Japan's Wartime Savagery? Better to Forget ItBreaking News
From the graceful dome of the Legislative Council building to the gaudy entertainment district of Wan Chai to the touristy warren of small shops in Stanley, Hong Kong seems as peaceful and prosperous a city as any in Asia.
Muknam Chan/Getty Images, for The New York Times
Cai Song-ying, now 80, was a Communist partisan who fought against the Japanese.
Yet 60 years ago, this city suffered some of the worst ravages of World War II. The Legislative Council building was a torture center run by the Japanese secret police. Military-run brothels were set up in Wan Chai after numerous rapes of local civilians by Japanese soldiers. And Stanley held an internment camp for allied civilians, with those who violated the rules risking execution on a nearby beach.
What is remarkable is that despite all the wartime horrors - which cut the city's population to 600,000 from 1.6 million through starvation, killings and flight to better-fed communities - the war is little remembered here. The 60th anniversary on Monday of the Japanese surrender announcement was observed only by a few small gatherings: a talk by a war veteran at a local museum; a protest on Sunday against Japanese war crimes that drew 400 people by the organizers' count and only 200 according to the police.
comments powered by Disqus
- ‘No Vacancies’ for Blacks: How Donald Trump Got His Start, and Was First Accused of Bias
- New Yorker profiles activist who's drawing attention to lynchings
- Wisconsin GOP senator wants to replace history professors with Ken Burns videos
- UT removes Confederate inscription that it previously said would stay
- The man behind the Smithsonian’s new African-American history museum
- Some Ohio University professors ditch the textbooks, and the prices
- Renowned Israeli Holocaust Historian: ‘If I Were a British Jew, I’d Be Worried’
- Heather Ann Thompson pries loose the long-kept secrets of Attica in her new book
- Lonnie Bunch remembers his first day on the job as director of the new black history museum
- Speaker Ryan loves pseudo-historian David Barton