”We Americans have the dangerous tendency in our international thinking to take a holier-than-thou attitude toward other nations. We consider ourselves to be more noble and decent than other peoples, and consequently in a better position to decide what is right and wrong in the world. What kind of war do civilians suppose we fought, anyway? We shot prisoners in cold blood, wiped out hospitals, strafed lifeboats, killed or mistreated enemy civilians, finished off the enemy wounded, tossed the dying into a hole with the dead, and in the Pacific boiled the flesh off enemy skulls to make table ornaments for sweethearts, or carved their bones into letter openers…. [W]e mutilated the bodies of enemy dead, cutting off their ears and kicking out their gold teeth for souvenirs, and buried them with their testicles in their mouths…. We topped off our saturation bombing and burning of enemy civilians by dropping atomic bombs on two nearly defenseless cities, thereby setting an all-time record for instantaneous mass slaughter. As victors we are privileged to try our defeated opponents for their crimes against humanity; but we should be realistic enough to appreciate that if we were on trial for breaking international laws, we should be found guilty on a dozen counts. We fought a dishonorable war, because morality had a low priority in battle. The tougher the fighting, the less room for decency, and in Pacific contests we saw mankind reach the blackest depths of bestiality.” —- Edgar Jones, WWII Veteran
Summer, 1945Thomas Goodrich
Germany, Japan and the Harvest of Hate
Just as his previous book on Allied war crimes during and after World War II in Europe—Hellstorm: The Death of Nazi Germany, 1944-1947—illustrated how deadly propaganda can be, especially when the intended target audience for such propaganda are eighteen-year-olds with weapons in their hands, so too does this book attempt to illustrate how vicious words fired by experts are far more deadly than bombs and bullets for, unlike bombs and bullets which kill only once, words kill again and again and again. Simply, Japanese and German propaganda never came close to matching Allied propaganda in pure hate; Japanese and German propaganda never had the dripping venom and murderous malice that American and British propaganda had then, and, for the most part, still has now.
While the victors, to this day, vilify and condemn the Germans and Japanese for their treatment of American POWs, never mentioned is that at least the Germans and Japanese were taking prisoners. Few, very few, German and Japanese soldiers survived actual combat to reach an American POW camp. While the victors, to this day, assail again and again the Germans for crimes against Jews or attack the Japanese for crimes against the Chinese, seldom does one hear about the crimes against the Germans or the crimes against the Japanese, of the deliberate firebombing of millions of German and Japanese women and children, of the wholesale rape of countless women and children, of the utter and abject subservience that both nations even today still find themselves locked in.
Author: Thomas Goodrich