INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE FOR THE HISTORY OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR
Report on Conference at the International Congress of the Historical Sciences, Jinan, 27-28 August 2015
The International Committee for the History of the Second World War convened on 27-28 August 2015 during the International Congress of the Historical Sciences at Jinan, China. Its purpose was to conduct a conference and to hold in five-yearly General Assembly.
The proceedings of the Conference are detailed at the conclusion of the report, Appendix I.
Papers by European, Asian and Australian scholars, were grouped into two themes: Cultural Reflections on World War II; and World War II in Asia: Problems and Legacies. In the event there was a considerable and productive overlap between the two themes.
It was widely agreed that the papers and subsequent discussions were of considerable academic value. In particular the spread of the papers, across European and Asian–Pacific topics allowed for very valuable cross-cultural and transnational discussions. The President, Joan Beaumont, undertook to explore the possibility of publication of then proceedings, with appropriate publishers.
B. General Assembly
The Conference convened as the General Assembly of the ICHSWW at 17:00 hours on Thursday 27 August.
B.1 President’s report
The President, Joan Beaumont, opened the meeting by reporting that the Committee had been largely inactive in the past five years. The reasons for this included, in her opinion: the difficulties of her being located in Australia, at a significant distance from major academic centres in both Europe and Asia; the difficulties of communication with the National Committees which form the members of the ICHSWW; and the lack of any academic conferences organized by members of the Bureau in the intervening period between the Congresses in Amsterdam (2010) and Jinan (2010). Although the web site of the ICHSWW had been redesigned, http://www.historyworldwar2.net/ this too had proved largely inactive. The meeting was therefore asked to consider the future role, if any, of the Committee; and the appropriateness of its current membership.
The President also recorded, with appreciation, the attendance at the meeting of representatives of the Vatican and Luxembourg and the active support of Professor Hu Dekun of Wuhan University who had convened a conference in 2008, the proceedings of which were published: Hu Dekun (ed.),The Experience of Occupation 1931-1949, Wuhan University Press, Wuhan, China. It was noted that advice had been received in 2014 that the Polish National Committee no longer wished to remain a member.
B.2 Treasurer’s Report
The Treasurer, Peter Romijn presented a report. The financial position of the ICSWW is currently healthy with a balance of over 23,000 euros; and the Committee is in the position to reimburse some of the costs of participants in the Conference at Jinan. The meeting decided to accept the report and discharge the Treasurer of his accountability for the January 2011 -June 2015 term.
B.3 General discussion
A general discussion followed, with agreement on the following points:
1. Given that 2020 will be the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, the Committee should continue its activities at least until that time. It should convene a conference at the 2020 International Congress of the Historical Sciences (now known to be at Poznan, Poland).
2. The conference at Jinan had proved that the ICHSWW continues to have the value of providing a “neutral” forum at which scholars from both Europe and the Asia-Pacific region can meet and discuss their research in a way that enables transnational comparisons, and positions World War II as a truly global conflict. This alone is reason enough for its continuation.
3. The focus of the Committee should remain on the history of World War II as a global conflict, rather than be widened to include other conflicts or the history of 20th century conflict more generally.
4. The formal membership of the ICSWW should remain unchanged, as the subventions paid by the National Committees are essential to the Committee’s financial viability; but future activities of the Committee should be advertised internationally to attract individual researchers.
5. The Committee should ensure that in the period 2015 to 2020 there was at least two intervening workshops/conferences, one in Asia and one in Europe.
6. These workshops should preferably be organized in conjunction with organization with cognate interests: e.g. Global War Studies.
7. Efforts should be made to extend the reach of the ICHSWW to the United States.
8. Responsibility for convening conferences between 2015 and 2020 should reside with individual members of the Committee. Those who expressed a willingness to undertake such a role in the future were: Professors Dieter Pohl, Peter Romijn, and Tanja Penter (possible workshop at Heidelberg): Dr Ayla Aglan (possible workshop in France?); Professor Michael Kim (workshop in Korea, possibly on the Sino-Japanese wars?); Dr Martijn Eickhoff (in collaboration with Indonesian colleagues?); Professor Joan Beaumont (ANU, in collaboration with the National University of Singapore?).
