This book is about crime and the evil things evil men do. This book is about words and hate and the powerful price of propaganda. This book is about the savage, no-quarter war waged against Japan during the summer of 1945 and it is about the equally savage no quarter “peace” waged against Germany during that same summer, 1945. There is no attempt herein to recite the numerous atrocities attributed to the Germans and Japanese by the victorious powers. Certainly, some of these crimes were true; equally certain, many of these crimes were not. Such is winning and losing. Such is war.
To most modern readers, the “unique” guilt attributed to the Axis powers in starting World War II as well as their supposed barbaric behavior in prosecuting it are too well known to repeat. For those who wish to learn more of the victor’s version of the war, a simple trip to the book store or library, or the viewing of virtually any feature-length movie or documentary film will offer up the Allied account of the war. This book is, instead, devoted to the inhuman treatment and savage atrocities directed at the losers of the war by the winners, both during and after that war. This book is about the evil things evil men do.
Just as my previous book on Allied war crimes during and after World War II in Europe—Hellstorm: The Death of Nazi Germany, 1944-1947—illustrated how deadly propaganda can be, especially when the intended target audience for such propaganda are eighteenyear-olds with weapons in their hands, so too does this book attempt to illustrate how vicious words fired by experts are far more deadly than bombs and bullets for, unlike bombs and bullets which kill only once, words kill again and again and again. Simply, Japanese and German propaganda never came close to matching Allied propaganda in pure hate; Japanese and German propaganda never had the dripping venom and murderous malice that American and British propaganda had then, and, for the most part, still has now.
While the victors, to this day, vilify and condemn the Germans and Japanese for their treatment of American POWs, never mentioned is that at least the Germans and Japanese took prisoners. Few, very few, German and Japanese soldiers survived actual combat to reach an American POW camp. While the victors, to this day, assail again and again the Germans for crimes against Jews or attack the Japanese for crimes against the Chinese, seldom does one hear about the crimes against the Germans or the crimes against the Japanese, of the deliberate firebombing of millions of German and Japanese women and children, of the wholesale rape of countless women and children, of the utter and abject subservience that both nations even today still find themselves locked in.
Finally, it is the most fervent hope of the author that after finishing Hellstorm and this, its companion study, Summer, 1945, that the reader will not simply set the volumes down and return to a life of indifference and apathy. It is the author’s greatest wish that each reader will instead work with others to ensure that never again—not in our name, not in our time, not in our world—will we ever allow such evil propaganda such as was used in World War II to ever repeat itself; that no matter who it may next be directed at, be it Germans, Japanese, Iranians, North Koreans, or Israelis, we will not ever again allow such vicious, sadistic, and evil words to be used to either create a war or create a “peace.” As the past has proved, such reckless, murderous words reap reckless, murderous harvests of innocent and guilty alike. Unless we all work to throttle evil men and their evil words and evil deeds, then soon, very soon, that evil will almost certainly be directed at us and those we love.
About the author
Tom Goodrich is a professional writer who lived on the Gulf Coast of Florida while writing Summer, 1945: Germany, Japan and the Harvest of Hate (The Palm Press, Siesta Key, Florida, 2018).
His biological father was a United States Marine during the Pacific War, 1941-1945, and his adoptive father served in the US Air Force in Europe during World War II. Visit the author at thomasgoodrich.com.