A Foreign Kid in World War II Shanghai

A Foreign Kid in World War II Shanghai
  • Engels
  • Paperback
  • 9780692393208
  • mei 2015
  • 208 pagina's
Alle productspecificaties


When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor they almost simultaneously fired at British and American naval ships on the Whangpoo River and took over the city of Shanghai. This marked the arrival of World War II in the Far East, when George Kulstad was only six years old. His father, a sea captain, was in Japan, and in spite of being a Norwegian citizen he was held captive by the Japanese, leaving Kulstad with his mother and brother to fend for themselves in Shanghai. Unlike young Jim in J.G. Ballard's Empire of the Sun, young Kulstad in A Foreign Kid remained outside the internment camps and experienced first-hand the almost four years of Japanese occupation. Since many of the events that Kulstad witnessed were beyond his understanding when they occurred, he researched their historical context to produce a rich memoir of the first 14 years of his life. During the war, his mother received Relief funds and was able to make ends meet. But food and fuel were short, and Kulstad describes in some detail his experience with school mates asking for food at his door and the plight of the destitute he saw on the streets. He knew about the torture of prisoners at Bridge House by the Japanese, and in recounting his school years at St. Francis Xavier College he looks into the background of one of the Brothers, an Irishman, and finds that in addition to teaching he managed to give sustenance to Allied prisoners in the Ward Road jail. Kulstad is taken by his mother to Mr. Gold, the shoemaker, to be fitted for shoes, but it is not until later that he realizes that Mr. Gold's shop was in the Jewish Ghetto. Kulstad is also treated by a Jewish physician, one of many expelled from leading institutions in Germany, who now make house calls to treat patients, but only after they stand in line to obtain a day pass to leave the Ghetto. When the Japanese were raising the Italian liner SS Conte Verde from the depths of the Whangpoo River, Kulstad observed part of the operation, and in this memoir he describes the proceedings and reports on the ship's ultimate fate. He also writes about the American bombing raids on Shanghai and discovers that, contrary to the four or five raids that he and his Shanghai friends can usually recall, the true number is 25, with more than 200 bombers and fighters participating in one of the raids. Rumors of the Hiroshima bomb reached Shanghai on the same day it was dropped, and Kulstad was well aware of the suddenly improved behavior of the Japanese military. When two C-46s flew directly over him he was delighted, but it was not until he did his research that he knew that these were the planes of the OSS Sparrow Mission that had come to liberate the camps. He recounts the welcome given by the Chinese to the incoming Allied forces, and is torn by the abuse he witnesses of two Japanese soldiers en route to their public execution. On a trip to Chinwangtao he gains insight into the Chinese civil war when he sees Nationalist soldiers marching down from the hills with Communist prisoners. Less than two years later, when the Communists have taken over Shanghai, Kulstad and his ailing mother appear to have no means to escape the Bamboo Curtain that cuts off that city from the rest of the world. The many foreigners who departed during the years following the war spread all over the world, but their children born outside of China often did not have the opportunity to learn of their parents' struggle to survive in Shanghai. Kulstad hopes that reading this book will help them understand those days. This book has a good index and should prove useful to anyone interested in Shanghai during the period 1935 to 1949.



mei 2015
Aantal pagina's
208 pagina's


George a Kulstad
Quinsan Editions



Overige kenmerken

Extra groot lettertype
313 g
Verpakking breedte
152 mm
Verpakking hoogte
12 mm
Verpakking lengte
229 mm

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