By LAURENCE REES
How may Nazi killers shoot Jewish girls and kids at shut variety? Why did eastern infantrymen rape and homicide on this sort of horrendous scale? How was once it attainable to suffer the torment of a Nazi focus camp?
Award-winning documentary maker and historian Laurence Rees has spent approximately two decades wrestling with those questions during filming hundreds of thousands of interviews with humans confirmed to the intense in the course of global warfare II. He has come face-to-face with rapists, mass murderers, even cannibals, yet he has additionally met brave people who are an thought to us all.
In Their Darkest Hour he offers 35 of his so much electrifying encounters.
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Additional resources for Their Darkest Hour: People Tested to the Extreme in WWII
He was posted to a unit in Shaanxi Province and often took part in punitive operations in the occupied areas of Henan and Hebei: 'In the enemy area [of China] you could do anything,' he said. ' Kondo confessed that 'individual sin' did not exist for him and his comrades because 'we do it as a group' and 'Communists should be killed for the emperor. That was the thinking of the ordinary soldiers. So during that operation you can do anything. ' In addition, just as the Germans in the war against the Soviet Union became mired in a series of so-called 'revenge' attacks against the Red Army, so Kondo revealed that the Japanese Imperial Army created an atmosphere of almost constant 'revenge' against the Chinese - motivated by the fact that the Chinese had, on occasion, dared to fight back.
We heard that from Manchuria we got beans and then from northern China cotton and coal are procured,' said Hajime Kondo. ' In pursuit of their colonial ambitions, the Japanese Imperial Army moved north from Nanking and pursued a war of conquest that, by the time Kondo joined the fight in 1940, had already cut a swathe through the Chinese countryside. He was posted to a unit in Shaanxi Province and often took part in punitive operations in the occupied areas of Henan and Hebei: 'In the enemy area [of China] you could do anything,' he said.
In 2000 the Chinese authorities were prepared to let me and my film crew come to China to interview a survivor from the Nanking massacre, but they were much less cooperative about allowing us to extend the research and filming to include the investigation of subsequent Japanese actions in the north. The current relationship between the Chinese and Japanese is complex, and whilst, on the one hand, the Chinese berate the Japanese for not admitting the extent of their crimes during this war, on the other hand they also want to have positive economic relations with their technologically 60 I THEIR DARKEST HOUR advanced neighbour.
Their Darkest Hour: People Tested to the Extreme in WWII by LAURENCE REES