US Commander Navy Commander Winfield Scott Cunningham sent the famous request "Send More Japs".

Granted they didn't fight to the last man. But against all odds, knowing there would be no help they made the enemy pay.


Gun Grape,

There is no question about the bravery of the men on Wake, but I would take issue with a couple of points of fact & interpretation.

Wake was not the only example of an amphibious invasion, Japanese or other, being repulsed in WW2. American soldiers on Bataan repulsed a number of such attempts during their ragged defence of that penninsular.

For a successful repulsing of a Japanese amphibious assault, however, you have to look to the Australians (aided by a number of US CBs or engineers) at Milne Bay in Papua New Guinea. The Japanese assault was not only repulsed at considerable cost to the Japanese, but they were never able to successfully re-stage it. In retrospect Milne Bay can be seen as one of the 'high water marks' of Japanese expansion, along with Kokoda, Guadalcanal, the Coral Sea & Kohima/Imphal.

As I mentioned, the heroism of the defenders of Wake is without doubt, but it is also without doubt that Japanese forces fought on in situations where Allied forces would & did surrender. Examples such as Singapore & Corrigedor spring to mind. The latter is perhaps most apposite, as it involved a group of men in an incredibly strong defensive position, but without hope of relief and succumbing to dehydration, malnutrition & disease. I think that Wainwright made the right decision, and one that any Allied commander would have. On the other hand, I can't see too many Japanese commanders doing the same.

To comment on the issue of Japanese atrocities, a few points:

*It is certainly possible to argue that Japan's WW2 behaviour has roots in it history. I could, however, make that argument about virtually any nation. The leaders of 1930s Japan could have chosen from a variety of traditions in which to indoctrinate their men. They opted for one that encouraged brutality both directly & indirectly.

*The key to understanding Japanese behaviour is not simply the indoctrination of troops with ideas of 'duty' & 'honor', but the staggeringly rigid discipline the officer corps were able to wield. This meant that the attitude of local commanders could have a huge influence on the behaviour of soldiers & guards. Unfortunately most opted for extreme brutality.

*There have been a number of explicit comparions with the Nazis/Germans here:
1) The Nazis may have treated Allied POWs reasonably well, but something like 5 million Russian POWs died in conditions little better than those of POWs under the Japanese.
2) It is difficult to compare instances like that of of German troops struggling with machinegunning Jews because there is not a direct comparison with what the Japanese did. While they killed or caused to die many millions of people, there was no concerted policy of extermination such as that practised upon Jews & Gypsies or planned for Slavs. The 'Rape of Nanking' is the sort of thing European armies used to do regularly in times past (Jerusalem, Magdeburg).
3) In both cases the source of the brutality was from a variety of similar causes - strong traditions of militray discipline; the pressure of the collective to 'do your duty'; and an large & unhealthy dose of indoctrination about the inherent inferiority of the 'enemy' & the unworthiness of their existence.

* These discussions always use a broad brush, unfairly tarring everyone with the actions of the worst. My Uncle, who saw the very worst of Japanese behaviour on the infamous 'death Railway' also recalled guards who risked incredibly harsh discipline & worse to get POWs food or medical care. It is easy to dwell on the evil, but it is also important to acknowledge that even in circumstances where men are encouraged to do their worst, and it would be all too easy for even the moral man to look away, there are still those who will risk all to help the 'enemy' - a fellow human in need.

Sometimes at our worst we are also at our best.

Stan187
17 Aug 07,, 12:45
I've seen photo's of civilians joining in. The one that comes to mind most is a man who clubbed 9 Jews to death with a big grin on his face.

I believe there were a lot of pictures of what happened in Lithuania, those are very prevalent.

Stan187
17 Aug 07,, 12:49
I nearly got into an altercation with some Germans at the sight where the executed Canadian Paratroopers. They came to see the spot and proceeded to be very rude as I stood over the little Canadian Flags planted in the ground where they died.


Interesting, history nearly happening again, live and in person.

Stan187
17 Aug 07,, 13:04
Stan187,

Thank you for your input. You made me feel that I have to read up on some things, a feeling that I appreciate when someone awakes that in me.

To stray off-topic: your family were East European Jews? How did they manage to get to the US? And how much anti-semitism did they face in the place where they lived?

I'm happy to spark your interest in topics, after all that is what a good discussion is about, right?

My family left 11 years ago. My dad's side of the family was from Kishinev, Moldova. My mom's side from Benderi, Moldova. Relatives on both sides of the family all moved to Israel in 1990-1991. Lucky for them, because Benderi was trashed as it was the site of battles between forces of Moldova and Pridnestrovie separatists in '92. My dad and mom wanted to go to America, so we ended up waiting another six years.

