A 75-year-old Chinese woman whose husband was killed by Unit 731 testified Oct. 15 that she did not know until 1986 that her husband died in Japanese medical experiments in the early 1940s.Guo Jinglan of Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, is one of 10 Chinese war victims seeking a total of 120 million yen from the government for their mental anguish. “I thought my heart would explode out of sadness,” Guo said, as she testified at the Tokyo District Court about the moment she learned how her husband died. “Zhu Zhiying was murdered in such a horrible way.”Unit 731, the Imperial Japanese Army’s infamous germ warfare unit, is believed to have conducted medical experiments on thousands of Chinese prisoners of war and civilians before and during World War II. The unit’s activities were virtually unknown until the 1980s as members of the unit were under a gagging order and many official documents were destroyed immediately after the war.Guo told the hearing that Zhu Zhiying, her first husband, was a railroad worker and underground anti-Japanese activist in Harbin. But one day in July 1941 he failed to come home, and later in the day a group of Japanese military policemen came to the couple’s house and took Guo to their headquarters in Mudanjiang.She was interrogated about her husband’s involvement in the resistance movement, she said, adding that the officers beat her with a whip and a stick. She was taken to another room in the building where her husband was tied on a wooden cross and was being tortured, she testified.She was released seven days later, but Zhu never returned.In 1986, the head of a war museum visited her to tell her exactly how her husband died. The museum official revealed that Zhu was used for medical experimentation by the Imperial Japanese Army’s germ warfare unit. Guo’s father was also forcibly taken to Mudanjiang, where he was confined and tortured by the Japanese military police for 71 days, she said. Guo remarried in 1950 after hearing from a resistance group leader that Zhu had been killed by the Japanese.
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