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The Internment of Western Civilians under the Japanese 1941-1945: A patchwork of internment

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The Internment of Western Civilians under the Japanese 1941-1945: A patchwork of internment by Archer,Bernice, 9780714655925
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  • ISBN: 9780714655925 | 0714655929
  • Cover: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 7/6/2004
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Anyone with an interest in the Second World War in the Far East is familiar with military and Prisoner-of-War narratives. But how the 130,000 British, Dutch and American civilian men, women and children captured and interned by the Japanese in the Far East during the same period survived their internment is less well-known. How did these colonial people react to the sudden humiliation of surrender? How did they adapt to three-and-a-half years in Japanese camps in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines and the Dutch East Indies?TheInternment of Western Civilians under the Japanese 1941-1945addresses these questions. Bernice Archer's comparative study of the experiences of the Western civilians interned by the Japanese in mixed family camps and sexually segregated camps in the Far East combines a wide variety of conventional and unconventional course material. This includes: contemporary War, Foreign and Colonial Office papers, diaries, letters, camp newspapers and artifacts andpost-war medical, engineering and educational reports, biographies, autobiographies, memoirs and over 50 oral interviews with ex-internees. An investigation of evacuation policies reveals the moral, economic, political, emotional and racial dilemmas faced by the imperial powers and the colonial communities in the Far East. Using contemporary personally accounts, the shock of the Japanese victories and the devastating experience of capture are highlighted. Inside the camps, the author focuses on agency and survival demonstrating that far from being passive victims with no control over their lives, the interned Western civilian internees who used and adapted the social and cultural resources they inherited from the colonial world-such as the embroideries sewn by the women in the camps, and in particular, the three quilts made by the women in Changi-to survive their ordeal. The Internment of Western Civilians under the Japanese 1941-1945also covers wider issues such as the role ofwomen in war, gender and war, children and war, colonial culture, oral history and war and memory.


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