Anti-semitism was pretty rampant. My dad got into Moscow Poly with perfect test scores just to be made to retest when he got there and fail all the test. Conspicous no? Winner of several math and physics Olympiads suddenly failing all the same tests? They took a look at his face,his nose, and his last name suddenly decided he needed to retake (and fail) all of his entrance exams. That's just one example. My grandpa did time after the war for saving synagogues and churches from being destroyed. Even I had a kid in first grade come up to me and ask me if I was a Jew, and when I said yes, he said my mom told not to hang around you guys and ran off. Due to this kind of discrimination, as well the tenous economic and security situation in Moldova, we got refugee status. That's how we ended up coming to the states. None of us have been back, nor have we had the urge. The US and Israel are much more homely for me than such a place could ever be.

Ray
17 Aug 07,, 13:09
Horrible people as well good people have walked this earth and will walk this earth.

To feel that 'A' people is bad and 'B' people are criminals and sadist would be wrong.

In the 1971 War, I met my opposing Company Commander during the delineation of the Line of Control one to one, over a few days. I found him to be a great human being and a gentleman!

And to feel we hated each other a few day earlier!

Ray
17 Aug 07,, 13:11
Did it then show the Japanese CO taking the next prisoner, cutting off his head, then stuffing the corpse's genitals in its mouth? Because that's how the Japanese treated most of their prisoners.

-dale

Dale,

You did not see it being done, did you?

So, would it not be correct to say that it was the belief in those times?

You cannot say for sure, can you?

Be honest.

Ray
17 Aug 07,, 13:18
Stan,

Jews have been discriminated everywhere, except India, because of the fear that they control the economy and hence, their life!

That fear still exists, but then people are PC. Remember that US film personality who let loose and then apologised?

That phobia like it or not still exists.

What is all this blaming of Neocons? I am not going to open a can of worms, but you could check the website.

In Malaysia everything is loaded for the Moslems and they hate the Chinese since they control the economy.

It is universal.

In India, the insurgency in the North East is because the Marwaris (of western India) control the economy!

It is a fact of life.

It is not that they dislike a community or people. It is just that they are different group from the mainstream and if they control the lives, it becomes distasteful!

A question of sour grapes!

Admins: Please delete if inappropriate but that is the reality!

xerxes
17 Aug 07,, 15:19
That's a pretty standard lefty argument these days. Do you have evidence that it's true?

-dale


Dear Dalem, I have no evidence and that is simply my opinion (treat it as an opinion) ,,, no left or right business, that being said I can safely say the only places that I have ever seen are Japan, France, Spain and US ... so I will probably fall in the same category of the people who have seen too little, but I am fully aware of that and planning to change that.

Even my trips to Japan and Western Europe was only "seeing the surface", and "seeing the nice high rise buildings (Japan)". One really has to live in another society for some good years ...

That aside, for what is worth I agree with you that the movie Letters from Iwo Jima should have atleast taken the proportionality of the atricities committed into account. Therefore, for every unarmed Japanese killed by US they should have shown 4 or 5 unarmed Americans being cutdown by the Japanese. Except for one American that was bayonneted I cant seem to remember another scene.

Regards

Julie
17 Aug 07,, 17:39
I feel awkward being in this thread, but I have some Iwo Jima info to share with you guys that was shared with me.

Most of yall probably know I worked in the judicial system for years, and there was a lawyer's father, who was a retired judge, that would come sit in my office one time a week, to dictate to me letters to send to his comrads. He served in Iwo Jima, and in those letters, he recalled episodes in Iwo Jima which they experienced. Some of them were horrid, and as I sat there at my keyboard, I would just be in utter shock sometimes.

Sometimes I think he would see the shock on my face, and try to help me through it. I thought a couple of times of asking certain questions, was I was too afraid to for fear of the answer.

Gun Grape
18 Aug 07,, 00:27
Gun Grape,

There is no question about the bravery of the men on Wake, but I would take issue with a couple of points of fact & interpretation.

Wake was not the only example of an amphibious invasion, Japanese or other, being repulsed in WW2. American soldiers on Bataan repulsed a number of such attempts during their ragged defence of that penninsular.

If you could can you give me a reference or someplace to look. I've never heard or read that. I know that many assaults , on land were repulsed but the Japanese Marines were successful in their landing attempt at what was later called the Battle of the Points. Now they did get their butt handed to them but the landing was sucessful.



For a successful repulsing of a Japanese amphibious assault, however, you have to look to the Australians (aided by a number of US CBs or engineers) at Milne Bay in Papua New Guinea. The Japanese assault was not only repulsed at considerable cost to the Japanese, but they were never able to successfully re-stage it. In retrospect Milne Bay can be seen as one of the 'high water marks' of Japanese expansion, along with Kokoda, Guadalcanal, the Coral Sea & Kohima/Imphal.

