Camp Life Is Paradise for Freddy: A Childhood in the Dutch East Indies, 1933-1946

Camp Life Is Paradise for Freddy: A Childhood in the Dutch East Indies, 1933-1946


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“Children see and hear what is there; adults see and hear what they are expected to and mainly remember what they think they ought to remember,” David Lowenthal wrote in The Past Is a Foreign Country. It is on this fraught foundation that Fred Lanzing builds this memoir of his childhood in a Japanese internment camp for Dutch colonialists in the East Indies during the World War II.

When published in the Netherlands in 2007, the book triggered controversy, if not vitriol, for Lanzing’s assertion that his time in the camp was not the compendium of horrors commonly associated with the Dutch internment experience. Despite the angry reception, Lanzing’s account corresponds more closely with the scant historical record than do most camp memoirs. In this way, Lanzing’s work is a substantial addition to ongoing discussions of the politics of memory and the powerful—if contentious—contributions that subjective accounts make to historiography and to the legacies of the past.

Lanzing relates an aspect of the war in the Pacific seldom discussed outside the Netherlands and, by focusing on the experiences of ordinary people, expands our understanding of World War II in general. His compact, beautifully detailed account will be accessible to undergraduate students and a general readership and, together with the introduction by William H. Frederick, is a significant contribution to literature on World War II, the Dutch colonial experience, the history of childhood, and Southeast Asian history.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780896803084
Publisher: Ohio University Press
Publication date: 01/15/2017
Series: Ohio RIS Southeast Asia Series , #131
Edition description: 1
Pages: 144
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Fred Lanzing was born in 1933 in the city of Bandung, Java, then part of the Netherlands East Indies. He is now retired from a long career as a teacher and administrator in the Amsterdam schools. He is the author of numerous articles and books on World War II and other topics.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vii

Acknowledgments ix

Note on Spelling xi

Introduction William H. Frederick xiii

1 The Dutch East Indies 1

2 Surabaya 4

3 Buitenzorg 8

4 Batavia 13

5 Batavia, Open City 25

6 Kramat 29

7 Cideng 35

8 Tangerang 43

9 Cimahi 48

10 Bandung 61

11 Jakarta 64

12 Adek 67

13 The 10th Battalion 69

14 Tanjung Priok 72

15 Rite of Passage 74

16 Holland 80

Afterword 87

Appendix: The Questionnaire 93

Glossary 117

About the Author 121

Selected Works Fred Lanzing 123

Index 125

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