Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Japanese prisoners of war and how they were treated.

By the end of World War 11 there were from 560,000 to 760,000 Japanese prisoners od war in the Soviet Union and Mongolia interned to work in labour camps. Of them, about 10% died (50–60,000), mostly during the winter of 1945–1946.

 The majority of the approximately 3.5 million Japanese armed forces outside Japan were disarmed by the United States and Kuomintang China and repatriated in 1946. Western Allies had taken 35,000 Japanese prisoners between December 1941 and 15 August 1945, i.e., before the Japanese capitulation. The Soviet Union held the Japanese POWs much longer and used them as a labor force.
The majority of Japanese who were held in the captivity did not consider themselves as "Prisoners of War" but referred to themselves as "internees", because they voluntarily laid down their arms after the official capitulation of Japan, i.e., after the end of the military conflict. The number of Japanese prisoners captured in combat was very small.
After the defeat of the Kwantung Japanese POWs were sent from Manchuria, North Korea, South Sakhalin and Kuril Islands to Primorski Krai, Khabarovsk Krai. In 1946, 49 labor camps for Japanese prisoners of war under the management of GUPVI housed about 500,000 persons. In addition there were two camps for those convicted of various crimes.
A significant number of Japanese were assigned to the construction of the Baikal-Amur Mainline (over 200,000 persons), in eight camps, in Komsomolsk-on-Amur (two camps, for two railroad branches),
The repatriation of Japanese POWs started in 1946.

yearnumber releasednotes
        971 transferred to PRC
       leaving 2,988 remaining  USSR

Those remaining after 1950 were detained having been convicted of various crimes. The release of these persons continued from 1953 under various amnesties, and the last major group of 1025 Japanese prisoners of war were released on 23 December 1956.
There are about 60 associations of Japanese former internees and members of their families today. The Soviet Union did not provide the lists of prisoners of war and did not allow the relatives of those prisoners who died in captivity to visit their burial sites. This became possible after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

80 prisoners went out, 4 were caught almost at once, the others got away. the germans turned more than 2000 guards out to look for the prisoners, a group was captured and removed to Gestapo headquarters, they were interrogated for hours. then came word that 47 boys were shot and killed. the men were deliberately shot.


  1. Interesting facts. Do you think that PoW should be kept interned for years after the war or should they be returned home at the conclusion of the war?

    1. personally i think they should have been returned to their homeland but they probably wern't. they are called POW's for a reason and after the war is over should be allowed to return home because of what they've been through and seen.

    2. I agree that once a conflict is over and peace treaties/ceasefires are signed that PoW should be returned home.