Again, The initial landing was a success. The Japanese landed both troops and tanks. They were forced to withdraw but the landing did take place.

Wake is the only place that I have read about that the invading force were not able to land. Thats what I meant by repulsed, not repulsed as in forced to withdraw. Sorry for the misunderstanding not trying to sound wishy washy.



To comment on the issue of Japanese atrocities, a few points:

*It is certainly possible to argue that Japan's WW2 behaviour has roots in it history. I could, however, make that argument about virtually any nation. The leaders of 1930s Japan could have chosen from a variety of traditions in which to indoctrinate their men. They opted for one that encouraged brutality both directly & indirectly.

*The key to understanding Japanese behaviour is not simply the indoctrination of troops with ideas of 'duty' & 'honor', but the staggeringly rigid discipline the officer corps were able to wield. This meant that the attitude of local commanders could have a huge influence on the behaviour of soldiers & guards. Unfortunately most opted for extreme brutality.

*There have been a number of explicit comparions with the Nazis/Germans here:
1) The Nazis may have treated Allied POWs reasonably well, but something like 5 million Russian POWs died in conditions little better than those of POWs under the Japanese.
2) It is difficult to compare instances like that of of German troops struggling with machinegunning Jews because there is not a direct comparison with what the Japanese did. While they killed or caused to die many millions of people, there was no concerted policy of extermination such as that practised upon Jews & Gypsies or planned for Slavs. The 'Rape of Nanking' is the sort of thing European armies used to do regularly in times past (Jerusalem, Magdeburg).
3) In both cases the source of the brutality was from a variety of similar causes - strong traditions of militray discipline; the pressure of the collective to 'do your duty'; and an large & unhealthy dose of indoctrination about the inherent inferiority of the 'enemy' & the unworthiness of their existence.

* These discussions always use a broad brush, unfairly tarring everyone with the actions of the worst. My Uncle, who saw the very worst of Japanese behaviour on the infamous 'death Railway' also recalled guards who risked incredibly harsh discipline & worse to get POWs food or medical care. It is easy to dwell on the evil, but it is also important to acknowledge that even in circumstances where men are encouraged to do their worst, and it would be all too easy for even the moral man to look away, there are still those who will risk all to help the 'enemy' - a fellow human in need.

Sometimes at our worst we are also at our best.

Good points

Stan187
18 Aug 07,, 01:49
In Malaysia everything is loaded for the Moslems and they hate the Chinese since they control the economy.



I actually met a Chinese guy from Malaysia in the US who came here by way of Singapore. He said much the same thing, that the Chinese are the Jews of Malaysia.

Canmoore
18 Aug 07,, 02:14
* These discussions always use a broad brush, unfairly tarring everyone with the actions of the worst. My Uncle, who saw the very worst of Japanese behaviour on the infamous 'death Railway' also recalled guards who risked incredibly harsh discipline & worse to get POWs food or medical care. It is easy to dwell on the evil, but it is also important to acknowledge that even in circumstances where men are encouraged to do their worst, and it would be all too easy for even the moral man to look away, there are still those who will risk all to help the 'enemy' - a fellow human in need.


Thank you, this is what I was trying to convey. Yes the Japanese did horrible things during the war. But to paint every single Japanese as a monster is wrong. Many Japanese obviously did not want to do the things that they did, but the fear of loosing honour or being shot, forced them to do such things. Blame should be put on the system, and the people who supported and enforced it.

Another such scene is the Kempeitai scene. Where a green Kempeitai officer is told to shoot a dog that is making to much noise. He couldn't bring himself to shoot the dog, so he fired a shot in the air, and told the family to bring it inside and keep it quite. When the dog barked afterwards, the Kempeitai Officer training the young recruit killed the dog, then beat the recruit for not following orders. He was then discharged from the Kempeitai, and sent to Iwo Jima.

I think if people watched the movie, and really looked at how each soldier behaves, you might understand what I am trying to say hear.

Officer of Engineers
18 Aug 07,, 02:32
And yet, they did those horrible things. At what point do you stop giving them excuses and accept them for what they were. So the Japanese soldiers who raped women and bayoneted babies were just following orders. They did not want to do those things. The Winnipeg Grenadiers and the Royal Rifles of Canada were not tortured by people who wanted to torture them.

So the incident about the dog really draw a tear to your eye, right? How many Japanese Guards help Prisoners to escape their death sentences? ZERO! How many Japanese soldiers allowed women and children to escape Nanking? Zero! How many tried to stop women and children from being butchered? Zero! A dog grabs your heart but women and children didn't.

Wake Up! Our brave lads who fought and died in Hong Kong got a few things to tell you.

