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Discussions on the Holocaust and 20th Century War Crimes. Note that Holocaust denial is not allowed. Hosted by David Thompson.
Caldric
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Post by Caldric » 07 Aug 2002 21:27

Caldric, Not too long ago there was a deputation of Korean 'Comfort Women' went to Japan to demand recompense. These 'Comfort Women' were women who were kidnapped by the Japanese and put into Army brothels. Most of them had no choice, they had to follow the Army wherever it went.



You are preaching to the choir, I never stated that Japan did not commit atrocities and crimes on a grand magnitude. What I said was most of the cannibalism nonsense was started during the war for Propaganda reasons.

And what good does an apology do coming from a Government that never had a thing to do with it. Political Correct nonsense, it would be as hallow as me apologizing for German crimes.

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Scott Smith
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Re: Smallpox

Post by Scott Smith » 07 Aug 2002 21:45

Paul Timms wrote:Local legend here has it that Witney (my corner of W.Oxfordshire) blankets were deliberatley contaminated with smallpox and given to the Indians. Anyone know if there is any truth in this ? (sorry Marcus may be getting a little off topic).

In some cases, yes, I'm sure that it happened. The Indians were more susceptible to the disease than the Whites--and that is the ingredient that you need for biological warfare to be successful.

But no nefarious designs are needed whatever to spread disease; it happens whether we want it to or not. We humans like to attribute cataclysmic events that we don't fully understand to Acts of God or some other human or demonic intervention. It was so during the Black Plague, which may have wiped out a third of Europe's population--and that plague was not unique.

Part of the problem was severe overpopulation for the Native American lifestyle and the limits of Stone Age technology. It was the same principle when urban disease became a problem in overcrowded Europe in the 14th century, a problem not really solved until the sewer and water infrastructures were built in the 19th century, and the improvement of diet and drugs in the 20th century.

For the Indian, the White man must really have been the Devil. But contact was inevitable and nobody's fault. By the time Whites actually started to settle, the surviving Indians already had some immunity.
:)

Native American Ghost Dance...

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Ovidius
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Re: Smallpox

Post by Ovidius » 07 Aug 2002 23:23

Scott Smith wrote:But no nefarious designs are needed whatever to spread disease; it happens whether we want it to or not. We humans like to attribute cataclysmic events that we don't fully understand to Acts of God or some other human or demonic intervention. It was so during the Black Plague, which may have wiped out a third of Europe's population--and that plague was not unique.


The Black Plague, whose germs came from the Central Asian lands, according to some historians, had occurred on the background of a severe food crisis due to a climate change(until the 14th century the Northern European climate, warmer than nowadays, allowed vineyards and grain crops) that reduced immunity in badly-fed population; but the instrument that triggered it was the Mongol use of corpses of their own men dead by plague, which they used to throw - with catapults - inside besieged cities, as a sort of biological warfare avant la lettre. The practice being used in some battles around 1346, it caused the germs to spread througout the Middle East, then Asia Minor(present-day Turkey), Mediterranean islands and further. Until 1348, it had already rampaged through the entire Europe.

Side Off-Topic note: those who complain on climate changes due to the "greenhouse effect" usually forget that until the 14th century the world climate had been warmer than nowadays, then it became colder and colder up to the 19th century, when 1833 was the coldest winter ever recorded in the Balkan Peninsula. The fact that the climate has become warmer in the 20th century means only that we are coming back to the pre-1300 AD situation. Supposedly the climate, that evolves with small modifications also on short term(less than 1000 years) will become colder in the next 2-3 centuries.

(Please keep on topic and answer in PMs)

~Regards,

Ovidius

michael mills
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Post by michael mills » 08 Aug 2002 11:07

Marcus Wendel wrote:
I find it interesting that none of the "sceptics" (or what ever the term is) have attacked these claims they way they would if it had been Germans instead of Japanese that were accused.

/Marcus


Marcus,

I will oblige you, if only out of orneriness.

I had wanted to see the program shown last Saturday on SBS, but unfortunately I missed it. However, its title, "Japanese Soldiers of the Devil", hardly suggested a sober, objective assessment of the issue.

It needs to be realised that the issue of Japanese war-crimes is used in modern Japan as a weapon in the political struggle between Left and Right. The Left tend to exaggerate Japanese war-crimes, and the Right to minimise them. One should not unreservedly accept the claims of either side.

Furthermore, accusations of war-crimes made against Japan by the governments of various Asian states need to be seen in the context of current political and economic relationships; essentially, they are a tool used by poorer countries to wring economic concessions from the wealthy Japanese.

