World War II in Hong Kong

Life during wartime
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When Japanese forces invaded Hong Kong in December 1941, it marked the start of a dark period for the city, with citizens interned in POW camps and left to starve on the streets.

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The World War II escape of four soldiers from a Hong Kong POW camp was helped by a violinist. That the participants couldn’t later agree on what he played and why shows the challenges of oral accounts for historians.
Being confined in hotel quarantine in Hong Kong is nothing compared to the hotel internment endured under Japanese occupation. And Penny’s Bay is paradise compared to the Stanley camp internees were moved to.
As China marks the massacre of more than 300,000 people by Japanese forces on December 13, 1937, one must remember that acknowledging such atrocities is the best way to prevent their reoccurrence.
In our attempt to bring Hong Kong’s account of its own history in line with the mainland Chinese version, there needs to be room to accommodate different points of view.
SCMP ColumnistPeter Kammerer
From the Professional Teachers’ Union and Civil Human Rights Front to groups pushing niche projects such as conserving former military installations, Hong Kong civil society is in retreat.
Valuing ideology over free inquiry is damaging in the long run. Helping young people become critical thinkers will foster the creativity and innovation needed to ensure a prosperous future for Hong Kong.
The blood and strife of history belie the orderly narrative of the founding of the People’s Republic, with a civil war that was neither glorious nor heroic. Today’s leaders were all born after 1949 while yesterday’s leaders understood the struggle, dedication and sacrifice of becoming New China.
More than 50 children were born in Stanley internment camp during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, showing connections were made even under the most trying circumstances.
From the chilli and the sweet potato to sweetcorn and guava, hardy foods introduced by Europeans became invaluable to survival during conflict with Japan
At prisoner-of-war camps in Stanley and Sham Shui Po, internees with musical and theatrical abilities made life in captivity a little easier to bear
The diary-style report by Compton Mackenzie, a largely forgotten 20th-century popular writer, offers rare insight into 1946, after the Japanese occupation
The force wins a well-deserved PR victory for the way its bomb squad was able to deftly dispose of two second world war US bombs, but the incident arouses fears that the city is sitting on a minefield
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