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World War II Re-explored

Some New Millenium Studies in the History of the Global Conflict

Edited By Jarosław Suchoples, Stephanie James and Barbara Törnquist-Plewa

This volume is a collection of thirty papers written by authors from around the world. The writers focus on topics related to their own research interests. As a result, readers obtain a worldwide perspective on World War II from academics working on nearly every continent, proving that World War II was, probably, the first ever truly global experience for humanity. Present are many and different perspectives on the war. Eighty years after the end of World War II, these academics share their knowledge and reflections about a gruesome, but still not very remote time. In the new millennium, their studies should remind readers that the ‘end of history’ has been an impossible illusion and warn that peace and stability in international relations are not a given.

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Memories of World War II: Oral Histories from Brunei Darussalam

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(December 1941 – June 1945)

Abstract: How would your life change if your country was invaded and occupied by foreign forces for 4 long years? Would you join the invaders with their nationalistic campaign? Would you defend your leader and help him escape into exile until the invaders retreat? Or would you work with them under duress until you get the opportunity to flee with your family into safety? These scenarios are taken from video interviews of people from Brunei Darussalam. They are their personal experiences under Japanese occupation from December 1941 until June 1945. The video interviews provide the viewer with a window into how a range of local people witnessed and responded to their country’s occupation by the Japanese military during World War II. The individual flavor of a historical account produced from oral history sources enriches the historical narrative provided by written sources. The multi-facetted historical account requires these interviews in order to supplement the written sources. This paper addresses the contribution of the oral history project conducted by Janet E. Marles, Maslin Jukim and Frank Dhont in Brunei Darussalam. The project created an archival database of interviews with witnesses to the Japanese Occupation of Brunei Darussalam during World War Two, and involved working with graduate students of the university and use of multiple languages.

Keywords: Japanese Occupation, Brunei Darussalam, World War Two, oral history sources and archival data creation, video interviews

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