From my reading, I have come to the conclusion that the atrocities committed by the Japanese in China during the Sino-Japanese War of 1937-45 were no worse, in both nature and extent, than the atrocities committed by the competing Chinese governments (Nationalist and Communist) and warlords on thier own people. The Japanese waged war in a barbaric way, but they were simply adapting themselves to the norms of the country.

There had been endemic warfare between competing groups in China ever since the revolution in 1911, and it was conducted in a very savage way. It is possible to read claims of acts of great brutality perpetrated by Japanese soldiers on Chinese, but I have read accounts of similarly revolting acts committed by Chinese on Chinese.

An example; when the forces of Jiang Jieshi suppressed the Communists in Shanghai in 1927, it was reported that they killed their prisoners by throwing them alive into the firebox of a locomotive steaming up at the station platform. That seems to me equal to any tale of Japanese barbarity, and quite possibly just as exaggerated.

Tales are told of Japanese beheading Chinese prisoners; but beheading was a traditional Chinese method of execution. It was routine practice for the Chinese Government to behead captured rebels. I have seen interesting photos of Chinese prisoners being beheaded in the street by Chinese soldiers.

Throughout the whole period that the Japanese Army was operating in China, competing Chinese armies were fighting each other. In Shandong Province, Communist Chinese fought anti-Communist Chinese, and the Japanese took the opportunity to attack them both. There were even Chinese armies fighting on the side of the Japanese.

After the capture of Nanjing in December 1937, and the retreat of Jiang Jieshi's administration to Hangzhou, some former members of his Government joined the Japanese and formed a pro-Japanese government located at the capital, Nanjing. Japan recognised that government, headed by Wang Jingwei, as the legal government of China; accordingly, any Chinese caught in arms fighting against that government were considered rebels, and given the traditional treatment meted out to rebels in China, ie summary execution. That is the primary reason for the mass execution of captured Chinese soldiers by the Japanese.

The Japanese also sponsored a separatist political movement in the North, the Hsin-min-hui, centred in Beijing. That movement enjoyed a surprising amount of support among elements of the Chinese population who feared the Communist armies located in the North-West.

A lot of nonsense is also spouted about the so-called "comfort women". These were women from a number of Asian countries but particularly Korea who volunteered to work as prostitutes in Japanese Army brothels. They were not forced to do so; there was no need for force, since there were so many poverty-stricken women willing to undertake the work in return for regular meals. It may be argued that a woman whose only alternative to prostitution is starvation does not have a real choice; nevertheless, a choice of sorts did exist, and the women were not dragged kicking and screaming into the brothels.

The same applies to those captured European women who served as "comfort women". Some of the younger female prisoners living in the prison camps were invited to come and live in the officers' casinos and work as "entertainers", in return for good food and lodgings. Many elected to accept the invitation; those who did not were simply sent back to the filthy conditions of the prison camps. Those European ex-prisoners who today claim that were "forced" into prostitution are simply hiding their shame and guilt at having lived in comparative luxury while many of their fellow prisoners died of starvation and disease.

One of the major Japanese crimes was the use of prisoners as experimental subjects for biological warfare. However, even here the difference was one of degree. Many states, including Australia, carried out experiments, generally chemical rather than biological, on subjects who were ostensibly volunteers, but had not been told the full extent of what they were being exposed to. And we also have the example of radiation experiments carried out by the United States Government in the 1950s on its own unsuspecting civilian population.

It is interesting that the Japanese experiments in Manchuria formed the basis for the germ-warfare accusation made by China against the United States during the Korean War. Given that the Japanese scientists had given all their material to United States authorities, there may well have been some truth in the accusation.

In summary, while the Japanese Army did commit atrocities in China, its behaviour was by no means unique, and hardly worse than that of Chinese toward other Chinese. After the Communists came to power in China, they began a campaign of accusation against Japan, largely as a means of diverting attention from the huge atrocities it was committing on its own population.

