Review: Hidden Atrocities: Japanese Germ Warfare and American Obstruction of Justice at the Tokyo Trial
Imperial Japan’s germ-warfare program, with its brutal experiments, numerous nameless victims, and many atrocities against Chinese civilian populations, disappeared from history at the end of WWII, despite the American-directed Tokyo War Crimes Trial in 1946 and later Soviet proceedings. The Japanese had destroyed records, killed witnesses, and razed research sites, making prosecution very difficult. U.S. Military Intelligence was not inclined to push to make public what had happened since they wanted to take advantage of what the Japanese knew about biological warfare as the Soviet Union loomed as a new opponent of the West. Japan was seen as a potential powerful ally in the emerging cold war environment, meaning foreign policy and national security trumped holding an important new ally to account. The U.S. dismissed Soviet efforts at prosecution as propaganda. To this day silence and denial have dominated the gruesome facts. Hidden Atrocities provides a long overdue scholarly remedy. The victims now have a powerful voice to contend with those who decided to bury their right to justice. Thanks to Jeanne Guillemin, the reasons this indefensible omission occurred are lucidly and skillfully presented.
– Arthur Caplan, founding director, New York University School of Medicine Division of Bioethics