Curtain of Silence Japanese in Soviet Custody, 1945-1956

Date of Award

Spring 5-1985

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Political Science & Geography

Program/Concentration

Graduate Program in International studies

Committee Director

Thomas W. Burkman

Committee Member

Philip S. Gillette

Committee Member

Patrick J. Rollins

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.I45N55

Abstract

The Soviet Union attacked- and defeated Japanese forces in Northeast Asia in the final days of the Second World War, and 2,100,000 Japanese soldiers and civilians suddenly fell into the hands of the Red Army. This thesis examines the experiences of Japanese in Soviet custody, efforts to obtain their release, and their eventual return to Japan. Repatriation of civilians from Soviet-controlled areas was slow, and military personnel were taken to the USSR for use as forced labor for several years. The Soviets conducted an intensive Marxist-Leninist indoctrination program for prisoners of war, and a professed acceptance of communism was a prerequisite for repatriation. Extensive efforts to obtain information about the internees usually ended in frustration, leading one American diplomat to refer to the Soviet position as a ''curtain of silence." Records of the supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP), maintained at the MacArthur Memorial Archives in Norfolk, Virginia, provided the primary source of information for this research.

Rights

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DOI

10.25777/ww5r-m044

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