Archaeologists in China have uncovered a secret underground bunker used by Japanese scientists to conduct horrific experiments on human subjects during World War II.
The "horror bunker," discovered near the city of Anda in Heilongjiang province, northeast China, was used by the Japanese army's infamous Unit 731 during Japan's occupation of China from 1931 to 1945.
Built by the Japanese in 1941 and running until Japan's surrender at the end of World War II, the lab was Unit 731's largest research site, but its exact location was lost until now. Unit 731 began in 1931 as a Japanese-run public health unit, but it quickly expanded its research to include grotesque biological and chemical warfare experiments using Chinese, Korean, Russian and American captives as test subjects.
Researchers at the Heilongjiang Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, who unearthed the bunker, told the South China Morning Post that its discovery "highlights the ongoing legacy of Unit 731's atrocities and their impact on global efforts to prevent biological warfare."
Up to 12,000 men, women and children were killed by Unit 731's sadistic experiments — which included the testing of grenades, bacterial bombs, flamethrowers and chemical weapons. Individuals were also exposed to dehydration, killed inside spinning centrifuges, injected with animal blood, zapped with X-rays, vivisected without anesthesia and kept inside low-pressure chambers until their eyeballs burst.
Plague-infected fleas bred in Unit 731's labs were also dropped by low-flying planes over Chinese cities, causing disease outbreaks that killed hundreds of thousands of people.
The archaeologists have partially unearthed the U-shaped structure, which is roughly 108 feet (33 meters) long and 67 feet (21 m) wide, with interconnected rooms and tunnels branching from it. As the archaeologists have yet to step inside, the exact purpose of each room hasn't been established, but the researchers have categorized what they believe to be laboratories, observation and dissection rooms, holding cells, barracks, garages, bath houses, dining areas and wells.
Following Japan's surrender in September 1945, the U.S. covered up evidence of the gruesome experiments and secretly granted many of Unit 731's leaders immunity from prosecution for war crimes in exchange for their research. Much of this information was later taken to Fort Detrick in Maryland — the center of the U.S. Cold War biological weapons program between 1943 and 1969.
The archaeologists say they will continue to excavate the site, gathering more details about the individual rooms in the structure and how they combined to form the horrifying bunker.
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Ben Turner is a U.K. based staff writer at Live Science. He covers physics and astronomy, among other topics like tech and climate change. He graduated from University College London with a degree in particle physics before training as a journalist. When he's not writing, Ben enjoys reading literature, playing the guitar and embarrassing himself with chess.
The main dark players involved with these atrocities such as Japan or Nazi Germany, were not punished for their crimes, only stopped by the allies.admin said:A bunker discovered near the city of Anda in northeast China is believed to be the largest test site of Imperial Japan's infamous Unit 731, which conducted horrifying human experiments during the 1940s.
World War II 'horror bunker' run by infamous Unit 731 discovered in China : Read more
America is up to it's neck in guilt for protecting gross criminals, by bringing them to our shores for intellectual assistance in advancing technologies following their atrocities unimagined. No innocence for this nation
As for these countries guilty of such crimes against humanity, their punishment will come in the form of complete dissolution. It's been saved for generations when the ultimate demise overtakes these entities.
No one escapes the coming culmination and not one country will remain intact. I believe it will all catch up with us, as is happening currently.
I agree with much of your statement, however when examining our nation's faults one must view the actions taken with an examination of the times when many of crimes you recount took place.
Take Dr Wernher von Braun, for instance.
Before World War II, Wernher von Braun had been working at an operations base in Peenemünde, the German Army Rocket Center in the Baltic, researching the launch specs and ballistics of warheads. Those who worked with him in Peenemünde claim he had always dreamed of one day using his research to send a manned aircraft into space and eventually to the moon.
Von Braun reportedly applied for membership in the Nazi Party in 1939. According to his statement, he claimed that had he refused to join the party, he would no longer have been able to continue working at Peenemünde and may have been arrested and many were.
