Surviving a Japanese Internment Camp: Life and Liberation at Santo Tomas, Manila, in World War II

Surviving a Japanese Internment Camp: Life and Liberation at Santo Tomas, Manila, in World War II

by Rupert Wilkinson

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During World War II the Japanese imprisoned more American civilians at Manila's Santo Tomas prison camp than anywhere else, along with British and other nationalities. Placing the camp's story in the wider history of the Pacific war, this book tells how the camp went through a drastic change, from good conditions in the early days to impending mass starvation, before its dramatic rescue by U.S. Army "flying columns." Interned as a small boy with his mother and older sister, the author shows the many ways in which the camp's internees handled imprisonment--and their liberation afterwards. Using a wealth of Santo Tomas memoirs and diaries, plus interviews with other ex-internees and veteran army liberators, he reveals how children reinvented their own society, while adults coped with crowded dormitories, evaded sex restrictions, smuggled in food, and through a strong internee government, dealt with their Japanese overlords. The text explores the attitudes and behavior of Japanese officials, ranging from sadistic cruelty to humane cooperation, and asks philosophical questions about atrocity and moral responsibility.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476612188
Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date: 12/03/2013
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 248
Sales rank: 657,656
File size: 17 MB
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Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

The late Rupert Wilkinson was emeritus professor of American Studies and History at the University of Sussex, United Kingdom. He published ten books on aspects of American and British society.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments  ix
Introduction: Telling the Santo Tomás Story  1
 1. War Clouds Over Eden  9
 2. Internment  24
 3. A Porous Prison  35
 4. Dorms, Shanties, and Sex  49
 5. “Cheer Up! Everything’s Going to Be Lousy”  68
 6. Child’s Play  82
 7. Power: The Japanese  94
 8. Power: The Internees  104
 9. Hunger  116
10. Threat vs. Hope  132
11. “They’re Here!”  143
12. Aftermath  157
13. Significance  178
Appendix I: Chronology  193
Appendix II: The Camp’s “Ten Commandments”  198
Appendix III: The Literature of Santo Tomás  200
Notes  203
Bibliography  221
Index  229

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