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David E M
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Post by David E M » 08 Aug 2002 13:08

TonyH, Do you know about the campain about 'Reconciliation' and 'Say sorry' going on here now? sure we admit things were done to the Aborigines, like how many are in Tasmania now, but we admit this. Its getting a bit off topic but an aboriginal can go to places in Australia that I as an Australian citizen cannot. At least we admit wrongs were done.
Caldric, Not too sure what preaching to the choir means. I have seen Japanese soldiers admit to canabalism ( albiet in starvation situations ) so what do you mean?.
I think my main point was, that yes crimes are commited, but admit to them , stand up and be prepared to accept it.
This the Japanese have never done.
cheers

tonyh
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re

Post by tonyh » 09 Aug 2002 11:54

Hi David,

Look don't get me wrong, I actually don't agree with some of the "process of Reconciliation" going on in some parts of Austrailia, due in part to outside influence. In fact I don't think countries should be bludgeoning themselves over the head over a disreputable past, it just isn't healthy. Look at Germany in the last 50 odd years. The holocaust is waved in their face at every single opportunity. The laws that dictate that one must bow down to the govt. version of a particular historical event are an abomination in my eyes. I think Japan is correct in not letting international pressure beat them down into towing a certain line. They, if they wish, will direct their own way of dealing with their past, like the recent apology to British and US POWS a few years ago, and I agree with that. There are elements in Japan who are petitioning the present government regarding the Nanking incident etc and the Japanese government have said that "there were most definitely attrocities commited".

I simply just do not agree with other countries, especially countries like the US, Britain and sorry David, Austraila insisting that Japan, or any other country for that matter, "own up" to attrocities commited during the war. Particularly when those said countries were built upon empire, blood and the displacment of idigenous peoples. Its just too disingenuous for me to buy completely.

Tony

comrade seinfeld
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Japanese atrocities?

Post by comrade seinfeld » 16 Aug 2002 07:51

I find it interesting that none of the "sceptics" (or what ever the term is) have attacked these claims they way they would if it had been Germans instead of Japanese that were accused.

That would certainly have to be one of the most puerile and absurd statements by the Moderator I have encountered in this forum. Of course, people, if they have the time, would thoroughly investigate all instances of alleged Japanese atrocities -- I would assume that there is probably a great deal of bullshit involved. As far as the German alleged atrocities are concerned, moreover, it is both formally and informally illegal everywhere to question whether these are true or not, which, to my mind, immediately suggests that someone has something to hide -- a different situation applies to the Japanese atrocities, probably because no Jews are involved!

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Marcus
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Re: Japanese atrocities?

Post by Marcus » 16 Aug 2002 08:58

comrade seinfeld wrote:That would certainly have to be one of the most puerile and absurd statements by the Moderator I have encountered in this forum.


There is no need for that kind of insulting comments.

/Marcus

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Tiwaz
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Re: Smallpox

Post by Tiwaz » 16 Aug 2002 09:54

Ovidius wrote:
Scott Smith wrote:But no nefarious designs are needed whatever to spread disease; it happens whether we want it to or not. We humans like to attribute cataclysmic events that we don't fully understand to Acts of God or some other human or demonic intervention. It was so during the Black Plague, which may have wiped out a third of Europe's population--and that plague was not unique.


The Black Plague, whose germs came from the Central Asian lands, according to some historians, had occurred on the background of a severe food crisis due to a climate change(until the 14th century the Northern European climate, warmer than nowadays, allowed vineyards and grain crops) that reduced immunity in badly-fed population; but the instrument that triggered it was the Mongol use of corpses of their own men dead by plague, which they used to throw - with catapults - inside besieged cities, as a sort of biological warfare avant la lettre. The practice being used in some battles around 1346, it caused the germs to spread througout the Middle East, then Asia Minor(present-day Turkey), Mediterranean islands and further. Until 1348, it had already rampaged through the entire Europe.

Side Off-Topic note: those who complain on climate changes due to the "greenhouse effect" usually forget that until the 14th century the world climate had been warmer than nowadays, then it became colder and colder up to the 19th century, when 1833 was the coldest winter ever recorded in the Balkan Peninsula. The fact that the climate has become warmer in the 20th century means only that we are coming back to the pre-1300 AD situation. Supposedly the climate, that evolves with small modifications also on short term(less than 1000 years) will become colder in the next 2-3 centuries.

(Please keep on topic and answer in PMs)

~Regards,

Ovidius


Unfortunately biological warfare was already known much before Mongol invasion...

But to the point. Where did you get that information about North Europe being able to have vineyards? Perhaps you mean Central Europe like Germany, France and Benelux nations?

Because REAL North Europe has NEVER (at least when humans have been living there) that warm.

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Nicklas Fredriksson
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Post by Nicklas Fredriksson » 16 Aug 2002 09:59

Actually grapes could be grown in the South of Sweden around AD 1000. The climate supposedly resembled present day Northern Italy.