Later in his statement, he included that he never liked Hitler, referring to him as a “pompous fool with a Charlie Chaplin mustache.” Yet as World War II raged, von Braun continued his work without pause, and even used concentration camp prisoners from Dora to build his rockets at the Mittelwerk laboratory.
Von Braun became one of the leading rocket scientists in Germany. For most of his early life, he worked for Germany’s rocket development program, helping to design the V-2 rocket, the world’s first long-range guided ballistic missile, which was used to drop 1,000 pound warheads on London.
Then, in 1945, Germany surrendered.
Wernher Von Braun escaped to the Bavarian Alps as German forces surrendered to the Allies. It then became clear to the Allies just how advanced Germany’s military arsenal was — and just how valuable their weapons intelligence could be.
At the same time, the Soviets began aggressively recruiting former Nazi and German scientists into their ranks, usually with threats to their family, occasionally at gunpoint, but always with a threat. Their hope was to further their space program and gain an advantage in the impending Cold War against the United States.
But the United States began secretly recruiting Nazi scientists of their own. Just two months after the Germans surrendered, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, led by General George Marshall who was the creator of The Marshall Plan as Secretary of State, for the United States created Operation Paperclip, a secret Nazi recruitment program.
The name stemmed from the secret method Army officers would use to indicate which German rocket scientists they wanted to recruit. When they came across a viable candidate, they would attach a certain colored paperclip to the folder before passing it back to their superiors.
By September of 1946, Operation Paperclip had been officially approved by President Truman and saw 1,000 German rocket scientists moving to the U.S. under “temporary, limited military custody” to work on the nation’s young space program at the Redstone Arsenal.
One of the most valuable and talented recruits for Operation Paperclip was Wernher von Braun himself.
Von Braun's most of his important breakthroughs would occur during the years that he worked for the post-WWII Cold War United States.
Upon arriving in the US, Wernher Von Braun began working for the Army, testing ballistic missiles based on the designs of his original brainchild, the V-2. His work with the missiles led him to research launching missiles for his real dream: space travel.
Under the supervision of the Army, von Braun helped create test launch sites for the WAC Corporal, Redstone and Jupiter ballistic missiles, as well as the Jupiter C, Juno II and Saturn I launch vehicles.
Having more freedom in the United States than he ever did under the Third Reich, von Braun published his ideas for manned-rocket powered space exploration in various periodicals including Life Magazine and Colliers. He even conceptualized a space station that would be locked in orbit around the Earth and continually manned by international space teams, an idea which is still orbiting the globe today.
His ideas contributed to many works of science fiction at the time, most notably 2001: A Space Odyssey. They also, of course, contributed heavily to the real-life undertakings of NASA's space program.
Wernher von Braun became the first director of the Marshall Space Flight Center, in Huntsville, Alabama. While there, he created a program to develop the massive Saturn rockets that would be able to carry heavy loads out of Earth’s orbit and eventually to the Moon.
The Saturn rocket tests were the precursor to the Apollo missions and the rockets that made them possible.
Just a year after Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins successfully used his technology to land on the lunar surface, Wernher von Braun was named NASA’s Deputy Associate Administrator for Planning. For two years he carried out his visions and plans to bring men into space, before retiring in 1972.
Even after he retired, he continued to speak at universities and symposiums around the country. He also conceptualized the idea for a Space Camp that would teach kids about science and technology.
He promoted the National Space Institute, became the first president and chairman of the National Space Society, and was even awarded the National Medal of Science.
Wernher von Braun died in 1977 from pancreatic cancer as a naturalized citizen of the United States.
Causes of the Space RaceBy the mid-1950s, the U.S.-Soviet Cold War had worked its way into the fabric of everyday life in both countries, fueled by the arms race and the growing threat of nuclear weapons, wide-ranging espionage and counter-espionage between the two countries, war in Korea and a clash of words and ideas carried out in the media. These tensions would continue throughout the space race, exacerbated by such events as the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961 and the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 and the outbreak of war in Southeast Asia.
