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20 Aug, 2021 14:35

Imperial Japan tested biological weapons & new poisons on Soviet prisoners, treasure trove of WWII declassified documents reveals

Imperial Japan tested biological weapons & new poisons on Soviet prisoners, treasure trove of WWII declassified documents reveals

Thousands of Soviet citizens captured by Japanese forces in the Far East during WWII were subjected to cruel and inhumane treatment, and were used as test subjects for sick experiments with deadly biological and chemical weapons.

That’s according to a new tranche of documents declassified and published by Russia’s FSB security agency on Friday. The papers, which chronicle the treatment of Red Army soldiers, as well as civilians, at the hands of the Axis power, chronicle how those who could not be pressed into laboring to support Tokyo’s war effort were transferred to ‘detachment 731’ under the control of the Kwantung Army.

During their internment in the special brigade’s research unit, which was initially planned to hold 150 people, including Soviet pilots who had crash-landed in Manchuria, “new chemical poisonous substances and bacteriological agents” were tested on the prisoners, including anthrax and bubonic plague.

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In a startling confession recorded by post-war Soviet investigators, the deputy director of the camp, Kenji Yamagishi, admitted to sending around 40 people to their deaths. The experiments, the trove of materials say, were in aid of the development of a supposed “bacteriological bomb,” which could be filled with plague-infested fleas and detonated over a populated area.

Torturous medical experimentation is remembered as one of the most egregious breaches of human rights during World War II, with both Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan subjecting captives to the cruel trials. The most infamous perpetrator, Dr. Josef Mengele, would stand in line waiting for new arrivals at Auschwitz concentration camp to select subjects - often children or twins - for his brutal and frequently fatal studies.

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