We kick off Season 3 with two giants of 19th-century science fiction: Jules Verne and Albert Robida. Both French authors, Verne and Robida crafted futuristic novels set in the 20th century, predicting changes in technology and society. Join me in this trip to the past, which at times feels amazingly reminiscent of the digital world we live in today.
In The Sea and Poison, we find one Japanese author’s perspective on the horrific human experimentation carried out by Unit 731 “doctors” in World War II.
A small addendum to my comment in this episode, that there were “no Nuremberg trials, to speak of.” The Soviets actually staged their own show trials for some of the Unit 731 personnel. However, sources indicate that the sentences were light and may also have been exchanged for data. To me, this is hardly the equivalent of the Nuremberg trials, where several nations (not only the USSR) took part in the trial and the sentences included 12 executions and seven imprisonments.
Sources / Further Reading:
“Unmasking Horror — A special report.; Japan Confronting Gruesome War Atrocity” – NYT article, 1995
“Unit 731: Japan’s biological force” – BBC article, 2002
“Japanese veteran admits vivisection tests on PoWs” – Guardian article, (2006)
“Department of Justice Official Releases Letter Admitting U.S. Amnesty of Japan’s Unit 731 War Criminals” – Jeffrey Kaye blog post, 2017
Factories of Death: Japanese Biological Warfare, 1932-45 and the American Cover-Up – Sheldon H. Harris, 2002