Min 150 words
- How do the actions of the Germans and Japanese fit with the themes of the overall course? Were these crimes a natural progression of the developments/events from 1900-1945, or were they an unnatural side-effect of one specific war? In other words, were these war crimes part of a natural order of industrialism, social Darwinism, imperialism, and things like that, or were they a usually violent, but unintended consequence? When thinking about the Germans and Japanese, my thoughts and opinions head straight towards the Industrialism, Modernism, Progressivism and Fordism in our lecture. Firstly, I wouldn’t never correlate these attributes going hand-in-hand with the horror that took place during World War 2. My own children have asked me before (we are Christians), “Why are people bad?” and “Does God make bad people?” My husband and I answer them the best we can, age-appropriately. Their questions remind me of the Japanese doctors and Hitler: were these Japanese doctors born “bad”? Well, no. People aren’t born bad; they grow up and “turn” bad. One of the attributes: scientific experimentation is, in my opinion, how it all started. Experimenting with record keeping (whose a Jew and whose not), organizational management (throwing everyone who is a an enemy of the state, a homosexual or Jew in a concentration camp), research and development (size of head and body type/size), time management (getting off and on the trains leading to concentration camps), etc. Who knows, maybe Hitler and these Japanese doctors were some good people before their minds changed from normal, to experimentation, to evil. It’s what that person does with that experiment; and in this case, it was taken horrifically far, and the end result was 7-11 million people killed.
- What do the primary sources about the Holocaust and Japanese War crimes (particularly the testimony of the Japanese doctor) tell us about the mindset of Germans and Japanese? How did they justify their actions to themselves and the world? Or did they try to justify them at all? I see so much of Social-Darwinism in every module from when I first read it until now. The mindset of Hitler and the Nazi’s was just that; if you didn’t act, appear, speak or salute like they did then you were considered an “enemy” of the state; you were either ousted from the country, thrown in a concentration camp or killed. In the mindset of the Japanese doctor, I feel as if he knew what was happening around him wasn’t right but kept on going because of who was looking at him and for people to look at him and “be proud.” He did seem to show somewhat of some hesitance when he asked a nurse if she was going to “disinfect the point on injection?” He wanted to do what was right, but he was new and wanted to make a “good” impression and follow suite of what everyone else was doing. Hitler and the Nazi’s never justified their actions. I say that because they just kept fighting and killing people. Hitler knew his army was running low when they were invading Russia, but still he continued moving forward, he wanted all the power. The Japanese doctor was different; he seemed more remorseful at the end.
- How do you feel about the way in which Japanese war criminals were dealt with in the aftermath of the war? Something should’ve been done to everyone that was involved. For the doctor that was thrown in prison, he seemed to evaluate his actions for all the extra time he had to himself and realized what he did and what he was a part of what inhumane and just plain wrong. Others, it didn’t seem to do much of anything. Justice was not served to the families of the victims.