9. The proceedings of the Jinan conference should be published. Dr David Ulbrich offered to work with Professor Joan Beaumont as a coeditor.
10. The composition of the Bureau was not as important to the future of the Committee as its having an active program of activities. Hence the Bureau would remain as currently constituted until the end of 2015. [Later it was agreed that that a meeting of Bureau members and proposed workshop convenors might occur in Heidelberg in February 2016]. For the interim the Bureau remains President: Joan Beaumont; General Secretary, Chantal Kesteloot; Treasurer, Peter Romijn; members, Michael Kim, Xu Lan, Tanya Penter and Dieter Pohl.
The meeting concluded at 18:00 hours.
THE INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE FOR THE HISTORY OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR
Conference program, Jinan 27-18 August 2015
Organizer: Joan Beaumont (The Australian National University, Canberra)
Session 1: Cultural reflections on World War II
Thursday 27 August afternoon (1.00-5.00pm)/Jeudi 27 août après-midi (13.00-17.00h)
- Tanja PENTER (Heidelberg University): Visual artists, World War II victims and victimization processes in Belarus
- Bozo REPE (University of Ljubljana) Impact of the Artistic Production about World War II on Yugoslav Society and on the Disintegration of the State
- Chantal KESTELOOT (CEGESOMA Brussels): Literature in Belgium and Social Representations of WWII (1944-1950)
- Dieter POHL (Universität Klagenfurt, Institut für Geschichte): World War II in East European Film 1955-1985
- Bernd MARTIN (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg): From the Pacific War to Good Neighbourliness
General Assembly : the future of the Committee
Thursday 27 August afternoon (5.00-6.30 pm) Jeudi 27 août après-midi (17.00-18.30h)
Session 1: Cultural reflections on World War II (continuation)
Friday 28 August morning (9 am–12.30pm)/Vendredi 28 août matin (9-12.30h)
- Alya AGLAN (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne): Representations of war through the joint reading of two novels: French Suite Irene Nemirovsky (2002) and The Silence of the Sea Vercors (1942)
- David ULBRICH (Rogers State University): 'Self' and 'Other': Constructions of Race and Gender in the U.S. Marine Corps in World War II.
- Martijn EICKHOFF(Radboud University Nijmegen): The legacies of the 'Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere' in archaeology: the Japanese Borobudur-excavation (Java; Autumn 1943) as a case study
- Fumitaka KUROSAWA (Tokyo Women’s Christian University): Reconsideration of Perceptions of Modern History in Post-war Japan
- Peter ROMIJN (NIOD, Amsterdam): The Limits of Military Justice - the failure of prosecuting war crimes committed by Dutch troops in Indonesia, 1946-1949
Session 2: World War II in Asia: problems and legacy
Friday 28 August afternoon (2-5 pm)/ Vendredi 28 août après-midi (14.00-17.00h)
- Hu DEKUN (Council of Chinese Association for the WWII): The Legacy of World War II: An Investigation on the Early Post War Territorial Polices of Japan and the Cause of the Territorial Disputes in East Asia
- Kiyofumi KATO (The National Institute of Japanese Literature, Tokyo): The Soviet Entry into the Pacific War and the Establishment of a New Order in Northeast Asia: Japanese Repatriation in International Politics
- Joan BEAUMONT (Australian National University) The politics of burying the dead in Asia after World
Abstracts and Biographical details
TANJA PENTER: Visual artists, World War II victims and victimization processes in post-Soviet Belarus"
Since the 1990s the public acknowledgement of World War II victims (as well as of victims of the Chernobyl catastrophe) became an important part of the post-Soviet nation-building processes in Belarus. At the beginning of the 1990s the foundation “Understanding and Reconciliation” was initiated by the Belarusian Council of Ministers, which became responsible for the implementation of two (German financed) compensation programmes for World War II victims, especially former forced labourers. Other than in Putin’s Russia, in Belarus these programmes remained important government projects under president Lukashenka. Moreover national laws were passed in Belarus, which granted new social benefits to these victims. So, after the end of the Soviet Union many WWII victims for the first time were publically acknowledged as and perceived of themselves as victims. They organised various victim organisations on regional and national levels and paid artists to capture their experience of suffering in paintings. Several Belarussian artists specialised in this new field of victim art to make their living. The paper draws upon the role these artists played for the representation of new groups of WWII victims in the public space and asks in how far this new visual culture became part of the official public memory culture on WWII in Belarus.
