World War Ii, Unit 731

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Steven Ventimiglia Florida Atlantic University World War II (WOH 4244) Professor McGetchin Paper Prospectus July 1, 2014 Unit 731: Research and Atrocities Much like their Nazi counterparts, the Japanese had research bases where experiments and tests were conducted on human subject. In the case of the Japanese, these test subjects were prisoners of war, and were subjected to various tests that would normally constitute war crimes. However, the researchers of Imperial Army Unit 731 and their commanding officer Lieutenant General Shirō Ishii were not brought to trial for war crimes. Instead, the American government granted the scientists and officials of Unit 731 immunity, in exchange for access to their records and research. The question remains however, why were these researchers granted immunity? One could argue that the main reason for the American government to grant immunity to these researchers was that they were simply following orders while under duress. However, others who had performed experiments such as these were taken to trial in the USSR. Evidence shows however, that the US government granted immunity to their war crimes, and taken to the United States due to the value of their knowledge and research. Ishii and his men had been arrested by Soviet authorities, however Ishii and his team negotiated to receive immunity in exchange for their full disclosure on their research into germ warfare and human experimentation. Though the Russians still wanted to take these men to trial, the American government intervened before they could be prosecuted before the tribunal in Tokyo. The Americans had their findings reviewed by their own scientists, such as Dr. Edwin V. Hill, who stated that “evidence gathered in this investigation has greatly supplemented and amplified previous aspects of the field.” Hill felt that the information was very
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