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Eventually 11 chaps were taken out of the camp and were strung up outside Japanese headquarters and beaten for several days and that was the last we heard of them says Max Eddie Gilber an ex-POW This short but effective quote recognises the brutal and inhumane experience that the POWs of WWII endured Digger recounts brutal life in WWII prison camp 2012The Australian prisoners of the Japanese in WW2 experienced inhumane treatment and terrible conditions during their period of internment POWs experienced unending pain and suffering while captives of the Japanese who exploited them as a cheap labour force and who ignored the requirements for appropriate treatment of POWs outlined in the Geneva Convention and operated out of their own understandings of the warrior code Bushido The Australian POWs survived this unbearable experience by using coping mechanisms such as mateship loyalty and humour all of which were part of the reputation that they had established in WW1 However in spite of the fact that many soldiers were able to manage their incarceration they struggled to integrate back into society on their return to AustraliaAustralian POWs endured tough conditions as well the brutal and cruel treatment inflicted by the Japanese in WWII Most western historians including Hank Nelson Robert Hillman and Pasty Adam- Smith support the view that Australians soldiers were mistreated by the Japanese however the Japanese omit this form their writing For three and a half years the Australian POWs lives were in the hands of the Japanese The Australians were forced to live in uninhabitable jungle at the mercy of the elements They endured hours of exhausting physical labour and received scarce medical treatment On top of this they were starved maltreated taunted abused beaten and derided by their Japanese captors often just for the amusement of it Jack Thorpe re-tells his experience with the Japanese guards finding entertainment through beatings We had a couple of really hateful mongrel Korean
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