Unit 731: The Forgotten Asian Auschwitz by Derek Pua, is not for the faint of heart. It is, however, for anyone wanting to more clearly understand the extent of Imperial Japanese war crimes. This brief, dispassionate, and factual book outlines the creation and development of Unit 731, an organization that employed thousands of Japanese scientists who conducted nightmarish experiments on an untold number of human guinea pigs, all in the name of medical research.
The Japanese invasion of China during the Second Sino-Japanese war has left a strong legacy of hate and disgust among many Chinese today. Much of the atrocities committed by the Japanese are now known to most historians, but by far, the most despicable and forgotten act against humanity committed by the Imperial Japanese government was its covert biochemical weapons program. Euphemistically labelled as the Epidemic Prevention and Water Purification Department of the Imperial Japanese Army, the Japanese conducted a wide range of cruel and inhumane experiments on prisoners who were often innocent. Under the leadership of Dr. Shiro Isshi, the department subjected 3,000-250,000 innocent men, women, and children to cruel experiments and medical procedures that were carried out by the brightest medical students and staff that Imperial Japan had to offer. In a bid to develop its own germ warfare capability, the government of Imperial Japan resorted to incredibly depraved and inhumane methods of experimentation, like infecting prisoners with virulent strains of anthrax, plague, cholera, and other diseases. These prisoners were often subject to excruciating vivisections without the use of anaesthetics.
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Tragic Story, Poor Narration
The history and detail of Unit 731 is first rate.
Ms. Dahlstrom's recorded has a hollow sound to it indicating poor recording equipment. That is a bit distracting. What is VERY DISTRACTING is the many mispronounced words, most often Cholera. Cholera has no syllables emphasized. However, Ms. Dahlstrom pronounces it with an emphasis on the first syllable, i.e., KOH-lair-ah. Very distracting. Other words too.
- Mark H. Allenbaugh