Bigfella
18 Aug 07,, 02:49
Gun Grape,

I don't know where I read about the battles in Bataan. if I stumble upon the reference I will post it. Yes, the Japanese did land at Milne & were then driven back into the sea. Sorry, I didn't realise quite the point you were making.

Canmoore,

One of the points that my uncle & many other former POWs make is their lack of surprise at the brutality of the Japanese toward their captives given how brutal they were toward their own men.

For soldiers used to the relatively egalitarian spirit of the Australian Army or the profound sense of duty toward their men of the Brits, this sort of behaviour from officers came as a great shock (as I'm sure it did to Americans).

They never present this in the form of an excuse, but it certainly informs their understanding of how other soldiers could be so brutal.

On another general point, the Allies were quite ruthless with Japanese soldiers captured in battle. They often opted to take no prisoners. There is strong evidence, however, that this was a direct response to the behaviour they encountered from the Japanese.

In early encounters with Japanese captives Allied troops treated them as they would any other prisoner. What they failed to understand was the attitude of many Japanese prisoners that death was preferable to capture. Experiences of Japanese soldiers waving white flags & then attacking their would be captors, or 'playing dead' & then setting off grenades (a sort of suicide bombing) convinced Allied troops that it was simply safer to kill the enemy.

This attitude was reinforced as evidence emerged of Japanese mistreatment of captives. The horribly mutliated bodies of comrades or stories of escapees from capture were enough to convince many Allied soldiers that the Japanese were unworthy of mercy. This didn't mean it was not givern, but overall the war in the Pacific more colsely resembles the Eastern Front in Europe than the more civilized fighting in Nth Africa or Sth/Western Europe.

Bigfella
18 Aug 07,, 03:02
And yet, they did those horrible things. At what point do you stop giving them excuses and accept them for what they were. So the Japanese soldiers who raped women and bayoneted babies were just following orders. They did not want to do those things. The Winnipeg Grenadiers and the Royal Rifles of Canada were not tortured by people who wanted to torture them.

So the incident about the dog really draw a tear to your eye, right? How many Japanese Guards help Prisoners to escape their death sentences? ZERO! How many Japanese soldiers allowed women and children to escape Nanking? Zero! How many tried to stop women and children from being butchered? Zero! A dog grabs your heart but women and children didn't.

Wake Up! Our brave lads who fought and died in Hong Kong got a few things to tell you.


OOE,

You are WAY too bright to really believe something like this. You have proof that not one Japanese soldier helped to save the life of a woman or child in Nanking? Of course not.

And did camp guards save the lives of prisoners? yes, on occasion. Often at considerable risk to themselves they gave food or medicine that did save lives. They didn't have to.

Were those who committed atrocities forced to? Generally not. There may have been instances of someone being ordered to execute a prisoner, but this would be the exception. if you have been reading you will see that what the institution of the IJA did was indoctrinate, encourage & treat their men in such a way that the sort of brutality that did take place became easier.

I'm sure you know enough about the power of institutions & group expectation to influence behaviour to understand how this might have come about. The same thing happened to many millions of German & Russian men during the war. They don't get a pass either, but simply hurling abuse at the past seems a pointless exercise to me. I prefer to try to understand it.

Canmoore
18 Aug 07,, 03:26
And yet, they did those horrible things. At what point do you stop giving them excuses and accept them for what they were. So the Japanese soldiers who raped women and bayoneted babies were just following orders. They did not want to do those things. The Winnipeg Grenadiers and the Royal Rifles of Canada were not tortured by people who wanted to torture them.

So the incident about the dog really draw a tear to your eye, right? How many Japanese Guards help Prisoners to escape their death sentences? ZERO! How many Japanese soldiers allowed women and children to escape Nanking? Zero! How many tried to stop women and children from being butchered? Zero! A dog grabs your heart but women and children didn't.

Wake Up! Our brave lads who fought and died in Hong Kong got a few things to tell you.

Do not patronize me.

Germany killed millions of jews, and treated soviet POWs horrible during WW2. Yet only Hitler and his cronies are painted as monsters, not all Germans.

Why are Germans not labeled as monsters? Does the well treatment of a POW trump the mass slaughter of Jews?

You wish to label all Japanese as monsters, for there treatment of civilians and POW's why is this? Is it because Germany is a western white nation? Is this just a case of Racism?

Yes this must be the case, how many civilians and POW's did Japan kill during the war? I'm willing to bet that it wasnt 6million. Oh right, but those 6million were just jews, so they dont count...

Give me a break OOE.

Officer of Engineers
18 Aug 07,, 04:09
Germany killed millions of jews, and treated soviet POWs horrible during WW2. Yet only Hitler and his cronies are painted as monsters, not all Germans.

You're joking me, right? Have you forgotten M21Sniper and how no one has disagreed with him?


