(2007) When I heard Bataan Death March survivor Glenn D. Frazier speak at the Atlanta World War II Roundtable last month I bought his book, Hell’s Guest. I read a lot about Colonel Frazier on his personal website and of course I knew his story from Ken Burn’s The War.
So I was a little surprised at how much I learned from reading this book. I’ve read many POW accounts, most notably Unbroken, also about the treatment of our prisoners of war by their Japanese captors.
The difference was that this was written in the first person. Frazier was very honest about his actions and his feelings. He and the men he fought with did things that he admitted seemed to be necessary at the time but were not good.
Like Louis Zamperini (in Unbroken) Glenn’s war didn’t end on VJ Day. The doctors told him basically to “get over it.” He said he was afraid that if he had psychiatric treatment on his record that he’d never get a job. He had no idea where to go for help. “The horrors of the war were with me for the next twenty-nine to thirty years.”
Glenn Frazier finally turned to God and his church to deal with his destructive feelings of hatred and fear. His preacher told him he must forgive the Japanese. It wasn’t easy but he realized that “The Japanese did not even know I was in the world and here I was killing myself over my hatred for them.”
I do recommend the book. It won’t take long to read, and you will move along quickly as the author takes you from one tortured spot to the next as he was the Guest of the Emporer, Hell’s Guest.