Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Prisoner under Nippon

I have just finished re-reading the diary of a British soldier who was a Prisoner of War of the Japanese for three and a half years. His name is Fred Rudkin, the father of a friend of mine. It is a daily diary of the most horrible treatment of prisoners by the Japanese military. He wrote it on scraps of paper in minute handwriting and managed to avoid extreme punishment by hiding his diary throughout the years spent in a number of camps from Singapore to Yokahama, Japan. I have railed against the Germans and their holocaust and previously thought the Japanese were not as bad. This fine document details the systematic deprivation of prisoners; the harsh beatings, the appalling rations, lack of medicines and pigsty living conditions etc.

It is strange that POWs of the Germans were treated so much better, whilst most of the population knew what was happening to Jews, Gypsies and others.

Fred returned to England and eventually brought his family to live in W.A. It seems amazing that humans so badly treated could actually regain their health. He died recently aged in his nineties.

Today on our walk around Manning Park we drove into a carpark there where a motorcycle learner was being coached by his instructor. I heard the instructor yell out..'That was great.' and we went on our walk. A couple of minutes into the walk we heard a loud crash and in the distance saw the learner hopping towards the instructor and flopping to the ground. Probably a few more lessons yet.

1 comment:

Kev said...

A reader in London England is researching Fred Rudkin. I can help should you wish to find out more about Haddon and Fred and family.