Tanja Penter is Professor of Eastern European history at Heidelberg University in Germany. She completed a Ph.D. thesis at the university of Cologne/ Germany on the history of the Russian Revolution (Odessa 1917. Revolution an der Peripherie, Koeln, Wien 2000) and a habilitation thesis at the university of Bochum/ Germany on working and everyday life experiences of the population in the Eastern Ukrainian Donbass region during Stalinism and German occupation in World War II. From 2007 until 2010 she was coordinator of an international research project at Bochum University (contemporary history) on the history of the latest German compensation program for former forced labourers. She is author of numerous articles on the history of Russia and Ukraine and was Pearl Resnick postdoctoral research fellow at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C.
BOZO REPE: Impact of the Artistic Production about World War II on Yugoslav Society and on the Disintegration of the State
Note: Paper was read in Professor Repe’s absence, owing to illness, by Professor Joan Beaumont
Yugoslav art devoted a great deal of attention to World War II. There were several reasons for this. The National Liberation Struggle was an existential struggle of the Yugoslav nations and the Yugoslav resistance movement was one of the strongest and earliest ones in Europe. Another reason for it was that the political leadership, led by Josip Broz – Tito, founded itself on the National Liberation Struggle and the simultaneous communist revolution. Consequently, it made sure in the post-war decades that both topics were in the forefront of cultural activity, either literary or of sculpture, painting, theatre and, in particular, of film. Josip Broz – Tito dedicated special attention to the latter, as he was a great film lover (he saw at least one every evening) and directly interfered in the Yugoslav film production. The culmination of war films was represented by the films Sutjeska and Neretva; in the latter Tito was played by Richard Burton. As time went by other topics gradually began to prevail, yet the war still remained important; this is particularly true in the case of the emphasis on the brotherhood and unity of Yugoslav nations that had been given rise to by their common anti-fascist struggle. After Tito's death in 1980 the ideological screw gradually began to loosen. The discussion of World War II and the National Liberation Struggle once again became the central topic, but was this time viewed from another angle. Art did in fact bring up a few suppressed and delicate topics, yet was at the same time used for the ruthless settling of scores among the Yugoslav nations and for emphasising the crimes and injustice supposedly caused by others during the war (Croats to Serbs, Serbs to Croats, one or the other to the Muslims and, of course, vice versa, and Albanians to Serbs, Serbs to Albanians etc). Modern Yugoslav nationalisms were being founded precisely on the historical topics from World War II, while the artistic production, in particular the literary, theatre and film production, paved the way for unbridled nationalisms that in the end brought about the bloody disintegration of the state.
Bozo Repe: is a Full Professor at the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana. Between 1999 and 2000, he was Head of the Department of History. Since 2009, he has been the project manager of the group Slovene History. His research area includes contemporary Slovene, Southern Slavic and Central European history. He also deals with the issues of history lessons in schools. He was a visiting professor at Vytatus Magnus University in Kaunas and he delivered guest lectures at other universities and institutes, such as the Universities of Vienna, Bratislava and Graz, Charles University in Prague and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim. He has done research at the institutes Österreichisches Ost-und Südosteuropa-Institut in Vienna and Institut d’histoire du temps présent in Paris.
