Unit 731 Did Horrible Things in WWII. Its Bunker Was Found

Archaeologists find a U-shaped bunker used by Japan's Unit 731
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted May 30, 2023 3:33 PM CDT
Unit 731 Did Horrible Things in WWII. Its Bunker Was Found
Another Unit 731 facility is shown in this historical photo.   (Wikimedia Commons)

Archaeologists in northeast China have unearthed a World War II "horror bunker," reports LiveScience. Researchers at the Heilongjiang Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology say the underground location was part of the largest research site used by the Japanese army's notorious Unit 731. This particular cluster of bunkers was built in 1941 near the city of Anda in Heilongjiang province; it, along with a test field and above-ground facilities, and is thought to have been the site of human experiments through the war's end. Under the banner of Unit 731, some 12,000 adults and children—among them Chinese, Korean, Russian, and American captives—were subjected to gruesome experiments.

Per LiveScience, they were "killed inside spinning centrifuges, injected with diseased animal blood, zapped with X-rays, vivisected without anesthesia, and kept inside low-pressure chambers until their eyeballs burst." What the archaeologists have found thus far includes one U-shaped facility measuring 108 feet long and 67 feet wide, reports the South China Morning Post. The purposes of the interconnecting rooms haven't been determined yet, but they're thought to have served purposes ranging from dissection rooms to dining areas.

The Independent reports the scientists stationed at the facility were studying the impact of pathogens on people, and used the research to spread typhoid, cholera, and plague throughout China. Part of the purpose of doing some of the work underground was to prevent pathogen spread. Unit 731 destroyed the Anda site in August 1945, and its precise location was lost for decades. Archaeologists have been working at the site since 2019. (Read more discoveries stories.)

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