Unbroken: The Story Of Unbroken By Laura Hillenbrand

Unbroken, a biography by Laura Hillenbrand is the story of Louis Zamperini, a loving family man, Olympic runner, and later serviceman in the army, and the struggles he faced in life throughout World War II and his strength in surviving. As a young man Louie joined the Army Air Force and became a bomber for a B-24 Liberator. In 1943 when Louie’s plane and crew crashed in the Pacific Ocean while they were on a mission, he managed to keep himself alive for over a month with little to no provisions for the duration of his drifting at sea. After over a month and finally spotting land, Louie was captured by a Japanese ship that had spotted his raft and taken as a prisoner of war. Louie survived numerous prisoner of war camps despite relentless torture …show more content…
POW camps held soldiers, sailors, airmen, and any individual that appeared to be a threat to the nation in a time of war. The Geneva Convention of 1929 declared that all prisoners should be treated humanely and that they were permitted to do labor, but “laborers had to be physically fit, and the labor couldn’t be dangerous, unhealthy, or of unreasonable difficulty. The work had to be unconnected to the operations of war, and POWs were to be given pay commensurate with their labor” (pg 234). To Japan the Geneva Convention meant nothing and they disregarded it in favor of treating prisoners as less than human. The Japanese guards inflicted punishments they deemed appropriate and created their own ruled for the prisoners to abide by. At the POW camps men lived paranoid of any attack or situation that would result in the Japanese enacting the kill all policy. “Japanese had plans to kill the POWs in the event they lost the war” (pg 302) because they believed surrendering was the ultimate sign of weakness, the worst thing a man could do to dishonor his country. POW camps severely crushed the moral of the Allied servicemen that resided there through the use of torture, humiliation, and …show more content…
Each of the POW camps Louis was transferred to were similar in the aspect of providing the prisoners with inadequate rations that excluded valuable parts of the diet such as essential nutrients or proteins; this made it impossible for the prisoners to gain any strength. Red Cross relief packages were frequently delivered to the camps, but officials stored and used them for personal gain rather than distributing the food to the men whom starvation was consuming. Conditions at the camp were negligent and disease was prevalent among majority of the men. Louie developed dysentery early in his time in Japan and it remained untreated the entirety of his stay until liberation due to the refusal of the Japanese to provide medication or any medical treatment for all illnesses no matter the severity. While at his final POW camp, Naoetsu, Louie injured his leg due to mistreatment from one of the guards, unable to work his rations already too small to survive on were halved. The guards were unethical and inhumane, but one in particular, nicknamed the Bird, the most vicious of all the Japanese officials he had encountered had a more personal vendetta against Louis. The Bird despised Louie for his status and rebellious, defiant nature; he ensured that Louis received the greatest amount of torment possible. Known for his utilization of both physical and emotional torture, the Bird contributed massively

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