CHANTAL KESTELOOT, Literature in Belgium and Social Representations of WWII (1944-1950)
In the aftermath of WWII, the impact left by the conflict in Belgium was visible everywhere. Indeed, the war experience pervaded social representations, political issues, legal questions etc. The cultural field was also heavily affected, and the Second World War appeared as a central topic in literature. In Belgium two rather different types of literature coexisted: French-language literature remained in the Paris orbit, although this influence had been somewhat upset by the war, whereas Dutch-language literature was still largely asserting its identity in a country where the elite was still francophone. It is therefore relevant to ask whether the war interfered with this process. If the assumption that the resistance movement’s language was French, whereas Flemish nationalism largely took the collaboration turn is true, was this situation reflected in literature? As far as its experience was concerned, was literature attuned with society when the war was over? This contribution will focus on the immediate after war years to question literary production in a broad sense but also other forms in which social representations are manifested. Were there mutual influences? Did the literary field remain at the margin or did it, on the contrary, contribute to shape what we know of the contrasted representations of WWII in French and Dutch-speaking societies?
Chantal Kesteloot is doctor in contemporary history (ULB, 2001) where she obtained her doctoral thesis in 2001 on the Walloon movement and Brussels from 1912 to 1965. She has joined the permanent team of the Centre for Historical Research and Documentation on War and Contemporary Society (CEGESOMA) in 1992. She is currently in charge of the sector public history as well as chief editor of the Journal of Belgian History. Her main areas of interest are the history of the Walloon movement; the question of Brussels, memory of the war and Belgian history; issues of nationalism and national identities. Among her latest publications, (with Laurence van Ypersele and Emmanuel Debruyne), Brussels. Memory and War (1914-2014), , Brussels, La Renaissance du Livre, 2014; "The role of the War in National Societies: The Examples of Belgium, Luxembourg and the Nederlands", in Jörg Echternkamp & Stefan Martens (dir.), Experience and Memory. The Second World War in Europe, Oxford, Berghahn, 2010., Bruxelles sous l'Occupation 1940-1944, Bruxelles, Luc Pire/CEGES-SOMA, 2009 (Villes en guerre), België. Een parcours van herinnering onder redactie van Jo Tollebeek (hoofdredacteur), Geert Buelens, Gita Deneckere, Chantal Kesteloot, Sophie de Schaepdrijver, Amsterdam, Bert Bakker, 2008, 2 vol.
DIETER POHL: World War II in Eastern European film from the 1950s to the 1980s
Eastern Europe was the epicentre of war and occupation in World War II Europe, and, due to the communist rule after 1945, developed a very specific culture of war memory after 1945, by and large dominated by official history politics. Due to the limits of public discourse and historiography, culture became a specific field of war memory, especially literature and film. After a comparatively liberal period up until 1948 in East Central Europe, culture was by and large uniform during late Stalinism until the mid-1950s. From then on, an important film culture developed, sometimes even compared to the "Nouvelle Vague" in France, which included distinguished films on war and occupation, addressing even otherwise avoided subjects like collaboration or the mass murder of Jews. Three major patterns evolved: the Central-European including films by Wajda and Munk, the Soviet spectre of propaganda and neglected artistic war films, and the Yugoslav partisan film. To a certain degree, these enabled a broader discourse on the war than in the media, and shaped the war memory of the post-experience generations.
Dieter Pohl is Professor for contemporary history at the Alpen Adria University in Klagenfurt, Austria. He worked for 15 years at the Institute for Contemporary History in Munich. He is co-editor of the 16 volume document series on the Persecution and Murder of European Jews, which is being published since 2007. His recent publications include: Sowjetische Strafverfahren gegen Kollaborateure, in: A. Benz, M. Vulesica (ed.), Bewachung und Ausführung. Alltag der Täter in nationalsozialistischen Lagern. Berlin: Metropol 2011, pp. 101-111; Vernichtungskrieg: Der Feldzug gegen die Sowjetunion 1941-1944 im globalen Kontext, in: Einsicht. Bulletin des Fritz Bauer Instituts 6, 2011, pp. 16-31; Massengewalt und der Mord an den Juden im »Dritten Reich«, in: Jahrbuch des Fritz-Bauer-Instituts 2012, S. 107-124; L'occupation allemande et les crimes de masse en Europe de l'Est, in: Jean-Paul Cahn, Stefan Martens, Bernd Wegner (Hg.): Le Troisième Reich dans l'historiographie allemande. Lieux de pouvoir - Rivalités de pouvoirs, Paris: Septentrion 2013, S. 341-350 ; Massenverbrechen im 20. Jahrhundert – Kontinuität und Bruch, in: Schöpfer, G., Stelzl-Marx, B. (Hrsg), Wirtschaft Macht Geschichte. Brüche und Kontinuitäten im 20. Jahrhundert. Festschrift für Stefan Karner. Graz: Leykam 2012, S. 275-290; Die nationalsozialistische Vernichtungspolitik und ihre Kontexte um die Jahreswende 1941/42, in: Norbert Kampe und Peter Klein (Hrsg.): Die Wannsee-Konferenz am 20. Januar 1942. Forschung und historische Deutung, Köln: Böhlau Verlag, 2013, S. 169-181.
