Thailand Burma Railway

The Burma Railway, also known as the Death Railway, is 415,000m in length and goes from Ban Pong in Thailand to Thanbyuzayat in Burma. It was constructed in 1943 by Asian laborers and prisoners of war, who were subjected to incredibly harsh conditions. As many as 250,000 civilians were estimated to have worked on the construction of the railway and 61,000 prisoners. Around 90,000 civilians died along with 12,000 prisoners; hence the name ‘the Death Railway’. The line was closed in 1947. I visited the bridge over the River Kwai in Thailand, which was made famous in Pierre Bouelle’s book and the film based on it ‘The Bridge on the River Kwai’, which apparently did not show the true extent of how the constructors were treated. The conditions were described as horrific; they were malnourished, with difficult working conditions and suffered terrible illness. Some were subjected to torture and punishment from the guards. 

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