No Uncle Sam: The Forgotten of Bataan

No Uncle Sam: The Forgotten of Bataan

No Uncle Sam: The Forgotten of Bataan

No Uncle Sam: The Forgotten of Bataan

Synopsis

"Anton Bilek was only twenty-two years old when he was captured in Bataan. No Uncle Sam is his story of survival through the Death March, his imprisonment under horrific conditions in the Philippines and Japan, and his servitude as a slave laborer in the Japanese coal mines. Bilek relates the frustration, anger, fear, humor, hope, and courage that he and the other prisoners shared during their captivity and their silence about these experiences for many years after their release from the POW camps. After almost 40 years, Bilek decided to write about his experiences, and this memoir is the result." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

t took a long time before I could muster up the courage to write about my eXperiences as a prisoner of war. Those who survived the POW camps, mostly through sheer luck and determination, wanted nothing more than to wipe out the memories of those bad times. After the surrender of Japan in August 1945, we POWs only wanted to move on to better lives: to find a career, get married, raise a family, and most of all forget about our terrible three-and-a-half-year ordeal.

Even though I had lived through that time, saw the things that I saw, and heard the things that I heard, even then most of my eXperience seemed like a bad dream. The real nightmare, even more than the abuse that we received as POWs, was the fact that our own government had coldly used us as pawns to play for time. It eXpended us to make up for its own failure to protect the nation and its servicemen from armed aggression. Revelations over the past few years have given credibility to the suspicion that America's entry into World War II may even have been clandestinely courted. If so, then to the POWs our national policy was unforgivable.

I would go to the POW reunions, but other than that I told myself the last thing my family wanted to dwell on was the rough time I had been through. Surely, they too wanted to bury the war and move on. During the decades that followed, we managed to do that, I thought.

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