MARTIJN EICKHOFF: The legacies of the 'Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere' in archaeology: the Japanese Borobudur-excavation (Java; Autumn 1943) as a case study
In conjunction with the increasing interest in the cultural legitimation of the Japanese territorial expansion during World War II, this paper discusses the phenomenon 'Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere'-archaeology, as it was coined by Hashizume Hideichi in 1997. Only since the late 1990s, research has focused on how Japanese archaeological excavations in various occupied countries positioned the Japanese Empire as the centre of a newly unified Asia, liberated from Western influences. However, it is not yet clear how contemporaneously various people and groups continued to engage with the archaeological sites involved in the context of parallel or competing political, religious and ethnical imaginings, as for example the (post-)colonial state, the Greater-India-Movement or the diverse forms of Pan-Asian thinking. In order to understand the lack of debate or reflection on Japanese archaeological activities in the context of the ‘Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity sphere’, this paper will focus on a specific case, namely the archaeological excavation of the south-east corner of the Borobudur-shrine in central Java of the autumn of 1943. This project was started by Furusawa Yasujirō, a Japanese civil servant, scholar of English literature and at the time an officer for cultural affairs attached to the Japanese military government in Magelang (Central Java, nearby Borobudur). What were Yasujirō’s motives and how did concepts of Asian unity, colonial and anti-colonial thinking and the cultural legitimation of the Japanese expansion interact during this archaeological intervention? Are there any connections with the earlier colonial and later post-colonial archaeological excavations in Indonesia? To what extent can the excavation be compared with national-socialist archaeology in occupied Europe? Which legacies (intellectual/spiritual and material) of the wartime Japanese archaeological initiatives can still be traced in contemporary Asia?
Martijn Eickhoff is senior researcher at NIOD – Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies in Amsterdam and assistant professor in Cultural History at Radboud University Nijmegen. He wrote his PHD on national-socialist archaeology and is a specialist in the historical culture of regime change and times of mass violence in Europe and Asia; in his work he combines micro-history with long-term perspectives. At present, he is collaborating with Dr. Marieke Bloembergen (Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies - KITLV) and archaeologists and historians of the Universitas Gadjah Mada in Yogyakarta/Indonesia in a project about archaeology and heritage in (post)-colonial Indonesia.
ALYA AGLAN: Les représentations de la guerre à travers la lecture croisée de deux romans: Suite française d'Irène Némirovsky (2002) et le Silence de la mer de Vercors (1942)
Ces deux textes mettent en scène, dans la France occupée, les relations entre Français et Allemands en province. Le premier, découvert tardivement, a été écrit en 1942 dans le même temps historique que le Silence de la mer, diffusé clandestinement en France et plus largement à travers le monde. Comment la guerre est-elle réinterprétée dans l'intimité des familles et dans la cohabitation forcée entre villageois et soldats de la Wehrmacht? Comment les individus aménagent des relations dans le voisinage de l'ennemi? Comment les facteurs culturels influencent-ils l'appréhension du conflit mondial? Comment l'écriture romanesque s'articule-t-elle avec le récit historique qu'elle transporte?
