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But his wartime past wouldn’t leave him. That, however, was not the only reason why Soviet personnel often acted so cruelly. An account of his story published in the Reader’s Digest in 1994 generated such interest that, a year later, he published his own memoir called The Railway Man . Then Lomax handed Nagase a letter he had written the night before. On December 7, 1941, USS California’s crew fought bravely to save her. He stayed there until the war ended, when his suffering appeared to be over. The British officer was immediately hustled out of the country, back to England's green and pleasant land, and was replaced. The total lives lost by the Japanese was close to 1000. It turned out that the ROK officer had been a particularly brutal guard in the same Japanese POW camp where the British officer had been a prisoner. He even once refused to take a seat in a restaurant because a Japanese couple was eating nearby. The Soviet 1945 Strategic Offensive in Manchuria. Former prisoners put to paper what they experienced. Starting in late 1946 the USSR began to repatriate the POWs, freeing 625,000 in the following year alone. On the night of March 9, 1945, U.S. warplanes launch a new bombing offensive against Japan, dropping 2,000 tons of incendiary bombs on Tokyo over the course of Books in Japanese - POW Research Network Japan (English website). Shut off from the outside world, said Kuznetsov, Japanese POWs in Soviet hands knew next to nothing about the timetable for their release until right before they exited the camps for home. The Japanese rightly assumed that the mistreated prisoners would seek revenge against their captors. I have tried to keep as much of his own words as possible, but to make it more readable and put it into chronological order, some changes were made. The Soviets inflicted terrible brutality on their Japanese captives. The Second World War ended 75 years ago. “I have suffered tremendous guilt all these years,” he wrote. Tokuda Kyuichi, Chairman of the Japanese Communist Party, 1946. The radio went undetected for a few months until one morning when the Japanese conducted a surprise search of the huts. “75 Years Later, One Million Japanese War Dead Still Missing,” August 13, 2020. Starting in late 1946 the USSR began to repatriate the POWs, freeing 625,000 in the following year alone. However, they are relatively few, probably fewer than a dozen. Lomax travelled to the Far East with Patti. Now tell us: Who else was involved?” Lomax refused to tell them. He refused to talk about the war, reasoning that nobody would understand. What lay ahead for them in Siberia was long and dreadful. Fort Leavenworth: Combat Studies Institute, US Army Command and General Staff College, 1983. Eventually the military policemen began to slap Lomax, and then deliver repeated blows to his face as his silence continued. “I would like…” His voice cracked, and he began to cry. Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery, Tokyo, May 2016. The water torture began once more. He retired from the army in 1948, worked abroad for some years and later got a job teaching personnel management at Strathelyde University in Glasgow. He also became the father of two girls. Finally Lomax spoke, “Do you remember what you told me when we last met?”. The atrocities continued throughout the war, but were mild, in many ways, compared to what went on at Unit 731, located at Pingfan, Manchuria, just outside the city of Harbin. Kuznetsov, these memoirs document camp regulations, the labor system, and the food—mainly bread, cabbage, and potatoes, but little rice, the mainstay of the Japanese diet. Unfortunately, matters grew worse and the flashbacks continued. It had no effect on Lomax, who was consumed with hatred for Nagase. Associated Press. A towel was put over his mouth and nose. “Are you ready to talk?” Nagase asked. Jason Dawsey, PhD, is Research Historian at The Institute for the Study of War and Democracy, where he researches the service records of ... Institute for the Study of War and Democracy, 75th Anniversary of the End of World War II, The End of World War II in Japan and the Question of Democracy. He heard the crack of his own bones. “I counted 900 blows over six hours.”. But, he remained darkly obsessed with his torturers, especially the interpreter. Igarashi, Yoshikuni. They agreed to meet at the World War 2 museum in Kanchanaburi on 26 March 1993 – almost 50 years after their first encounter. The water soaked through, blocking Lomax’s mouth and nose. Eric Lomax, who died on Monday aged 93, was starved, viciously beaten and tortured as a prisoner of the Japanese during WW2. 504-528-1944. He located and wrote other British survivors of Kanchanaburi, requesting information about the camp officials. “You men suffered the most horrendous beatings I have ever witnessed,” the doctor said.