Unit 731 Testimony: Japan's Wartime Human Experimentation Program by Hal GoldUnit 731 Testimony: Japan's Wartime Human Experimentation Program by Hal Gold

Unit 731 Testimony: Japan's Wartime Human Experimentation Program

byHal Gold

Paperback | April 25, 2004

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Unit 731 is a riveting and disturbing account of the medical atrocities performed in and around Japan during WWII.Some of the cruelest deeds of Japan's war in Asia did not occur on the battlefield, but in quiet, antiseptic medical wards in obscure parts of the continent. Far from front lines and prying eyes, Japanese doctors and their assistants subjected human guinea pigs to gruesome medical experiments.In the first part of Unit 731: Testimony author Hal Gold draws upon a painstakingly accumulated reservoir of sources to construct a portrait of the Imperial Japanese Army's most notorious medical unit, giving an overview of its history and detailing its most shocking activities. The second half of the book consists almost entirely of the words of former unit members themselves, taken from remarks they made at a traveling Unit 731 exhibition held around Japan in 1994-95. These people recount their vivid firsthand memories of what it was like to cut open pregnant women as they lay awake on the vivisection table, inject plague germs into healthy farmers, and carry buckets of fresh blood and organs through corridors to their appropriate destinations. Unit 731: Testimony represents an essential addition to the growing body of literature on the still-unfolding story of one of the most infamous military" outfits in modern history. By showing how the ethics of ordinary men and women, and even an entire profession, can be warped by the fire of war, this remarkable book offers a window on a time of human madness, in the hope that such days will never come again."
Hal Gold compiled the information in Unit 731 from information provided by the Central Organizing Committee for the Unit 731 Exhibitions in Tokyo, 1994-1995
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Title:Unit 731 Testimony: Japan's Wartime Human Experimentation ProgramFormat:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 8 × 5.25 × 0.68 inPublished:April 25, 2004Publisher:Tuttle PublishingLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0804835659

ISBN - 13:9780804835657

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Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from Unit 731 Compelling insight into human experimentation that is deened acceptable in wartime abd the injustice of the protection of the main protagonists to protect US interests.
Date published: 2014-07-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from "What Ever Happened to the Hippocratic Oath"? Hirohito was Japan's "Divine Emperor" during W.W II. Born a "God" on 4/29/01, Hirohito's childhood friends were generals and kings. Hirohito, Emperor Of Japan. In the 1920's, he visited the Western world, conferring with the Prince of Wales and King George of England. Hirohito felt that according to "Shinto" (the official religion of Japan), he was the "Son Of Heaven", the future "high priest" of Shinto. It was Hirohito's "divine desire" to rule the world and harness science's killing power. He would see to it that Japan would conquer the world with biological terrorism and biological weapons of mass destruction. This is exactly what Hal Gold's book, "Unit 731" is all about. Hirohito directly financed and created "Unit 731", Japan's code for secret biological weapons laboratories. Human prisoners were the unwilling subjects and the purpose of 731 was to develop deadly biological weapons which could be used to infect, sicken and kill millions of innocent people. Hirohito's intentions were so diabolical that secrecy became the most important factor. Because of this, these biological laboratories had to be located outside Japan in conquered territories beginning in Manchuria where Japanese scientists could be provided with an unlimited supply of unwilling victims. After Japan occupied Manchuria following the 9/18/31/ "Mukden Incident", a brilliant scientist, Dr. Ishii Shiro, under the auspices of Japan's secret police, commenced human experiments in Manchuria. In 1936, a state of the art medical research facility was established in Ping Fang, called "Unit 731". It had a prison that held 500 victims at once and had 100 human cages. Like Auschwitz, 731 had a crematorium, belching human smoke of 731's mutilated and murdered victims. Bodies that were torn, gassed and missing organs by live dissection (called "vivisection") were incinerated. Victims were referred to as "Marutas". Held in small cages, "Maruta's" were forcibly injected with a variety of deadly diseases and bacteria and observed until they were dissected alive. In some cells, "Maruta's" and rats infected with plague carrying fleas were kept together. Diseased and healthy humans were paired to determine how fast disease would spread from human to human. The purpose was to discover the best way to infect prisoners. Unit 731 had a dungeon where victims were hung upside down and tortured, burned with flame throwers and had arms and legs intentionally broken. Maruta's were blown up with grenades, bombarded with lethal dosages of x-rays, injected with air, and frozen to death. Vivisections (live dissections with no anesthesia) were performed on prisoners after intentional infection to observe what disease does to a human's insides. So that the results were not affected, no sedatives were administered. Women prisoners were raped and impregnated by other prisoners under guard's orders. They would be injected or exposed to sexually transmitted diseases and then live dissections would be performed to investigate the effects on different internal organs at different stages of the disease. Prisoners were also directly injected with plagues, dissected alive and burned in 731's crematoriums. To determine treatment for battlefield injuries, prisoners were shot, blown up, set on fire, often receiving horrible injuries that would be allowed to fester and become infected with gangrene. If Ishii's "research stock" ran low, he would order the military to supply him with newly captured "P.O.W's", including U.S. and British soldiers. Furthermore, Ishii's secret police, called the "Kenpeitai" would scour Chinese cities for new subjects. They would be arrested and transported to Unit 731 for imprisonment and subjected to horrible atrocities. Unit 731 also created all types of poison gasses that could infect, blind and kill innocent civilians. Plague infested fleas were spread by low flying planes over Chinese cities causing widespread epidemics and bubonic plague. 731 members distributed infected foods, drinks and clothes to locals as a biological weapons test. Whole towns and villages would become sick. Unit 731 developed a porcelain contained "flea bomb" that was used to spread diseases. Water supplies and wells were intentionally infected with anthrax, dysentery and typhoid. Ishii developed the "UJI-50 Bacterial Bomb" in 1944, with the U.S. as it's intended target. The true tragedy of this book is it's conclusion. Even though Japan surrendered in August, 1945, General Douglas MacArthur, fearing the Soviet Union's acquisition of Japan's biological weapons knowledge, made secret deals with Hirohito, Ishii, et. al., including all participating staff of Unit 731. All members were given complete immunity against being charged with war crimes. None were questioned nor charged in return for complete cooperation and U.S. access to all research findings. This also happened with America's treatment with certain Nazi scientists such as Werner Von Braun in the face of the "Cold War"
Date published: 2011-04-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from OMG!!! This book made me physically ill reading it!! Think of the worst nazi atrocities and you get the idea. It's extremely informative and fairly easy to read, the first half of the book explains what the unit was involved in the second half is testimony from people directly involved in what happened. None went to a war crimes tribunal which is part of the sickness factor. Unlike Germany they didn't leave survivors who could tell their stories. If you like WWII history and have a strong stomach I highly recommend this.
Date published: 2010-09-20

Editorial Reviews

A fascinating but disturbing read. The author splits this book up into two sections, the first being the history of the unit and the second testimonies from those who served in it. Coming into this book with only a basic knowledge of what this unit represented I walked away with a good understanding of it. The author tackles what is a difficult subject matter in an engaging manner that brings the full horror of live human experimentation and all that it encompasses to the reader's attention. All in all a well-balanced read." - Goodreads "