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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Unbroken

Just finished reading "Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand, which is the story of Louis Zamperini's extraordinary life as an American Olympic Athlete who was imprisoned by the Japanese in WWII.
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In the Berlin Olumpics 5000 meter men's track and field event, he received the praise of Adolph Hitler for his furious finish.
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He survived over 40 days on a raft in the Pacific during which time he was strafed by Japanese aircraft then utimately picked up by a Japanese naval vessel after drifing over 2000 miles.
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During the next two years in Japanese prison camps, he endured unimaginable torture at the hands of sadistic prison guards. 
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Zamperini has since forgiven his Japanese captorshaving embraced Christianity, but it is hard to read this book without feeling disgust at the brutality of the Japanese with their atrocities of human enslavement with massive rape, genocide, and torture.  Their policy of "kill all POW's" in the event of their possible liberation and their mass murder of Chinese, Polynesian, Korean and other civilians puts them shoulder to shoulder with the Nazis.
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Like the Nazi's, they viewed themselves as a superior race, when in fact their actions made them sub-human. Isn't it ironic that within the framework of our own lives, the cultures that proclaimed themselves as superior were morally and humanly the opposite?
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Zamperini is still alive and lives in California.
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I came to this book by way of Ryan who received it from Pat Piscatelli in a class move of sending it to FreshAyer.
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A riveting read.

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