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The Internment of Western Civilians under the Japanese by Bernice Archer

By Bernice Archer

Bernice Archer's comparative research of the stories of the Western civilians interned by way of the japanese in combined kinfolk camps and sexually segregated camps within the a long way East, combines a wide selection of traditional and unconventional resource fabric. This contains modern conflict, international and Colonial workplace papers, diaries, letters, camp newspapers and artefacts, post-war scientific, engineering and academic reviews, biographies, autobiographies, memoirs and over fifty oral interviews with ex-internees. utilizing modern own money owed, the surprise of the japanese victories and the devastating event of seize are highlighted. This booklet additionally covers wider concerns resembling the position of ladies in struggle, gender and conflict, teenagers and warfare, colonial tradition, oral heritage, and struggle and reminiscence.

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1994). Both have a detailed schedule of the camps. Van Waterford has carried out his own research but has based many of his statistics on Dr Van Velden’s work. , Summer 1992. He claims the number of civilians interned in the Far East during the Second World War numbered 126,145. However, the repatriations, births, deaths and movements from camp to camp made for major fluctuations in numbers in some areas at various times. It is clear, therefore, that most statistics about civilian internees in the Far East during the Second World War have to be considered as approximations.

These narratives were invaluable, adding texture, colour and shape to the book. ) ‘No historian’, claims Elizabeth Tonkin, ‘would want to rely only on oral accounts without making use of other human features. ’69 Material evidence was also an important source for my research. During my interviews I was shown a variety of material evidence which was often as revealing as the interviews themselves. 70 The materials were crude and the products basic and at times almost childlike. Tiny notebooks had become ‘diaries’.

I am grateful to Keith Martin, ex-chairman of Association of British Civilian Internees Far Eastern Region (ABCIFER) and Gil Hair, Executive Director, American Centre for Internee Rights Inc. (CFIR) for much of the information on this issue. There are extensive files covering the Peace Treaty with Japan in the PRO. These include PRO FO 371/ 83828–83839 and PRO FO 371/92529–92600. For a discussion on the American situation, see Linda Goetz Holmes, Unjust Enrichment (Pennsylvania: Stackpole Books, 2001).

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