A Nederlander Woman's Recollections of Colonial and Wartime Sumatra: From Sawahlunto to Bangkinang Internment Camp
Eurasian communities in the Dutch East Indies took variant forms throughout the colony, many of which remain largely unexplored. This article draws upon a May, 2004, life history interview with Gerdy Ungerer (now a Californian, but born in 1928 to Eurasian parents in a West Sumatran coal mining town). She describes her secure, even privileged early childhood in Sawahlunto and then remembers its aftermath: World War II years in a harsh Japanese internment camp with other Sawahlunto Nederlanders. Her memoir raises the question: How do persons of mixed-race heritage in the Indies construct their identities today via childhood autobiography?
Volume & Issue:
Page range: 93-129
Cornell University Southeast Asia Program