Read Stolen Childhoods: The Untold Stories of the Children Interned by the Japanese in the Second World War by Nicola Tyrer Online

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When the Japanese entered World War II, some 20,000 British civilians in Asia were marched off to concentration camps. Over 3,000 of them were children. Now, for the first time, the extraordinary experiences of these innocent victims of war have been collected in one volume. The result is an unforgettable window into a brutally shattered world. The harrowing stories of theWhen the Japanese entered World War II, some 20,000 British civilians in Asia were marched off to concentration camps. Over 3,000 of them were children. Now, for the first time, the extraordinary experiences of these innocent victims of war have been collected in one volume. The result is an unforgettable window into a brutally shattered world. The harrowing stories of these children are marked with horror, suffering, and self-sacrifice, yet they also testify to the resilience, adaptability, and irrepressibility of the human spirit. ...

Title : Stolen Childhoods: The Untold Stories of the Children Interned by the Japanese in the Second World War
Author :
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ISBN : 9780297858782
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 368 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Stolen Childhoods: The Untold Stories of the Children Interned by the Japanese in the Second World War Reviews

  • Melanie Ho
    2018-12-10 05:44

    My review published in the Asian Review of Books:9 April 2012 — Children are often the innocent victims of conflict, their lives changed forever from the effects of war. In Stolen Childhoods: The Untold Story of the Children Interned by the Japanese in the Second World War, journalist Nicola Tyrer turns to World War II, where 20,000 British civilians living in Asia, including 3,000 children, were put in concentration camps by the Japanese for three years.Gathering the stories of children interned from Shanghai and Hong Kong to the Philippines and Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), Tyrer captures daily life in the camps and childhoods interrupted by war. The reader is introduced to a cast of characters: Bill Macauley, who was interned in Hong Kong and separated from his parents for the entire duration; Margaret Blair whose father was a policeman in Shanghai and Jose Chamberlain, whose mother died during the first year of internment and whose father had been imprisoned by the kempeitai are among some of the children whose stories are told.The result is a comprehensive oral history that illuminates the lives of children during internment. As one might expect, the constant hunger, cramped camps, general lack of basic care and violence suffered are themes that run throughout the book. However, there are plenty of more uplifting moments, including the determination of some camps to have children continue school, sit exams and write their lessons out in the dirt.While life under Nazi occupation is reasonably well known—Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl is often read at school and the book frequently makes the lists of top or most influential books of the 20th century—the same cannot necessarily be said about the Pacific War. Tyrer fills an important gap and her decision to focus on children imprisoned at camps across Asia helps paint a broader, more complete picture.Tyrer shows the varying degrees of treatment at different camps. On the whole, Tyrer writes, the internees in the camps in China endured the least violence, while those interned in the Dutch colonies suffered the most brutality. While the unpredictability of Japanese behavior meant wild swings between relative civility and brutal violence, many believe that the presence of children protected the prisoners from even worse treatment. But abuse wasn’t just at the hands of the Japanese: one child describes being raped by a tent of British soldiers shortly after the Allied victory. Tyrer touches on race issues and their complexities: many of the interviewees discuss the racial undertones in the violence, with the pre-war relationship between Asians and Caucasians reversed, but some also recall Japanese soldiers treating the young, blonde children with kindness, offering them the occasional candy, for example. The theme of colonialism runs throughout the book—the privileged lives of the children pre-internment, the role reversal in camp and, upon the Allied victory, the return of the old colonial system. The return to the colonial order confused some of the children and Tyrer quotes one seven-year old who asked his father, “Why… do some people speak so crossly to the Chinese and order them about?”With its personal interviews and use of unpublished memoirs, it is easy to see how Stolen Childhoods could be incorporated and referenced in students’ education about the Pacific War.

  • Carol
    2018-12-07 04:55

    I'm very excited to have my mother's copy in my hands. I've been waiting for awhile to read it. Just started it, and it is as good as expected. Especially looking forward to reading about Weihsien because those were the children with whom I've had the privilege to have had some contact. They were missionaries' children at the best boarding school east of the Suez, in Chefoo, North China. Many well-known names as well as not-so-well known today were associated with it. What the teachers were able to do in those horrible circumstances for children was nothing short of miraculous. There is discussion of a film (because Eric Liddell was also a prisoner there & died in that camp); I hope it will be a good film I can already highly recommend this book.

  • CidStoll
    2018-12-14 23:42

    Fascinating story, although the story telling is choppy. Seemed to relate some situations and events several times, making it seem like I'd read the chapter before when I knew I hadn't. That was distracting. I appreciated that there was always a bit of "warning" to any incident that was particularly harrowing. I'd just read a book about Japanese internment at Manzanar camp in California. Comparing that to the internments here was an interesting exercise.

  • Kazimiera pendrey
    2018-11-17 23:38

    This was a really great read. The book is about children who become prisoners of the Japanese during the Second World War. the book is both heartbreaking and uplifting the bravery of the children is quite humbling. I really would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in history