Alya Aglan is Professor of Contemporary History at Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. His publications include: MémoiresRésistantes. Histoire du réseau Jade-Fitzroy : 1940-1944, Prix Philippe Viannay-Défense de la France 1993, Paris, Editions du Cerf, 1994, 339 pages; La Résistance sacrifiée. Le Mouvement Libération-Nord, Paris, Editions Flammarion, 1999, 456 pages. réédité dans la collection Champs Flammarion, janvier 2006; Le Temps de la Résistance, Paris, Actes-Sud, 400 pages, avril 2008.
DAVID ULBRICH: ‘Self’ and ‘Other’: Constructions of Race and Gender in the U.S. Marine Corps in World War II
This paper will trace the Marine Corps’ portrayals of race and gender from the pre-war era through World War II. The early decades of the twentieth century in the Corps’ history were dominated by experiences in Latin America and China, where the Marines’ concepts of ‘self’ as caucasian heterosexual males and ‘other’ became firmly entrenched in terms of race and gender. Next, World War II provided the touchstone for the fullest development of Marine self-identification. Even when forced to accept women, African-Americans, and select minorities by, the Marine Corps’ senior leadership manipulated and limited opportunities for these unwanted groups. Such prejudiced mindsets can be seen in media representations, as well as in the decision-making processes inside the Corps. It is also worth noting that racial factors permeated the culture of the Marine Corps because of the horrors of combat against Japan – yet another “other” race.
David J. Ulbrich, Ph.D., is assistant professor of history at Rogers States University in Oklahoma, USA, where he teaches such courses at “War and Society,” “The Vietnam Conflict,” and “World War I.” He is also a senior instructor in Norwich University’s online Masters in Military History program, where he co-developed and teaches a seminar titled “Race and Gender in Military History.” In 2011, the Naval Institute Press published his first book titled Preparing for Victory: Thomas Holcomb and the Making of the Marine Corps, 1936-1943. This book won the “2012 General Wallace M. Greene Jr. Prize” for the outstanding book on Marine Corps history. More recently, Ulbrich and co-author Matthew Muehlbauer published the textbook Ways of War: American Military History from the Colonial Period to the Twenty-First Century (Routledge, 2014). This textbook is now adopted as required reading for all cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy, and under consideration as other U.S. military training institutions.
BERND MARTIN: From the Pacific War to a Policy of Good Neighborliness? The Japanese and their Past
This paper will consist of five chapters. Starting with the war tribunals, the IMTFE, and the political purges in Japan after formal capitulation, the second chapter will deal with the restoration of traditional concepts of history after the peace treaty in 1952 and the rewriting of text books. The third chapter will reflect on Japan’s burden of the past in her Asian policy, especially towards China. The fifth chapter will show how today’s territorial conflicts stemming from the past are reflected in recent text-books in Japan and China thereby deeply influencing a nationalist outlook which might block any settlement and even lead to military conflicts. Concluding remarks will concentrate on how history has been used as a political tool in both countries in order to confront and even humiliate the other side.
Bernd Martin is Professor of Modern History at the University of Freiburg 1976-2007, retired. His publications include "Deutschland und Japan im Zweiten Weltkrieg", Göttingen 1969, japanische Ausgabe 1969, 2. Auflage Hamburg 2003. [Germany and Japan in World War Two, 1969, Japanese edition 1969, 2nd German edition 2003] (Dissertation); "Friedensinitiativen und Machtpolitik im Zweiten Weltkrieg", 2. Auflage, Düsseldorf 1976 [Peace Initiatives and Power Politics in World War Two] (Second major thesis); Hg.: "Martin Heidegger und das "Dritte Reich", Darmstadt 1989 [Martin Heidegger and the Third Reich] ; Japan and Germany in the Modern World, Oxford and Providence (USA) 1995 , pocket book edition 2005; (With S. Lewandowska): Der Warschauer Aufstand 1944, Warschau 1999. Powstanie Warszawskie 1944, Warszawa 1999. [Warsaw Uprising 1944]. He holds the Order of Merit, Republic of Poland (1999) and the Medal of the Adam-Mickiewicz-University Poznan (Poland
FUMITAKA KUROSAWA: Reconsideration of Perceptions of Modern History in Post-war Japan
This paper examines the perceptions of modern Japanese history formed in Japan in the post-war period, with particular emphasis on the historical perceptions of the wars and colonial rule of the early Showa period. By this examination, this author would like to clarify the views of scholars of historical studies, who have been influenced either intentionally or unintentionally by domestic and international changes surrounding Japan. After the Japanese defeat of the Second World War, the historical perceptions of the pre-war Showa period were influenced by the ‘Pacific War’ theory disseminated by the General Head Quarters of the occupation forces as well as by the "joint conspiracy theory" adopted by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East. While these views were formed by GHQ’s occupation policy of Japan and not the outcome of academic studies, they greatly influenced the historical perceptions of Japanese people. It should be recognized, therefore, that Japanese people’s perceptions of pre-war Showa era were politically charged from the outset. It can be said that the historical view of modern Japan was inseparably linked with the political value of post-war Japanese people. It has been a common sense for scholars of Japanese history since pre-war periods that at least fifty years should elapse before any topic could be considered in fully academic way. Therefore, early post-war researches of Japan in pre-war Showa periods had the characteristics that they dealt with topics which could not be examined within the true ambit of scholarly research. Then, how have Japanese people changed perceptions of the pre-war Showa period since the 1970s with substantive developments in academic researches into the early Showa era?
