Sixty-six years ago, World War II lingered on in the Pacific.
Millions of native peoples had died, many thousands of civilians and POWs had died in Japanese Labor/Concentration Camps. Many more surviving in these same camps now neared death from starvation, disease, and brutality. Deaths increased exponentially. Death shadowed every civilian and POW in the camps. To read history, journal accounts, and view photographs from this time is to wonder how anyone lived through 1944, much less clung to life in 1945. It is both terrifying and inspiring to see how soldiers and civilians still scrabbled for life amidst deprivation and attacks in 1945.
Japan‘s eventual surrender on August 15, 1945, led to the slow liberation of many, including my father — Adrianus Cornelis “Kees” Jobsis and his family.
His father, Gerrit Jobsis and many others had died.. My Opa (grandpa) Gerrit Jobsis was among those whose fragile life ended in those final months, Spring 1945.
Hear is the daily countdown to that final August 15th liberation:
August 6, 1945 the American bomber Enola Gay dropped the first atom bomb on Hiroshima. The ground and all life was flattened, over 100,00o were dead or dying.
Prior to the dropping of the first Atom bomb, the allies had learned, by decoding secret transmissions that the Japanese planned to kill all imprisoned in Japanese Concentration/Labor Camps. This information influenced the American decision to drop the atom bomb. The decoded documents themselves were held classified for generations after World War II.
Historian Linda Goetz Holmes was among the first to obtain and publish this information. She repsonded to my questions as follows:
In my book Unjust Enrichment and again in my 2010 book Guests of the Emperor I do display the document which ordered the execution of all POWs and civilian internees. The chilling thing is that the Japanese military aimed that no white people would survive to resettle in Asia.
August 7, 1945 Foreign Minister Shigenori Togo of Japan sent a coded telegram to his ambassador in Moscow. Japan had proposed peace to to the Soviet Union, and wanted an answer (Haseqawa, 2006).
August 9, 1945 U.S. B-29 bomber Bock’s Car* dropped the next atom bomb on Nagasaki. This caused and led to the death of 80,000 Japanese civilians. (*named after its pilot, Fred Bock)
Tell me about your family and survivors in 1945.
I would like to know your story.
“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.”
General and President, Dwight David “Ike” Eisenhower