Eaten by the Japanese, A Memoir of Forgotten Prisooners of War

A large number of Indians who fought in World War II, and behaved with dignity and rectitude, have been forgotten by their fellowmen, and the Japanese who imprisoned them. The story is told through the memoir of one man:

EATEN BY THE JAPANESE: The Memoir of an Unknown Indian Prisoner of War

EATEN BY THE JAPANESE: The Memoir of an Unknown Indian Prisoner of War [Kindle Edition]

John Baptist Crasta (Author), Richard Crasta (Editor, Introduction)
"A war memoir that ranks with the best" and a heartwarming father-son story, "Eaten by the Japanese" is an ideal gift for Father's Day, indeed a basic human story for any occasion.

The story begins in Singapore, and then quickly progresses to a Japanese invasion, surrender, the Torture Ship, the Indian National Army, survival, cannibalism, rescue . . . this shocking and poignant World War II and its forgotten Indian Prisoners of War has never been told before, and never by one of its actor-victims, an ordinary Indian soldier in the British Army who found himself captured along with his British superiors and ended up as a prisoner of the Japanese for the next 3.5 years, until rescued by Australians!

To quote at random from the memoir that follows: "The Japanese . . . sat down to a sumptous meal . . . approval had been received from Tokyo for the killing and eating of Indians in New Britain."

And later: “The Japanese, having no clothes, bedding, or food, visited us again and again. Indians were by now moved to pity, and treated their former enemies with hospitality.”

So goes this astonishing story by possibly the oldest first-time Indian author ever.

“A classic in military history, telling the story of men trapped in a world of torture, starvation, and death"—Roger Mansell, War historian, in Tameme Magazine

“You see the horror of war, without a trace of artifice, through the eyes of one who was there, the writing a simple act of catharsis”—Professor Mark Ledbetter, Nisei University

The book was first published 51 years after it was written. And the publisher? None other than the author’s son, and now co-author, Richard Crasta, who contributes a biographical introduction and three essays and thus makes this 32,000-word book a father-son collaboration. Thus, Eaten by the Japanese combines the story of a father’s suffering with the subplot of a son's rediscovery of his father, resulting in his (the son's) redemption.

This is history from a common man’s point of view, the only memoir by a non-Officer Indian prisoner of the Japanese. This is a tale of brutality and near-death escapes by an Indian in the British/Allied Army. John Baptist Crasta's only mistake was to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and his refusal to violate his soldier's oath of loyalty or to be seduced by the charms of demagoguery or threats of torture, starvation, and death by his Japanese captors. This politically incorrect story, hitherto mostly unheard because of the author's poverty and obscurity, along with his son's and his story's political incorrectness, is now presented by his son, the author Richard Crasta, in an e-book format.

The story is especially memorable because it was written by a relatively low-ranking soldier just after his return from the war in 1946, and published 51 years later by his son, who by then had already published two books of his own. The story of a son's discovery of his father's story and his complex feelings about rediscovering his father through it: it is a different kind of story, one that all fathers and sons can relate to.

Or, as Barry Fruchter said, of his own feelings about his father: “Striking and raw, an antidote to myth. Something to be treasured. This is the kind of record that this generation is losing fast, and we need to hold on to this. It made me think of what had happened to my own father's memoirs, which were lost.”

“A tale of unmitigated horror. A handsome tribute to a man of courage and rectitude.” –Khushwant Singh

“The theater of the absurd . . . war as seen from the smoking trenches. Written without rancour or hatred, of archival value to historians. Bloodcurdling references to acts of cannibalism. Crasta’s memoir should find a cherished place in all major libraries.” --Dr. Arunachalam Kumar, Author, in Morning News.
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