Fumitaka Kuosawa is Professor of Japanese Modern History in the Division of International Relations, Department of Global Social Sciences at Tokyo Woman’s Christian University. His main research interests are the history of modern and contemporary Japan, its political and diplomatic dimensions in the inter-war period, and Japan’s military history. Publications in Japanese include Taisenkanki no Nihon Rikugun (Japanese Imperial Army between two World Wars), Tokyo, Misuzu Shobo, 2000; Nihonsekijyûjisya to Jindôenjyo ( Japanese Red Cross Society and the humanitarian aid), Tokyo, Tokyo Daigaku Syuppankai, 2009; Rekishi to Wakai ( History and Reconciliation), Tokyo, Tokyo Daigaku Syuppankai, 2011. He published also “Historical Perceptions and the Consciousness of War Responsibility: Scholarly Interpretations of Modern (Japanese) History in Postwar Japan”, Annals of The Institute for Comparative Studies of Culture, Tokyo Woman’s Christian University, 2013.
PETER ROMIJN : The Limits of Military Justice : The failure of prosecuting war crimes committed by Dutch troops in Indonesia, 1946-1949
After the Second World War in Asia had come to an end, a Dutch expeditionary army was sent to Indonesia to restore colonial rule. Together with colonial forces they engaged in long and bitter campaigns against the armed branches of the Indonesian independence movement and the newly-formed army of the Indonesian Republic. As a matter of fact, this war, that lasted until the end of 1949, and resulted in the end of Dutch colonial rule, was among the first violent wars of decolonization. The colonial concept of counter insurgency clashed with the independence movement’s strategy of engaging in a ‘people’s war’, and thus atrocities were committed on both sides and became an endemic aspect of warfare. I will study the occurrence of Dutch war crimes, and in particular address the question why prevention, prosecution, and punishment of such crimes largely failed. I will argue that ‘operational necessity as seen from the military perspective, generally guided the decisions about dealing with war crimes of the own troops.
Peter Romijn is a Senior Researcher at the NIOD and Professor of History at the University of Amsterdam. He has published extensively on collaboration, the Holocaust, crimes of war, regime change, and legal retribution, primarily related to the Second World War and its legacy, and is co-responsible for several collective research programs and project, including the report commissioned to the Dutch government on the massacre of Srebrenica, Bosnia (1995).
