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How Were American Prisoners of War Treated in the Japanese C
Transcript of How Were American Prisoners of War Treated in the Japanese C
Many American soldiers during WWII were captured by the Japanese and brought to prisoner of war camps. Despite the existence of an international group of laws called the Geneva Conventions that set the rules for how these prisoners must be treated, Japan treated the American prisoners of war, and prisoners of other nationalities, horribly.
The Prisoners of War (POWs) would be beaten irrationally. The Japanese guards would beat the prisoners if they did as little as look at them directly in their eyes. One example of this happened to a prisoner of war named Louie Zamperini. One specific Japanese camp official, Mutsuhiro Watanabe (nicknamed "The Bird" by the POWs), enjoyed beating the POWs by having the other prisoners punch the "deserving" prisoner in the face.
Clips from the movie
(a true story of Louie Zamperini)
The POWs were also tortured. Prisoners told stories of having their teeth pulled and ripped from their mouths with pliers. Other prisoners recounted events of Japanese guards making bookends and belts out of the tattooed skin of the other prisoners. This torture without reason goes against the first and third conventions of the Geneva Conventions.
The American prisoners of war, along with other Allied prisoners, were not given a sufficient amount of food in the camps. They were fed small rice balls usually filled with insects. Because of this diet, most of the POWs suffered from malnutrition. This diet also left the POWs feeling hungry, even though they had eaten.
By: Alisa Becevic
How Were American Prisoners of War Treated in the Japanese Prisoner of War Camps?
Some of the POWs would be experimented on by the Japanese doctors. They would be injected with different chemicals each time. These "experiments" would only stop when the prisoner blacked out from the chemicals.
Photo Of "The bird"
Bos, Carol. “Unbroken - Louis Zamperini Story - The Bird - Then and Later.” Awesome Stories. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2015. <https://www.awesomestories.com/asset/view/THE-BIRD-THEN-AND-LATER-Unbroken-Louis-Zamperini-Story>.
Burke, Matthew M. “Taiwan: Horrors of Japanese POW Camps Revealed to Visitors at Kinkaseki.” Stars and Stripes. N.p., 30 Apr. 2013. Web. 4 Mar. 2015. <http://www.stripes.com/military-life/taiwan-horrors-of-japanese-pow-camps-revealed-to-visitors-at-kinkaseki-1.218978>.
Geneva Conventions. Cornell University Law School, n.d. Web. 6 Mar. 2015. <https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/geneva_conventions>.
Hillenbrand, Laura. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. N.p.: Random, 2010. Print.
Jacobs, Martin. “Lucky Louie Zamperini.” America in WWII June 2006: n. pag. Print.
Unbroken. Dir. Angelina Jolie. Universal Pictures, 2014. Film. This source is to show the cruel treatment and conditions of the POW Camps in Japan.
The American POWs were practically dehumanized in these Japanese prisoner of war camps. They were tortured, starved, experimented on, and beaten. This cruelty often left the prisoners with many mental scars, such as PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). Many of the Japanese corporals, guards, and other camp officials were arrested for their war crimes (the treatment of the prisoners) after the war had ended.