View Full Version : PoW not willing to forgive the Japanese

Mar 15, 2005, 22:49
The Guardian : 'I'm not willing to forgive the Japanese' (http://observer.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,1436385,00.html)

'If ever you get home, Dick, for God's sake don't tell my mum how I died.' These were the last words that Henry Dixon, a survivor of the 'railway of death' in wartime Burma, heard from his best friend. 'He lost both his legs - without anaesthetic - and I was with him when he died,' Dixon said. 'Other men lay there and cried out for their mothers. It was something you can never forget.'

The suffering of British prisoners of war in the Far East has left enduring scars. This year, as the 60th anniversaries of the liberation of Auschwitz, Victory in Europe Day and Victory in Japan Day are marked, the global theme is one of healing and reconciliation for the future. But events organised to commemorate the end of the conflict with Japan are set to re-open bitter divisions among British veterans about how to deal with the past.
Some 27 per cent of prisoners of war in Japanese hands died, compared with 4 per cent of those in German captivity. An estimated 12,000 Allied PoWs and more than 100,000 Asian labourers died of disease or were executed while building the 'railway of death' between Thailand and Burma.
'I'm not willing to forgive the Japanese'

Sixty years on, PoW groups are still divided over reconciliation with their captors in Far East prison camps.
Services of reconciliation are to be held at Canterbury and Coventry cathedrals on 21 August. But Henry Dixon, 86, who was enslaved for more than three years on the Burma railway, will stay away. 'The word "sorry" is so easily said,' he explained. 'I don't hate the Japanese, I despise them for what they did to us and I can't see the point of shaking hands with them. If one came up to me I would most likely turn my back on him.

'To see a Japanese spit out a lump of pork and four or five PoWs go scampering after it is not something I will forget. They seemed to delight in beating us. I only saw one PoW hit a Japanese and he was stoned to death.'

I recommend the movie The Bridge on the River Kwai (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00003CX97/maciamojapan-20/103-7586412-5545457) on this topic.

Interestingly, the British are the most numerous European to reside in Japan or visit Japan each year.

Mar 17, 2005, 12:48
Title: The Brave Japanese
Author: Kenneth Harrison

Mar 19, 2005, 11:19
Bridge on the River Kwai? A fun movie, but apart from being very historically inaccurate, how does it address the issue? By showing that British prisoners were maltreated? If that's what you mean, by all means state "British prisoners were maltreated" and I'll be behind you.

In my experience Hollywood movies are better at entertainment than enlightenment.

Nov 18, 2008, 15:01
a Pow's diary


Nov 18, 2008, 16:26
For those of you who don`t want to read the Japanese on the above link it is basically about British soldier forced to work on the railroad , who towards the end of the war contracts malaria, and is kindly treated and and cheered up by a IJA doctor.

Its a nice story and it shows that not everybody was as inhumane as portrayed.
However, i don't think it excuses the horrible treatment that others got. (Somehow I sense that is your intention here though caster).
If these people cannot forgive, it is there own choice, and a nice story about one man who was treated humanely probably isn't going to make them feel any better. It is simple something they have to choose to get past on their own.