HU DEKUN & GUI LING: The Legacy of World War II: An Investigation on the Early Post War Territorial Polices of Japan and the Cause of the Territorial Disputes in East Asia
Approaching the end of World War II, in order to build new international order the Allies imposed punishment on Germany and Japan by expelling them from all territories taken by violence and greed and reassigned territories for them. After being defeated, Germany accepted the territories assigned by the Allies and restored the relation with neighbouring countries quickly. Different from Germany, Japan also as the defeated was expelled from “all other territories which she has taken by violence and greed” and “Japanese sovereignty shall be limited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku and such minor islands as we determine” as per the Cairo Declaration, Yalta Agreement and Potsdam Declamation. However, why Japan has territorial disputes with all neighbouring countries? By systematic reviews of its diplomatic documents between 1945 and 1951, this paper sorts out the territorial policies of the Japanese Government: from rejecting the Allies’ disposition of Japanese territories to claiming territories from the Allies by making use of disruption of the Allies during the Cold War. This originated Japan’s territorial disputes with China, the Soviet Union and South Korea. The diplomatic documents show that Japan did not thoroughly reflect on its colonial expansion and invitation. It believed that its occupation of Asian colonies as “legal” and “contributive”, and the Allies’ disposition of Japanese territories was “unfair”. Therefore, the territorial policies of Japan after the war were not giving up the territories taken by colonization and invasion willingly, but rejecting the Allies’ disposition in every way, which ultimately led to relentless disputes on territory with neighboring countries.
Hu Dekun is Dean and Professor of the Institute for International Studies, Wuhan University. Gui Ling is a doctoral student of the Institute for International Studies, Wuhan University.
KIYOFUMI KATO: The Soviet Entry into the Pacific War and the Establishment of a New Order in Northeast Asia: Japanese Repatriation in International Politics
Note: Paper was read in Professor Kato’s absence by Professor Yoichi Kibata, Professor of International Relations, Faculty of Law, Seijo University
The purpose of this paper is to analyze the political influence wielded by the Soviet Union in occupied Japanese imperial territories. The Soviet Union, which entered the war and attacked Japan in the last stage of the Second World War, played an important role in the final collapse of the Japanese Empire. As a result of its occupation of Manchuria, Dalian, North Korea and Sakhalin, the Soviet military faced the difficult problem of administering many Japanese civilians in these occupied areas. The Soviet Union took a negative attitude both toward administration of the Japanese and toward repatriation of the Japanese from occupied areas. This was because its interest was concentrated on the requisition of industrial properties from the occupied areas rather than on any political aim.
Kiyofumi Kato is Associate Professor, The National Institute of Japanese Literature, National Institutes for the Humanities. He graduated from the doctoral course, the Japanese history department, the graduate school of literary studies, Waseda University, March 2001. Publications include Dainipponteikoku no Houkai to Hikiage/Fukuin (The Disintegration of the Japanese Empire and Repatriation/Demobilization), Tokyo, 2012(a joint work); Dainipponteikoku Houkai (The Disintegration of the Japanese Empire), Tokyo, 2009; Mantetsu Zenshi (The History of South Manchuria Railway Company), Tokyo, 2006.
JOAN BEAUMONT : The politics of burying the Australian dead of World War IIin Asia
Given the tradition established by the Imperial War Graves Commission in World War I of burying service personnel close to their place of death rather than repatriating them, all Australian dead of the Asia Pacific war were buried in Asian countries. This is often assumed to have been uncontested. However, it was not always the case. This paper will explore the politics of the burial in Asia os Australian prisoners of war who died on Hainan Island ─ and who were exhumed and reburied after World War II not in that location, of even in nearby Thailand, but in the country of the very nation responsible for their deaths, Japan.
Joan Beaumont is Visiting Lim Chong Yah Professor at the National University of Singapore; and Professor, Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, ANU College of Asia and the Pacific, The Australian National University, Canberra. Her publications include the critically acclaimed Broken Nation: Australians and the Great War (Allen & Unwin, 2013), joint winner of the 2014 winner of the Prime Minister's Literary Award (Australian History), winner of the 2014 NSW Premier's Prize (Australian History), winner of the 2014 Queensland Literary Award for History. Other publications include (with Lachlan Grant and Aaron Pegram), Beyond Surrender: Australian Prisoners of War in the Twentieth Century (2015); ‘Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum, the Thai-Burma Railway’, in Bart Ziino and M. Wegner (eds), The Heritage of War: Cultural Heritage after Conflict, 2011, pp. 19-40; Australia's War, 1939-45 (ed.) (1996); and Gull Force: Survival and Leadership in Captivity, 1941-1945 (1988).