Why are Germans not labeled as monsters? Does the well treatment of a POW trump the mass slaughter of Jews?

Come on! You've been on this forum long enough to know we label the Germans exactly for they were - Nazis. They were Nazi Germany and only a tiny percentage, extremely tiny - less than one percent lifted a finger even in protest with the mass expulsion of the Jews. Not one person on this forum will deny the historic fact that the Germans were well behind Hitler and at least his public anti-semitic policies. They may not know of the death camps but they did know that the Jews were being rounded up and being shipped off to God knows where and to the majority of them, it was good riddance.


You wish to label all Japanese as monsters, for there treatment of civilians and POW's why is this? Is it because Germany is a western white nation? Is this just a case of Racism?

Racism? I'm ethnic Chinese. My parents and both sets of grandparents suffered under Japanese occupation. And never mind the fact that I've met our Hong Kong vets. What gives YOU the right to tell them they're wrong?


Yes this must be the case, how many civilians and POW's did Japan kill during the war? I'm willing to bet that it wasnt 6million. Oh right, but those 6million were just jews, so they dont count...
You're right, it was not 6 million. It was 15 million. 15 million Chinese and Koreans died as a direct result of Japanese actions. Do a google - Unit 731.


Give me a break OOE.

Not this time.

Officer of Engineers
18 Aug 07,, 04:11
OOE,

You are WAY too bright to really believe something like this. You have proof that not one Japanese soldier helped to save the life of a woman or child in Nanking? Of course not.

There is NOT ONE Court Martial transcript nor discipline report to state such event.

Parihaka
18 Aug 07,, 04:51
I think if people watched the movie, and really looked at how each soldier behaves, you might understand what I am trying to say hear.

I understand what you are trying to say, but I have to balance that against the fact you are talking about a movie. My perceptions are based on my neighbour having survived a prisoner of war camp and the scars, both physical and mental he carried. Later a workmate with the physical disabilities left to him by Japanese 'discipline'.
The current generation do not and should not carry the burden for the sins of their grandfathers, but those sins certainly existed, and the attitude that allowed them was widespead.

Parihaka
18 Aug 07,, 04:57
One of the points that my uncle & many other former POWs make is their lack of surprise at the brutality of the Japanese toward their captives given how brutal they were toward their own men.

I'm astonished you got your uncle and his mates to talk about it, I supose it's to much to hope you recorded it? From an oral history point of view?

gunnut
18 Aug 07,, 05:08
There is NOT ONE Court Martial transcript nor discipline report to state such event.

Were there any prison camp survivors who reported kind-hearted Japanese captors?

Officer of Engineers
18 Aug 07,, 05:34
I was commenting on Nanking and I can certainly tell you that Comfort Women held no fond memories.

gunnut
18 Aug 07,, 05:45
I was commenting on Nanking and I can certainly tell you that Comfort Women held no fond memories.

Well, seems like both the Japanese records and the recollection of Japanese captives can't come up with examples of Japanese soldiers helping with escapes and such.

Big K, can you come up with some examples of Japanese soldiers helping their captives?


edit: oops, that should have been addressed to Bigfella :redface:

My apologies.

Canmoore
18 Aug 07,, 06:58
Racism? I'm ethnic Chinese. My parents and both sets of grandparents suffered under Japanese occupation. And never mind the fact that I've met our Hong Kong vets. What gives YOU the right to tell them they're wrong?

When did I say they are wrong. This is what I am trying to tell you.. I do not discredit the horrors our vets faced in Hong Kong, I am trying to convey the human face behind the Japanese soldier. I believe I had this very same argument about Natives being labeled as "savages".

My Grandmother was held in a camp in the B.C. interior until she was 16, well after the war had ended. I hold no ill will towards the Canadian Government, as I know they were only taking precautionary measures.
My Mothers Grandparents were immigrants from Ireland. The British government imposed itself onto Ireland, yet I hold no ill will toward the British. The past is the past, I care less about what happened than I do to why it happened, and look for the human face on BOTH sides of the issue.

Look, I am not in this for a pissing contest over who killed more. Stalin was the one who said "One death is a tragedy; a million is a statistic." It just seems that the Japanese are painted with a heavier brush than the Germans, and the Russians seem to get off the most.

Officer of Engineers
18 Aug 07,, 07:15
I am trying to convey the human face behind the Japanese soldier.They did not have a human face and that's what you're not getting. No quarter asked nor given.


I believe I had this very same argument about Natives being labeled as "savages".

Within historical context in which the term was used, they were as in "the noble savage." It may not be politically correct but it is historically correct in which describe how the Europeans approached their relationship with the 1st Nations.


My Grandmother was held in a camp in the B.C. interior until she was 16, well after the war had ended. I hold no ill will towards the Canadian Government, as I know they were only taking precautionary measures.

