On this day…

Freed Korean “Comfort Women” – women forced to work as sex slaves for the Empire of Japan during the Second World War – talk to US soldiers in a photograph dated the 14th of August, 1944.

It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of women from Asia, as well as several hundred from the Netherlands and Australia, were treated this way.

Captured_comfort_women_in_Myitkyina_on_August_14_in_1944 Comfort Women - women forced to work as sex slaves for the Empire of Japan - after being freed by US soldiers. 14th August 1944. X

Here is the official caption of the photograph:

“Three Korean “comfort girls” (captured in Burma), photographed while being interrogated by Capt. Won Loy Chan (San Francisco, California), Tech. Sgt. Robert Honda (Hawaii) and Sgt. Hirabayashi (Seattle, Washington), all of the G-2 Myitkyina Task Force of the U.S. Army.”

On this day: Chinese retreat in Nanking

Chinese_clean_up_mess_in_NankingChinese people clean up the mess which was made at the time of the retreat of Chinese soldiers.(December 22, 1937) Japanese Rape of Nanking Massacre

22nd December 1937: Locals in Nanking, China clean up after the retreat of the Chinese army. The image appeared in a January 1938 edition of Japanese news picture magazine Asahi Graph. Japan had defeated China in the Battle of Nanking earlier in the month.

Despite promises that civilians wouldn’t be harmed, by the time the image was published Japanese soldiers had killed between 40 000 and 300 000 people in what would become known as the Rape of Nanking, or the Nanking Massacre.

On this day: Prisoners of War in Ukraine

Lager Winnica, gefangene Russen

28th July 1941: Red Army soldiers captured by the Nazis during food distribution at a  camp in occupied Vinnytsia, Ukraine.

In contrast to their treatment of British and American prisoners, the Germans employed a policy of deliberately mistreating Soviet prisoners of war, which resulted in 3-3.5 million deaths – an estimated 57% of all soldiers captured.

From the German Federal Archives.

On this day: a war crime in progress

This photograph, dated the 17th of July, 1941, is of Romanian soldiers marching Jewish women and children from their homes. It is listed as evidence of a war crime in progress.

Romania aligned themselves with Nazi Germany in the Second World War, and played a large part in the invasions of, and fighting in, Ukraine and Stalingrad (Russia).

Source #1

Source #2

Russland, Deportation von Juden

Christmas as a prisoner of war.

The Chungkai Camp was operated by the Japanese during World War Two, and prisoners – including soldiers from Britain and the Commonwealth – were made to work on the Burma–Thailand Railway.

This “Christmas card” is in the collection of London’s Imperial War Museum, and was created in either 1943 or 1944. It depicts Father Christmas in a loincloth, carrying a sack of presents through a bamboo fence.

It was very dangerous to make images while a prisoner in the camp. One prisoner, Jack Chalker, reported his sketches of camp life being discovered by a Korean guard. Chalker was beaten for days as punishment.

the-chungkai-camp-was-operated-by-the-japanese-during-world-war-two-this-christmas-card-is-in-the-collection-of-londons-imperial-war-museum-and-was-created-in-either-1943-or-1944

On this day: the birth of “Axis Sally”

mildred-gillars-american-nazi-collaborator-axis-sally-propaganda

American woman Mildred Gillars, nicknamed “Axis Sally” for the prominent role she played broadcasting Nazi propaganda during World War Two, was born on the 29th of November, 1900.

Born in Maine, but moving to Ohio as a child, Gillars moved to Germany to study in 1934, and then later obtained work as an English teacher in Berlin.

mildred-gillars-axis-sally-as-a-young-actress-in-the-1920s-nazi-collaborator-american-history-propaganda

As a young actress in America in the 1920s. X

By 1940, she was working as an announcer for Reichs-Rundfunk-Gesellschaft: German State Radio.

Along with an Italian-American woman by the name of Rita Zucca, who performed the same work for Mussolini in Fascist Italy, she was dubbed “Axis Sally” for her anti-American propaganda that was broadcast to US troops once her home country joined the war.

Gillars’ broadcasts told stories of wives and sweethearts at home who cheated with other men while the troops were away, and spread defeatist propaganda to try and destroy American morale.

At the end of the war “Wanted” posters for Gillars were put up around Berlin. Once she was found and arrested in 1946 she was returned to the United States, where she was put on trial for treason.

axis-sally-to-go-to-trial-september-25-1948-the-new-york-times-new-york-september-25-1948

The New York Times announces that Mildred Gillars is to stand trial for treason. X

She was eventually convicted of treason for a broadcast titled Vision Of Invasion, and spent twelve years in prison before being released on parole.

an-unidentified-fbi-agents-escorts-mildred-gillars-as-she-arrives-for-her-treason-trial-in-washington-d-c-in-1949

The FBI escorts Gillars to her trial in 1949. X

Gillars went on to live in a convent and work as a schoolteacher, before dying of cancer in 1988.

Her fellow “Sally”, Rita Zucca, spent nine months in an Italian prison, and – having given up her American citizenship – was barred from the United States.