- Hardcover: 696 pages
- Publisher: Vallentine Mitchell (February 3, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0853038775
- ISBN-13: 978-0853038771
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 2.2 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Customer Reviews:
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,670,977 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Under the Heel of Bushido: Last Voices of the Jewish POWs of the Japanese in the Second World War
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'British teacher, archivist, and historian Martin Sugarman examines the hitherto unstudied experiences of 600 British, Commonwealth, and Dutch Jews in Imperial Japanese prison and internment camps across southeastern Asia and in Japan. In many ways their experiences were not different from those of their Gentile fellows, forced labor, starvation rations, atrocities, death marches, disease, including for some work on the notorious Thailand-Burma Railway, known as the “Death Railway.” They pulled morale-boosting pranks and evaded guards’ punishment when they could. What was unique about these men, was their responses and adaptations to the situation of their captivity through maintenance of their Jewish identity, providing an additional sense of community, which proved a survival tool. In addition to using doscumentary sources, Sugarman gathered his evidence from interviews with more than 60 of these Jewish prison camp veterans, a group that is, like the rest of the WW II generation, rapidly passing away, thus “last voices.” We get accounts of a synagogue built in a POW camp, of imaginative and innovative observances of Jewish holidays and festivals, such as Passover Seders with sago flour used for matzoh and mint leaves for the bitter herbs, and more. Sugarman at times is repetitious, but the book fills an interesting gap in the war’s history and provide a representative picture, both broad and narrow, of one segment of Far East POWs, making this reviewer wish something similar could be done for American Jewish personnel who became prisoners of the Japanese.'
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