Book Review – The Blue Door

The Blue Door by Lise Kristensen (Macmillan) ISBN 978-0-230-76027-1

This story exposes how the Allies were treated in Japanese Prisoner of War Camps during the Second World War in The Philippines. Gripping? Yes. Disturbing? Definitely.

This compelling read is a memoir written in the voice of the author from when she was a ten year old. Lise is Norwegian-blooded but a Java-born prisoner. The horrors that took place were shocking. Even more poignant was the courage and strength shown by little Lise as she helped keep her mother and younger siblings alive for three years under the most inhumane conditions.

Most people know about the German concentration and death camps where six million Jews were obliterated, but how many people know the number of Allies who died from starvation and torture at the hands of the Japanese in their strongholds? There were Europeans from Norway, Denmark and other countries living in The Philippines who were treated worse than rats. Yet nobody talks about them and the suffering they still go through emotionally, physically and financially. Adding insult to injury, the Japanese, unlike the Germans, never had to pay reparations.

A fascinating story written in an easy-to-read style although the subject matter is harrowing.

Amanda Blankfield

Posted on: 14th August 2012