Mitsubishi, Nippon Steel, ... and World War II Slave Labor

Harold W. Poole

The following is an excerpt from Harold W (Wood) Poole's Testimony/Statement to US Senate on June 2000 on his POW Slave Labor experience at Nippon Steel Corp:

Having survived the Death March and the hell ships, my greatest challenge was still ahead. 2 years of forced slave labor for Nippon Steel Corporation. We worked 7 days a week, 10 hours a day. We were starved, beaten and abused. We suffered disease, deprivation and depression. I nearly died twice, once from malaria, the other time from pnuemonia. We suffered from dysentery, beriberi, scurvy and pellagra. Many of these diseases resulted from surviving on starvation rations. If you became too ill to work, these already meager rations were further cut in half. Before the war broke out, I weighed 180 pounds. When we were finally liberated I weighed 97 pounds.

We worked at Nippon Steel doing heavy labor. Sometimes we unloaded freight cars, worked to supply a blast furnace, or unloaded ships. If you didn't work hard or fast enough, you were beaten. For a long time, we were not allowed to receive or send mail. It was several years before my mother even knew whether I was dead or alive.


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(Last Updated: January 15, 2004.)

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Some Keywords: World War 2, WWII, WW II, slave labor, slave labour, Nippon Steel, Japan, Mitsubishi

"Before the war broke out, I weighed 180 pounds. When we were finally liberated I weighed 97 pounds."

A Mitsubishi- Eclipse of Ethics presentation.