Of course Finland is somewhat North of there if that's what you mean with "real Northern Europe".

Kind rgds
Nick

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David E M
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Post by David E M » 16 Aug 2002 10:29

Hello Tony,
Yes, to a point I agree with you. The whole issue though is the fact that the Japanese government will not admit what happened in China, its not about money its more about 'face'.
Every year there seems to be an argument between China and Japan about the new history books issued to schools.
I have spoken to Japanese school kids and they know almost nothing about the Japanese role in WW2.
It would be stupid for the Irish to demand recompense for what the British did to them for centuries, but at least you can read about this in British history books.
You cannot in Japan it is 'Kinjiru' ( taboo).
I don't want to get into race here, but it can be argued that the Aborigines are somewhat privilged here, any government form you have to fill in will say 'Are you an Aborigine or Torres Straight Islander'.
Even the Australian government admits what happend ( Although John Howard won't say sorry) I agree with him I won't say sorry for something I didn't do. But I will at least admit that it happened.
This the Japanese will not do.
Just a side note, have you ever wondered why Japanese ships have the word 'MARU' after their name? 'MARU' means circle and it implies we go out into the world of barbarians and return home again. :)
cheers mate.

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David E M
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Post by David E M » 16 Aug 2002 10:38

Just an after thought. The concern is what they are teaching their children, no-body wants the kids to carry guilt for what their ancestors did, but they should know what happened.
And really there were some quite remarkable Japanese in that period.
cheers mate.

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Tiwaz
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Post by Tiwaz » 16 Aug 2002 11:42

Nicklas Fredriksson wrote:Actually grapes could be grown in the South of Sweden around AD 1000. The climate supposedly resembled present day Northern Italy.

Of course Finland is somewhat North of there if that's what you mean with "real Northern Europe".

Kind rgds
Nick


I mean Finland, Sweden and Norway. Southern tip of Sweden hardly counts as considerable amount of that so saying that you could grow grapes in North Europe is little like saying that Central Europe is below sealevel because Netherlands has large areas below sealevel.

But I admit, I was wrong for one part.

tonyh
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Post by tonyh » 16 Aug 2002 12:37

Hi David, a few points....

>>Every year there seems to be an argument between China and Japan about the new history books issued to schools.<<

But this is my point really. Its none of China's business what the Japs are thought in their schools. Are the Chinese thought about the excesses of the Mao regime in school? I would say not. Imagine the Irish dictating to the British education system what to put in their school books regarding the Empire's actions in Ireland. Its an absurdity. And it should not happen by any means. And no Country on the Planet is not guilty of leaving out certain parts of its less than honourable history. I have the dubious benefit of recieving education in both Irish and English schools and nowhere do I remember any lesson in history that suggested that the British Empire was anything but beneficial to the countries they occupied. Nohing was mentioned of the harsh represions that went on in these countries. I only learned of this after I had left school, on my own time. But I am not, for one second, suggesting that British school children have to learn what their past Empire did in Ireland, India, Africa, Burma etc. No country has the right to dictate to another what their children are thought. That right and obligation belongs to the governmental body of that particular country.

Again, I saw look at Germany's situation. German school children learn about the horror's of their country before learning about the positive side, not just in school, but everywhere. Thats an unhealthy road. I'm sure the Japnese have viewed the situation that Germany lives under and are determined not to let it happen in their own country.


>>...but at least you can read about this in British history books.<<

Well, actually no you cannot. Not in the school syllabus. One can read about these events in history books alright, but they are not the books that one gives to a 13yr old in school, they are books one reads after when one is older and on ones own time and interest. The situation is roughly the same in Japan. I was there recently and I saw in Japanese book shops, books dealing with Japan's role in WWII, both positive and negitive. Some English books were also available on the subject. But again they are most definitely not books you would shove into a 13yr old's hands.

Tony

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David E M
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Post by David E M » 16 Aug 2002 14:38

G'day Tony,
Yes I agree with what you say , but would you really want Irish children growing up thinking the 'Black and Tans' were really just policemen? .
I learnt this in England at 12 years old we were told what was what.
No shame I have to admit, but in those days half the atlas was covered in red. I think you know what I mean.
So it was wrong, but at least we were taught about it.
'Cead mile failte' an Cymru am Byth!, well my Da was Welsh after all.
Although actually thinking now, I wonder if it was not really very arrogant?. We didn't know any better, like the signs 'No Dogs and Indians allowed in the park' ( in Dehli ) .
But this is what they taught us.
Sad world.
cheers mate.

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