The Japanese Prisoners of War in Siberia 1945-1956

  • Richard Dähler (Autor/in)

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The paper deals with the vicissitudes of well over 500 OOO Japanese, taken prisoner by the Soviets in Manchuria, Sakhalin and the Kurile Islands between 9 August and 3 September 1945. A historical background explains why Japanese forces had been stationed in those areas, one chapter gives general information about captivity whilst the main chapter centres on how the POW describe a difficult period of their lives - captivity - hunger - slave Jabour - illness - death - homesickness - and how feelings were expressed. The memories published by the POW veterans over a period of 50 years are remarkably sober, hatred is seldom expressed, rather deep sorrow. The reports are testimony of comradeship, compassion, endurance and the capacity to differentiate between the Soviet political system, camp personnel and local population, who too were victims of the system.