Tue, Jun 09, 2009 - Page 1 News List

COMMUNITY COMPASS: POWs honored at Toroku camp

WORLD WAR II US and British prisoners of war who were held at Gouba Elementary School in Yunlin County say the local residents gave them food and cigarettes

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

“It’s only when I started to associate with the Taiwan POW Society that I was able to tell the stories in the wars,” he said.

Scholl talked in private about his experience fighting in World War II in the Philippines, in which he was almost killed on aircraft carrier, but was unable to speak at the ceremony because he was overcome with emotion.

The Japanese listed 4,344 POWs in Taiwan, with 15 POW camps. Except for the camp in Jinguashih, where some of the original structures remain, the other camps have been destroyed almost completely, Hurst said.

The recognition of the sites, however, will continue, he said.

The organization plans to hold a memorial ceremony at the remnants of the walls of Taipei Prison on Jinshan S Road on June 20 to commemorate the POWs who were executed in the old prison. It also plans to erect two more memorials at school camps in Yunlin County.

The stories of the POWs will be told even though the former POWs who spent part of their lives in Taiwan were unlikely to come to the island to tell their experiences in person.

“Our goal now is to bring their children and grandchildren here, and help them learn the past of their dads and granddad,” Hurst said.

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