The Bataan Death March, And The Rape Of The World War II Essay

The Bataan Death March, And The Rape Of The World War II Essay

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In Japan, key traits of totalitarianism such as ideology, control of individuals, and control of information led to the atrocities of Unit 731’s medical experiments, the Bataan Death March, and the Rape of Nanjing committed during World War II.
First of all, Japanese ideology helped cause the atrocity of the medical experiments committed by Unit 731 as the Japanese thought surrender to be dishonorable and this allowed them to distance themselves from their prisoners of war. Ideology in a state refers to the ideas that guide the government and people in that it creates and justifies the goals and actions of the state. The Japanese people believed that surrender was dishonorable and considered suicide a better way to die. In the movie, Letters from Iwo Jima, Saigo’s commander at Mount Suribachi ignored orders to retreat and rather ordered all the men to commit suicide in the face of defeat. Later, when a few Japanese soldiers tried to escape and surrender to the American enemy troops, the officer shot them (Letters from Iwo Jima). During the war, the Japanese army also created a secret biological warfare unit, Unit 732. The unit personnel were tasked with producing bacteria for viruses and infectious diseases. In order to find methods to spread biological agents that would allow for increased effectiveness, prisoners of war were used in experiments and infected. After a deliberate infection, sometimes researchers cut open the prisoner’s body to understand the effects, even if the prisoner was still alive and without the use of anesthetics. These prisoners, who were mostly Chinese, Koreans, and Soviets, were often referred to as maruta or logs (Perez). Moreover, these actions in Letters From Iwo Jima highlight the key trait of ideol...


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...o commit the atrocity as it gave them the opportunity to kill Chinese soldiers with no specification on how the execution was to be carried out. Given this, the indoctrination of Japanese in early childhood in the ideology that Chinese were inferior influenced the soldiers’ actions as that belief allowed the Japanese soldiers to treat the Chinese prisoners as below them, leading to inhumane executions. Likewise, the combination of feelings of contempt for the Chinese and superiority over them helped the Japanese soldiers to go further and rape the women of Nanjing, treating them as less than human by harming and killing many by nailing them to walls. Thus, the control of information in Japan led to feelings of contempt and sense of superiority towards the Chinese as well as a belief in the duty to conquer Asia which in turn led to the atrocity of the Rape of Nanjing.

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