Space exploration served as another dramatic arena for Cold War competition, after LBJ questioned whether we should go to be by the "light of a communist Moon."
On October 4, 1957, a Soviet R-7 intercontinental ballistic missile launched Sputnik (Russian for “traveler”), the world’s first artificial satellite and the first man-made object to be placed into the Earth’s orbit. Sputnik’s launch came as a surprise, and not a pleasant one, for most of us. In the United States, space was seen as the next frontier, a logical extension of the grand American tradition of exploration, and it was crucial not to lose ground to the Soviets. In addition, this demonstration of the overwhelming power of the R-7 missile–capable of delivering a nuclear warhead onto the continental US–made gathering intelligence about Soviet military activities particularly urgent and, correspondingly, the construction of similar missiles in America.
In 1959, the Soviet space program took another step forward with the launch of Luna 2, the first space probe to hit the moon. In April 1961, the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first person to orbit Earth, traveling in the capsule-like spacecraft Vostok 1. For the U.S. effort to send a man into space, dubbed Project Mercury, NASA engineers designed a smaller, cone-shaped capsule far lighter than Vostok; they tested the craft with chimpanzees and held a final test flight in March 1961 before the Soviets were able to pull ahead with Gagarin’s launch. On May 5, astronaut Alan Shepard became the first American in space (though not in orbit).
Later that May, President John F. Kennedy made the bold, public claim that the U.S. would land a man on the Moon, "Not because it is easy but because it is hard," before the end of the decade. In February 1962, John Glenn became the first American to orbit Earth, and by the end of that year, the foundations of NASA’s lunar landing program–dubbed Project Apollo–were in place.
On July 3, 1969, the secret Soviet Moon rocket known as the N-1 had exploded in an enormous explosion at the remote launch site at Baikonur in Kazakhstan, destroying one of two launch pads. In his private diary that night, Soviet astronaut Nikolai Kamanin wrote a lament: “We are desperate for a success. But all such hopes were dispelled by the powerful explosion of the rocket five seconds after launch…the failure has put us back another one or one-and-a-half years....”
In the Soviet Union, nothing was spoken of the failure in public. In fact, the iron-fisted secrecy that had shrouded the early Soviet space program came in handy as those initial successes were now eclipsed by a series of disasters. As Yaroslav Golovanov, a sharp-tongued journalist for the Soviet newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda noted, “Secrecy was necessary so that no one would overtake us. But later, when they did overtake us, we had to maintain secrecy so that no one knew that we had been overtaken.”
The Soviet lead over the Americans in the early days of the Space Age had seemed almost unassailable and indicated their need for ICBMs. Beginning with Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite, in 1957, they racked up an unprecedented series of firsts: the first satellite, the first dog in space, the first human in space, the first spacewalk, the first soft landing on the moon, and the first lunar rover. These accomplishments required smart people and good designs, as well as the ability to organize high-tech teams for singular tasks. If the Soviet Union could do all that, why did it not land a cosmonaut on the Moon and allow the US to gain unmatched supremacy?
NASA’s firing of a Saturn I rocket in May 1964, with a boilerplate Apollo Command and Service Module (CSM), that alarmed Soviet managers the most. Before that, the U.S. schedule for reaching the moon could be discounted as tentative. But who could disregard an actual Apollo spacecraft in orbit? Two months later, Korolev arranged a meeting with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev at the Kremlin and convinced him to commit to a project that could beat Apollo to the surface of the moon. Khrushchev signed off on the plan on August 3, 1964. At that point, Korolev and his engineers were just beginning to solidify the architecture of the moon project, which included a souped-up N-1 capable of delivering 95 tons to Earth orbit, a lunar-orbit-rendezvous strategy (similar to NASA’s), and a one-person lunar lander. By then, Apollo was already well on its way, and the U.S. lead would prove to be formidable.
