Defending the Enemy
is an eyewitness account of an extraordinary time in America's history - the "Tokyo Trials."
From 1946-48, Elaine B. Fischel worked in Tokyo alongside the American attorneys assigned to defend the Japanese war criminals held responsible for the torture and deaths of millions of civilians and prisoners of war. She recounts the post-WWII transition in Japan to the country's occupation by their former enemy, and the subsequent surprise on the part of the Japanese citizenry that the U.S. allegiance to democracy meant providing a fair trial even to the men considered the most evil perpetrators of atrocities.
In letters to her family at the time, the author as a young woman tries to explain her relationships with the defendants and her own surprise at the growing fondness she felt for many of the "villains" of WWII-particularly prime minister and general Hideki Tojo, known during the war as "Razor."
Defending the Enemy is also the story of a young woman who wants to make the most of her time in a country so full of beauty. Fischel interweaves the activities and intrigues of the trial alongside her tales of travel throughout Japan, her social engagements with high-ranking military and civilians, and her unique enduring relationships, such as her friendship with Emperor Hirohito's brother, Prince Takamatsu. In doing so, Fischel illuminates the paradoxes inherent during this period in history.