Lest we forget


I’ve written to Laura Hillenbrand, author of that great book, “Unbeaten.” I said, “I can’t say I enjoyed reading your book, in particular, your recounting of the unspeakably cruel and sadistic treatment of American POWs by their Japanese prison guards, certainly on orders of their superiors. As a WWII veteran of the Pacific War, I was angered to be reminded of General MacArthur’s ‘Amnesty’ as Shogun-in-Chief of Japan for thousands of these SOBs. Worse still was the total forgiveness of many more under the infamous Peace Treaty with Japan.

And Japanese government officials and others continue to worship at the obscene Yasukuni shrine venerating the memory of war time Prime Minister Tojo, General Homma (commander of the Bataan Death March) and other WWII “monsters.” In my new novel, “Remembering Private Lamb,” I take up the question, part of the plot: Why hasn’t Japan apologized, as Germany has, for its war crimes?

In my concluding chapter I decide that this will never happen. My book is fiction, of course, but the actual conclusion, unfortunately, is nonfiction.

Leon Cooper