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Germany vs. Japan re: acceptance of WWII roles

by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / August 1, 2004 11:59 PM PDT
Schroeder apologizes for "immeasurable suffering" Germany inflicted.
(Chronicle login: semods4@yahoo.com; pw = speakeasy)

Contrast this with the Japanese textbooksthat downplay Japan's blame for and atrocities in World War II. On our recent trip to China, one fellow tour member who'd taught in Japan said many of her students refused to believe Japan had lost the war.
If those who forget history are doomed to repeat it, we're in big trouble!

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!
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Re: Germany vs. Japan re: acceptance of WWII roles
by John Robie / August 2, 2004 3:16 AM PDT

I also wonder if the Japanese children have knowledge of their 1st democratic governer (General McArthur) 1945-1951. Tokyo had a large turnout for honoring Gen Mac when he was fired and departed for the US because of Korea.

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If history is proof
by James Denison / August 2, 2004 3:25 AM PDT

...it's more likely those who learn it are likely to repeat it. For example; the middle east. Notice I said those who "learn" it, not those who "remember" it.

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Re: Germany vs. Japan re: acceptance of WWII roles
by Angeline Booher / August 2, 2004 4:04 AM PDT

Hi, DaveK,

Schroeder's apology was indeed an historic event.

If memory serves, films of the concentration camps, etc. were shown in theaters there. Apparently, seeing was believing.

I have not kept up with what is happening in today's Germany. So I have to wonder if the neo-nazi movement is as strong as it was not that long ago.

The writing of revisionist history is not limited to Japan. The Smithsonian wanted to do so.

In the US there are those who deny the Holocaust ever happened.

Japan needed/wanted oil and other raw materials leading up to Pearl Harbor. World trade being as it is today I can see no legitimate reason for them to go to war. Also, the Emperor is no longer a deity.

And they border China. There may be some there who remember Nanking.

Angeline
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

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Re: Germany vs. Japan re: acceptance of WWII roles

Hi, Angeline.

>>And they border China. There may be some there who remember Nanking.<<
The older generation certainly does, though it's now called Nanjing (and the wartime capital "Chunking" is now "Chongqing," urban population approximately 13 million, around third largest in China. Known as one of China's four "furnace cities," it was 103 and humid a week and a half ago...) But the younger generation apparently doesn't still bear a grudge...

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Re: Germany vs. Japan re: acceptance of WWII roles
by Paul C / August 2, 2004 11:00 AM PDT

Hi, Dave.

Having lived in both Germany and Japan, I think I can speak to this.

In Germany, the evils perpetrated under the National Socialists are and have long been very publicly aired and taught to Germany's youth. In fact, it's very likely that the campaign has been too successful, as a solid minority (maybe a majority) of German youth seem to think that there's no way that the Federal Republic could ever be justified in using military force - a concept every bit as potentially lethal as is the notion that you can always get what you want on the battlefield.

As far as Japan goes, you are mostly right. Those Japanese who lived through the immediate postwar period actually venerated Gen.McArthur for shepherding Japan along the path to democracy (a "nation building" exercise if ever there was one), and especially for allowing (and fighting Truman to do so) the preservation of the Imperial Family, if only as a constitutional monarchy. Alas, there are very few of them left...

As for the sad litany of Japanese savagery during the war, you're quite right. Even now, such atrocities as the Rape of Nanjing, the rape and murderfests in Hong Kong and Singapore immediately after their capture, the Bataan Death March (which I walked, btw) and the activities of Unit 721, the Japanese Imperial Army's biological weapons research operation in Manchuria are seldom mentioned in the Japanese media nor taught in the nation's schools.

However, they sure do go on and on (and on and on and on...) about Hiroshima and Nagasaki.....

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Re: Germany vs. Japan re: acceptance of WWII roles

Hi, Paul.

>>However, they sure do go on and on (and on and on and on...) about Hiroshima and Nagasaki.....<<
Without understanding Japanes aggression and atrocities, those bombings doubtless seem completely unjustified (of course, that's arguable, given Japan's previous offer of a conditional surrender under terms that were granted anyway [preservation of the imperial family]).

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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