• Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution
  • Sites of Distorted Facts and Concealed Truth

Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution

Sites of Distorted Facts and Concealed Truth

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Allied POW Rene Schaffer | Taken prisoner in 1942 and 1943, forced to work at Nagasaki Shipyard
The Indonesian Dutchman Rene Schaffer was born in 1923 and came from Java Island. He was taken prisoner in 1942 in Bandung, passed through camps in Cimahi and Batavia and was taken on the Hawaii Maru from Singapore to Japan. In April 1943 he arrived in Moji and was sent to the Nagasaki prisoner camp. He lined up and walked to the Mitsubishi Shipyard every morning at 5:30, returning completely exhausted to the camp at 6 pm. People died one after another from pneumonia, and accidents occurred such as skull fractures from falling molds or falls from platforms. Forgetting to salute the sentries meant getting pulled out of the line and getting beaten again and again until his face was swollen. Among the squad chiefs, there was one who protected them from the violence of the others and shared food. When the atomic bomb was dropped, he managed to evacuate to the air raid shelter and survived. The effects from the atomic bomb on the human body were such that one could hardly bear to look at them. Bayer, who used the same room as him, was burned by the flash of the atomic bomb and ended up infested with maggots in his ears and died a horrible death.

Scheffer said that it is important to know that peace is the way, and that love and prohibition of nuclear weaponry is the power to achieve it.

- A Dutch Soldier's Atomic Bomb Exposure Experience (original Japanese title: オランダ兵士原爆被爆記)

Allied POW Otto Van Den Berg | Taken prisoner in 1942 and forced to work at the Nagasaki Shipyard
Otto Van Den Berg was born to an Indonesian Dutch father and an Indonesian mother. Berg was drafted into the Dutch army at the age of 18, and was taken prisoner by the Japanese army in March 1942. Passing through camp after camp, he ended up sent to Japan. Arriving as a group at Moji in April 1943, 300 of them were taken to Nagasaki. Half a year later, he collapsed due to pneumonia on top of the heavy labor at the shipyard and malnutrition. On August 9, 1945 he was hit by the explosion at a distance of 1.7 km from the Centre and the entire left side of his body was burned. Though he returned to Indonesia, the skin on his chin and neck was stuck together and he could not move his neck, and his left arm remained bent. He had seven surgeries performed in the Netherlands over three years which allowed him to move his neck and arms again. He lost the chance to get married and lived alone in a small town in the Netherlands. With nothing good in his life, he spent the rest of it suffering.

- 「Former Dutch POWs and Overseas Nuclear Bomb Victims Need Honest Support」, Chugoku Shimbun 2009.2.2.

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