I am extremely against that measure. Canadian citizens being denied the right to do their country proud. It was a waste of perfectly good people and perfectly good manpower in guarding them ... all for nothing. It would have been far more effective in safeguarding our vital points and good use of intelligence. Instead, we denied ourselves a perfectly good intel source on the Japanese Empire and we wasted a division of men in guarding and managing them. Interning Canadians of Japanese origins did more harm to our national security than any Japanese spy ring could ever have hoped.


My Mothers Grandparents were immigrants from Ireland. The British government imposed itself onto Ireland, yet I hold no ill will toward the British. The past is the past, I care less about what happened than I do to why it happened, and look for the human face on BOTH sides of the issue.

Your ancestors have gone beyond living memory and are not in a position to tell you you're wrong. That is not the case with the victims of the Empire of Japan. At the very least, I will not allow their stories to be drown out by a movie.


Look, I am not in this for a pissing contest over who killed more. Stalin was the one who said "One death is a tragedy; a million is a statistic." It just seems that the Japanese are painted with a heavier brush than the Germans, and the Russians seem to get off the most.

The Germans apologized. The Japanese didn't. And no one is left alive for the Russians to apologize to.

Ray
18 Aug 07,, 09:48
That's a pretty standard lefty argument these days. Do you have evidence that it's true?

-dale

:biggrin:

I thought the Left was for the poor and deprived, and are generally the poor chaps, who cannot afford to travel abroad! ;)

Jokes apart, one has to have interaction and seen the conditions others live and the aspirations that are there of each country, to understand them, and thus the equation between 'them' and 'us'.

Our forum is one example of how one's ideas about others change. The little interaction that I have had out here, made me understand others. This experience I would never have, had I been in a cocoon!

More so, the classic example is that I have had Big Fights with the Pakistanis and in the bargain I have understood a huge lot as to what are their aspirations and views. It has made me a better and not a bitter man and the self realisation makes me actually find Pakistani rather nice chaps!

Ray
18 Aug 07,, 10:04
Lets be frank (and I am wary of given frank statements these days, but then habits die hard!).

The victor writes history and Reader Digest type of stories of sagas in bravery and torture! One sided all the way and with a whole lot of spin!

And there is a tendency amongst the victors to spin that the vanquished were real horrors and how against all odds the victors were defeated these savages. Some machismo has to be shown for all the effort, what ho?

Yes there were brutal chaps. But they were on both sides.

It would be asinine to believe that American get orgasms that they dropped the A bomb that wiped out cities! Some Americans might, but a large majority do feel immensely bad that it had to be done! So, can one say that Americans are a heartless, imperial, "White Satan" nation? For Christ sake,lets be sane and not give credence to all idle women talk!

We have brains (hopefully!). Let's use it.

We cannot condemn a race.

Because it will prove the stupidity that we are 'blessed' with!

Ray
18 Aug 07,, 10:12
The Germans apologized. The Japanese didn't. And no one is left alive for the Russians to apologize to.

Have the colonial powers ever apologised for the rape and inhuman torture of their colonies?

The apologies are another hogwash.

I don't expect Britain to apologies. Whatever for? We were weak and divided and they kicked us. Actually I am pleased because that taught us a lesson!

I am sure that the imperial powers, any, have no reason to apologies because apologies wound turn back a leaf in history. It is time to take the good with the bad and move on without sops that have no meaning!

In fact, asking for an apology is a form of blackmail and worse is, it means nothing!

Bigfella
18 Aug 07,, 11:26
I'm astonished you got your uncle and his mates to talk about it, I supose it's to much to hope you recorded it? From an oral history point of view?

Pari,

I have only spoken directly to my uncle, though I have read other accounts. You will be pleased to hear that my mother and I did tape him. In fact, there are numerous official projects that involve the recording of memories of WW2 veterans.

My uncle was actually interviewed for a book on his unit several years ago. Many others were similarly interviewed for this project by researchers from the University of Melbourne. Historians have gone to considerable lengths to ensure that the stories of WW2 vets & former POWs are recorded while that generation is still alive. I'm pretty sure the War Memorial in Canberra is engaged in a similar project. You can check their website to see if I'm right.

Historians are also engaged in getting accounts from veterans of Korea, Malaya & Vietnam.

Parihaka
18 Aug 07,, 12:32
Pari,

I have only spoken directly to my uncle, though I have read other accounts. You will be pleased to hear that my mother and I did tape him. In fact, there are numerous official projects that involve the recording of memories of WW2 veterans.
Nice. I did a lot of stuff with Otago Uni recording various people, a lot of it iwi based but also pakeha. The soldiers were always the toughest. They'd talk about anything else but not the war. If we could get a lead in, as in talk about someone elses experiences/exploits we'd get good stuff, but practically never about themselves.