The late start, however, was not the only—or even the most important—problem. The Soviet defense industry was beset with a chaotic management system completely at odds with what we might imagine for a socialist economy. While NASA was a centralized, top-down system run by the federal government, the Soviet space program acted more like a socialist version of a competitive market. But rules were followed only half the time, and the program was held hostage by bureaucratic gridlock, the whims of powerful individuals and with centralised planning for the entire economy.
Managers like Korolev operated their own little fiefdoms. He had worked closely with the design firm of Valentin Glushko, which made high-performance, liquid-propellant rocket engines. Korolev and Glushko had known each other as young men in the early 1930s, and, although their friendship had been rocky (especially during the Stalinist purges, when they were forced to denounce each other), they managed to remain on cordial terms until the late 1950s. The battle over the N-1, though, completely destroyed any decorum, to the point where they refused to be in the same room together.
The feud was more than just personal. Glushko, in 1960 and 1961, had begun to move all his resources to developing rocket engines that used storable propellants, which were more suitable for ICBMs that had to be on permanent standby. This made pragmatic sense, since the Soviet Union was gearing up for a massive buildup of its ICBM force in the 1960s. Korolev, however, argued that cryogenic (supercold) fuel such as liquid hydrogen would generate much more lifting capacity for a moon rocket. In the summer of 1962, a commission evaluated Glushko’s designs for the N-1 and those of Nikolai Kuznetsov, a newcomer to the rocket engine business who was willing to use cryogenics as Korolev wanted. The commission ruled in favor of Kuznetsov.
In a market economy, the loser of a design competition is expected to move on with other newer projects.
In the Soviet space program, that didn’t happen. Glushko had influential friends in the Communist Party and allies in the space program. He partnered with a fellow usurper, Vladimir Chelomei, who oversaw a giant conglomerate of firms that designed ICBMs and cruise missiles. In 1967, when Korolev’s N-1 program was moving full-steam ahead, Glushko and Chelomei managed to secure approval from the Politburo to mount a parallel project, known as the UR-700, to compete with Korolev’s moon rocket. It was as if a NASA contractor refused to accept that it lost out to another firm, and just kept going with its own version. Although the UR-700 was later canceled, such cases—and there were many in the Soviet space and missile programs—dissipated badly needed but limited resources.
Organizational chaos also plagued the lunar plan itself. From the earliest days, Korolev and others considered a cosmonaut flight to orbit the moon as a separate mission from a lunar landing, even though logically they could have been integrated into a single program. The separation continued into the late 1960s, even as it made less and less sense. Eventually, Korolev and Chelomei agreed to cooperate on a program known as L-1, whose only goal was to send a crew of two cosmonauts around the moon and bring them back to Earth. That project, publicly known as Zond, failed to pay dividends after its launch rocket, Chelomei’s new Proton, failed three times to reach Earth orbit in 1967 and 1968. Zond-4 made it to deep space, but came down way off course in the Atlantic on its return, too close to the US for comfort and had to be destroyed by remote control.
All along, the Soviet moon program had suffered from another problem—lack of rubles. Massive investments required to develop new ICBMs and nuclear weapons so that the Soviet military could achieve strategic parity with the United States siphoned massive funds away from the space program. The organizations that designed strategic weapons, as well as the supporting electronics and ground infrastructure, were the exact same ones manufacturing hardware for the space program. While Korolev’s design bureau, OKB-1, was building the N-1 moon rocket, it was also producing the first-generation solid propellant ICBM. Resources were incredibly tight, and when the Strategic Rocket Forces, which essentially ran the Soviet space program, made decisions to allocate funding, it naturally favored strategic and military programs over what it considered useless space spectaculars. The latter was used by Leonid Brezhnev to replace Nikita Khrushchev.
