The Past is a Foreign Country


Author : Michael Berg & Theresia de Vroom

The Past is a Foreign Country portrays a holocaust of sorts--one not well known outside the community it affected--a community that is now in danger of extinction. The book gives evidence to the internment experience of former colonials, both Dutch, European, and mixed-race, in Indonesia under the Japanese during World War II. Those giving testimony include the unknown writer of a graphic novel; selected cartoons drawn by a boy once interned; an account of another boy's experience in the camps; an account of a young girl's experience living outside the camps; and access to a film that documents life outside the camps. In addition, Berg and de Vroom, whose family members suffered the internment and its aftermath, share their experiences.

Preface by Ellen Hoffs 

The Past is a Foreign Country by Michael Berg and Theresia de Vroom 

A Short History of Events Leading Up to the Japanese Occupation of Indonesia by Jan A. Krancher

Overview of Imprisonment Experience by Andrew A. van Dijk 

Interview with Wouter Keus: A Boy Survivor by Theresia de Vroom 

Illustrations of a Childhood Wartime Internment by Andrew A. van Dijk 

My Camp Not by Hitler but by M.G. Hartley

My Childhood War Remembrances of Life Outside the Camps by Theresia Weber Makhuli

Selected Bibliography, Filmography, and Online Materials 

Buiten-kampers: De verzwegen geschiedenis van Nederlands-IndiĆ« (The Color of Survival: How World War II Uprooted the Indo Dutch) Directed and Written by Hetty Naaijkens-Retel Helmrich 

Appendix I: Chronological Summary of Events in the Former Dutch East Indies 

Appendix II: Mortality Statistics of Civilian Internees 

Notes on the Contributors 

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