My uncle was actually interviewed for a book on his unit several years ago. Many others were similarly interviewed for this project by researchers from the University of Melbourne. Historians have gone to considerable lengths to ensure that the stories of WW2 vets & former POWs are recorded while that generation is still alive. I'm pretty sure the War Memorial in Canberra is engaged in a similar project. You can check their website to see if I'm right.

Historians are also engaged in getting accounts from veterans of Korea, Malaya & Vietnam.I don't know if there's any ongoing projects here now, user pays and the 'free market' destroyed most of the institutions that handled that sort of stuff. I think we're going to have a thirty or forty year hole, I don't even know if the stuff we did still survives.:mad:

Officer of Engineers
18 Aug 07,, 14:47
Have the colonial powers ever apologised for the rape and inhuman torture of their colonies?Sir,

As you stated in another post on this thread, the victor dictates the terms. However, you still might get an apology with the way Political Correctness is going around these days.

Both the US and Canada have apologized to the 1st Nations for our treatment of them.

Ray
18 Aug 07,, 15:46
Colonel,

With all due regards to your views, political correctness is not an apology and honestly, why should some one apologies for thing that some other generation did?

What does an apology achieve?

It is better to forget the bitterness and move on and find areas of common benefit.

The Chinese are said to be cruel and inhuman and brutal with their prisoners. It is the idea that has been handed down from the time of the Korean War. In 1962, the experience has been a mixed bag. There has been cruelty and there has been OK treatment to Prisoners,

But because of the cases where there has been cruelty to prisoners, should we take it that the Chinese race is a cruel and inhuman race? Would that be correct?

Likewise, does Abu Gharaib and many other such happening in Iraq indicate that Americans as a group of people who are cruel and inhuman?

Or that the US Army has always be so cruel and inhuman.

I have given the US examples since most here are Americans and so they can realise how incongruous the argument is to base the action of some depraved as the usual US attitude to people.

How can the stupidity of some become the common denominator for a race or people?

I don't think so it does or should.

My two pennies!

Officer of Engineers
18 Aug 07,, 16:08
With all due regards to your views, political correctness is not an apology and honestly, why should some one apologies for thing that some other generation did?

I don't know, Sir, but it is the politically correct thing to do ... and you know how this forum views political correctness.


What does an apology achieve?Tying up the courts in settlements of compensation.


It is better to forget the bitterness and move on and find areas of common benefit.

No one on this forum wants to refight WWII and those responsible are mostly dead. The sins of the father should never be visited onto the son ... but that does not mean the sons of the victims should ever forget.


But because of the cases where there has been cruelty to prisoners, should we take it that the Chinese race is a cruel and inhuman race? Would that be correct?

In my case, Sir. It is somewhat personal as I indicated my family suffered under Japanese occupation. It makes my blood boil to even think some about what they went through. Not rational, Sir since I was not even borned yet but there are times I wish to teach them a thing or two about warfare.


How can the stupidity of some become the common denominator for a race or people?

I don't think so it does or should.Sir, there are times when there is no other explanation. The Japanese I can understand since it was their ways since the days of the Shogun but Nazi Germany? How could an entire population turned a blind eye towards the treatment of the Jews and blindly accept the Aryan Supremacy for the Next 1000 years?

Ray
18 Aug 07,, 17:38
Yes, this forum believes in PC and I give way to you.

That should avoid being compared to your horse and the pig that refused to move in the blizzard! ;)

My father was blown up by a Japanese mine in Burma but he survived. Calcutta was bombed by the Japanese.

And yet my sister in law is Japanese! ;)

Julie
18 Aug 07,, 22:28
For Christ sake,lets be sane and not give credence to all idle women talk!

We have brains (hopefully!). Let's use it.I'm assuming your wife does not ever read your posts Sir. :rolleyes:

entropy
21 Aug 07,, 00:43
I'm happy to spark your interest in topics, after all that is what a good discussion is about, right?

My family left 11 years ago. My dad's side of the family was from Kishinev, Moldova. My mom's side from Benderi, Moldova. Relatives on both sides of the family all moved to Israel in 1990-1991. Lucky for them, because Benderi was trashed as it was the site of battles between forces of Moldova and Pridnestrovie separatists in '92. My dad and mom wanted to go to America, so we ended up waiting another six years.

Anti-semitism was pretty rampant. My dad got into Moscow Poly with perfect test scores just to be made to retest when he got there and fail all the test. Conspicous no? Winner of several math and physics Olympiads suddenly failing all the same tests? They took a look at his face,his nose, and his last name suddenly decided he needed to retake (and fail) all of his entrance exams. That's just one example. My grandpa did time after the war for saving synagogues and churches from being destroyed. Even I had a kid in first grade come up to me and ask me if I was a Jew, and when I said yes, he said my mom told not to hang around you guys and ran off. Due to this kind of discrimination, as well the tenous economic and security situation in Moldova, we got refugee status. That's how we ended up coming to the states. None of us have been back, nor have we had the urge. The US and Israel are much more homely for me than such a place could ever be.

