German Prisoners of War in Japan During the First World War: Letters from the Colonial Frontline
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© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. In 1914, approximately 4500–4800 German men were transported to Prisoner of War (POW) camps in Japan following the occupation of the German colony in China. They were the only European POWs held captive by an Asian Great Power, making this a unique colonial case study. This is the first essay to analyse how German POWs in Japan perceived of and narrated their experiences in their letters, with particular focus on the recurring themes of patriotism, nationalism, and cultural-racial constructs. I will analyse the ways in which the POWs used these socio-cultural concepts to make sense of their circumstances and maintain a link to the German diaspora and metropolis.
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