Bizarre Human Experimentation: Unit 731

Unit 731 Complex
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When it comes to bizarre human behavior, Unit 731 is one of the most revolting and horrific examples. Of course, all human experiments beyond the most benign have something strange about them, but this was extreme. Unit 731 operated from the 1930's until the mid-1940's. It was a branch of the Japanese Imperial Army that was charged with developing chemical and biological weapons. This unit carried out some of the most heinous war crimes in history and this was around the same time Nazi doctor Josef Mengele was conducting his infamous experiments on twins, so that is saying something.

In order to give you a better idea of what kind of scumbags we are talking about here, let's take a look at what happened in a single camp. Thousands of Chinese and Russian prisoners were sent to Pingfang Camp. There, some 3,000 to 12,000 of them died at the hands of Japanese military researchers, many of them doctors. Most of the victims were Chinese. In one establishment, nearly 200 American POWs were killed in a medical experiment. It would be nice to say it was, "a medical experiment gone awry," but these people were not in the business of saving lives.

Among the examples of what Unit 731 did in its quest for knowledge are vivisections. In case you are unaware of what a vivisection is, think of it as an autopsy on the living. The procedure is not quite the same, but the point is to cut into the living person just to see what is going on inside of them. These procedures were not done humanely, if such a thing were even possible. Pregnant mothers were sliced into. Some of the victims were infants. Other atrocities include intentional freezing of limbs on live subjects, intentional spread of disease, unnecessary amputations, partial and total organ removal, attempts to infect prisoners using parasitic insects and germ warfare. Germ bombs dropped on China around this time killed up to 400,000 people. They even used humans to test the results of explosives on people.

Once World War II ended, so did Unit 731. Some of the doctors who were involved were taken to the Soviet Union to stand trial. Those caught by the United States were given immunity, of all things, because they coughed up what they learned in their experiments. Make of that what you will.