Japanese army atrocities in North Borneo becoming clearer

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Source: The Age, 1 September 1945

“600 Australians Die in Borneo – Victims of Savagery by Japanese”

That was the news topic that most probably sent tears and shock to the Australians and British people especially to those families who saw their young members were sent to North Borneo campaign during the course of World War II. This news report was probably among the firsts which told of Japanese army atrocities as told by war survivors. Yet, back then, most people from outside the war scene in North Borneo have little idea the scale of cruelty that befall on the war victims. Only recent years we started to recognise these victims and the associated events that we now know as the North Borneo Death Marches.

Itulah tajuk akhbar berita yang sudah pasti membuatkan mereka yang berada di Australia dan Britain terkejut dan sedih terutamanya kepada keluarga yang melihat pemuda mereka dihantar ke Borneo Utara ketika Perang Dunia Kedua. Laporan berita ini merupakan yang pertama menceritakan kekejaman tentera Jepun seperti yang diberitahu oleh mereka yang terselamat. Namun begitu, ramai yang berada di luar medan perang Borneo Utara masih kabur akan skala kekejaman yang menimpa mangsa perang. Hanya beberapa tahun kebelakangan ini kita mula mengiktiraf mangsa-mangsa peperangan ini dan kejadian yang berkaitan yang kini dikenali sebagai Perarakan Maut Borneo Utara.

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