A lack of money and time contributed directly to one of the most fateful decisions of the N-1 program, to forgo ground testing of the first stage before flight. This meant that each launch of the N-1—there were four attempts, all failures, from February 1969 to November 1972—was conducted without ever having tested the first stage on a fixed test stand first, which even then some in the USSR considered absolute insanity, considering the novelty of its design.
Kuznetsov, the engine’s designer, had decided to adopt a very advanced and highly risky (at the time) process known as staged combustion. This meant that the thrust had to be relatively low—about 150 tons at sea level—compared to the F-1 engines in the Saturn V, which equated to about 690 tons. To generate the needed thrust, Korolev and Kuznetsov decided to put 30 engines at the base of the N-1’s first stage. But that decision created more problems: How do you synchronize the thrust and vectors of so many engines firing at once? What if one or two fail? These potential anomalies required serious attention, and could have been solved by constructing an expensive new ground test facility combined with computerised controls. But both would have cost money and time to build. The rancor over this issue became so intense that Korolev and one of his long-time deputies, Leonid Voskresensky, got into a screaming match, with Korolev threatening to beat him with a stick. Although Korolev later apologized, Voskresensky resigned in 1964 rather than participate in what he correctly saw was a doomed project.
ll four N-1 launches failed before the first stage even reached burnout. The second attempt, on July 3, 1969—with NASA’s Apollo 11 already sitting on the launch pad—was intended to send a Zond spacecraft into lunar orbit. No cosmonauts were on board, but it was meant to signal that the Soviets were close. Moments after the N-1 lifted off the pad, just after midnight at Baikonur, it fell back and exploded. The explosion was so intense, according to Valery Menshikov, a young rocket forces officer on duty, that “pieces of the rocket were thrown ten kilometers away, and large windows were shattered in structures 40 kilometers away. A 400-kilogram spherical tank landed on the roof of the installation and testing wing, seven kilometers from the launch pad.” In one spectacular moment, the moon race came to an end.
Through the effort, work, and influence of Wernher von Braun, it was possible for the United States to land on the Moon in 1969. Overall, had it not been for the initiative and accomplishments of von Braun, the United States would have either made it the Moon far later than 1969 or would have never landed on the Moon at all. To clearly understand how the United States landed a man on the Moon in 1969, it is essential to acknowledge the significant accomplishments and work of Wernher von Braun during the 1950s and 1960s. These accomplishments can be categorized into two structures: his decisive advocacy and leadership and his critical administrative and scientific endeavors at NASA. Von Braun was fundamental in the design of the systems and the construction of the rockets which enabled the United States to land on the Moon in 1969.
But there is more to von Braun's story than the SS, Dora, Mittelbau, his horrific use of concentration camp labor.
Unabashed by the shocking acts of anti-civil rights brutality and murder carried out with impunity during his first year in office, George Wallace made a brief presidential run in 1964. A national political force and a viable potential presidential candidate for 1968, Wallace was now poised to take credit for Huntsville's part in getting a man on the moon. NASA turned to the flight center's director, Wernher von Braun, to shield it from being drawn into the governor's segregationist agenda.
Von Braun corralled the governor, the legislators and the press into a holding area and treated them to a rare and explosive show—a static firing of the Saturn V rocket’s first stage. This was just like an Apollo rocket launch with all the suspense, the countdown and all the noise, just without the launch itself. Afterwards, while everyone stayed in the visitors’ area “for safety reasons,” von Braun and Webb walked out and lectured their captive audience about race. Alabama needed to offer all the same opportunities as other states, von Braun remarked. “The era belongs to those who can shed the shackles of the past,” he said, which the New York Times took as a reference to slavery. Wallace never came back to Huntsville for the remainder of NASA’s mission to the Moon.
While Dr Wernher von Braun, and many other Nazi scientists working for the US missile programs, wore a coat of many colors, part being SS black, his direction of NASA's moon attempt and his corralling and subjugation of Gov. George Wallace seem to indicate that somewhere in the heart of this one time Nazi Party member lay a growing appreciation for offering the fruits of American democracy to all citizens.