A Lovely Little War
What happens to a boy when, at age 7, he is thrown into a wartime prison camp for 1125 days, suffers deprivation, confinement, daily hazards and is then threatened with execution?
Angus Lorenzen will tell you in A Lovely Little War. He will tell you as he saw it through his eyes as a child. He recounts his wartime experience and internment in the notorious Santo Tomas internment camp in Manila. Viewed through a prism that distorted the harsh light of wartime reality into a colorful spectrum of childish fantasy, Lorenzen mixes dark moments of adult cruelty with light moments and humor that are a big part of a child’s life.
“I was at an age when I hadn’t yet developed the life experience to know the harsh reality of war. Only towards the end of my internment did I come to develop the life experience that would eventually lead me to hate and fear war,” said Lorenzen.
And it was with irony that the hate and fear not only came but was magnified soon after his liberation. Scheduled for execution by the Japanese as American armed forces closed in, he and his fellow prisoners were liberated by Filipino Scouts and a U.S. Army tank battalion sent by General MacArthur. As the fighting raged, liberation plunged him into the furnace that was the Battle of Manila, the most severe urban battle fought by U.S. troops in World War II. In this great conflict, young Angus Lorenzen’s view of life, previously seen through his colorful spectrum of childhood fantasy, broke through its prism and absorbed the deadly events of the horrors of war.
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