Antisemitism in Russia is very common. Talking about Jews is like talking about the weather. Most people I know who believe in the Conspiracy of the Zion elders are Russian in some way.

I do not understand these people. When they tell me that the Jews are the untermenschen, I tell them what why-the-fvck do the undermen rule the world if they are undermen. They answer me that the Juden are something like the Crab-People.
I always tell them that if the Jew does rule, that he does it well and that I actually like this whole Jewish conspiracy thingy. I mean look at the Islamic states. They hate Jews there and they don't live very well.

The Russian hoorah-patriots tell me that the Jews are the problem of Russia. I tell them that if the Russians are superior, why don't they just throw the Jew down the well, so their country can be free?

There even is a rhyme:

"Jesli v krane net vody, znachet vypili zjidy. Jesli v krane jest voda, znachet zjid nassal tuda".

I don't know how your Russian is, but the translation is:

If there isn't water in the tap, then the Jews(not just Jew, but zjid, a particularly nasty word for Jew) have drunk it up.
If there is water in the tap, then the Jews have peed in there.

entropy
21 Aug 07,, 00:49
:biggrin:

I thought the Left was for the poor and deprived, and are generally the poor chaps, who cannot afford to travel abroad! ;)

Jokes apart, one has to have interaction and seen the conditions others live and the aspirations that are there of each country, to understand them, and thus the equation between 'them' and 'us'.

Our forum is one example of how one's ideas about others change. The little interaction that I have had out here, made me understand others. This experience I would never have, had I been in a cocoon!

More so, the classic example is that I have had Big Fights with the Pakistanis and in the bargain I have understood a huge lot as to what are their aspirations and views. It has made me a better and not a bitter man and the self realisation makes me actually find Pakistani rather nice chaps!


Sir, that attitude is very dangerous for imperialist nations.
The Soviet Union always preached world peace, but they didn't show the European or American in person. They never showed the Man, they only showed the silouette of the Man, enough to aim and shoot at, but never enough to see his face and understand that he is a man like you.

It would be a true disaster for aggressive nations if the people saw that their enemies actually have faces.

gunnut
21 Aug 07,, 02:31
Antisemitism in Russia is very common. Talking about Jews is like talking about the weather. Most people I know who believe in the Conspiracy of the Zion elders are Russian in some way.

In this country, it's the white supremicist, black victocrats, some muslims, and in the case of Nation of Islam, black victocrat muslims.


I do not understand these people. When they tell me that the Jews are the untermenschen, I tell them what why-the-fvck do the undermen rule the world if they are undermen. They answer me that the Juden are something like the Crab-People.

Ah yes, the crab people theory. It was discussed in length in South Park. :biggrin:



I always tell them that if the Jew does rule, that he does it well and that I actually like this whole Jewish conspiracy thingy. I mean look at the Islamic states. They hate Jews there and they don't live very well.

Oh that's because the Jews pressed a button and drop the economy of these enlightened nation in the crappers.


The Russian hoorah-patriots tell me that the Jews are the problem of Russia. I tell them that if the Russians are superior, why don't they just throw the Jew down the well, so their country can be free?

Some people asked that question long ago, and pursued the answer you suggested.

The correct question should be: if we're so good, then why can't we out-compete the Jews? They obviously aren't superior to us. So logically, with equal amount of work, we can do just as well as they do. Unless we are inferior somehow...



There even is a rhyme:

"Jesli v krane net vody, znachet vypili zjidy. Jesli v krane jest voda, znachet zjid nassal tuda".

I don't know how your Russian is, but the translation is:

If there isn't water in the tap, then the Jews(not just Jew, but zjid, a particularly nasty word for Jew) have drunk it up.
If there is water in the tap, then the Jews have peed in there.

Wow that's just sad.

We have ignorant people like that in our country too. The leader of Nation of Islam once remarked that "Judeism is a 'gutter' religion, and the reason why blacks can't do well is because the Jews hogged all the money...the word 'jewelry' describes how money-grabby the Jews are because 'jew' is a part of the word."

Of course my memory isn't that good and I merely paraphrased what he said.

Ray
21 Aug 07,, 08:28
I'm assuming your wife does not ever read your posts Sir. :rolleyes:

Metaphorically speaking.

My wife hates anything mechanical or electronic like the computer and so I am safe.

The only thing I don't understand and she does is the cellphone/ mobile!:biggrin: