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Takuma Melber publishes Dissertation

Dec 06, 2017

Dr. Takuma Melber, lecturer and coordinator of the M.A. Transcultural Studies, published his dissertation „Zwischen Kollaboration und Widerstand: Die japanische Besatzungspolitik in Malaya und Singapur, 1942-1945“ with Campus Verlag in September 2017.

During the Second World War, Japanese troops captured almost all of Southeast Asia after the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. The Malay Peninsula and Singapore stood under the Japanese sun banner as well from February 1942 until the end of World War II. In his study on Japan's occupation, Takuma Melber focuses on forms of military and political collaboration, military Chinese-Communist resistance to occupation, and the emergence of excessive violence. His book not only includes material by Allied intelligence services and the view of the victims, but it also uses Japanese sources essentially, especially with a strong focus on the perspective of the occupiers.

"Of course, publications on the Japanese occupation of Malaya and Singapore in English language are existent," Takuma Melber sais. "However, due to an existing language barrier, commonly these publications are purely based on Allied primary sources and the victims´ perspective, excluding the perspective and intentions of the Japanese occupying power."

He continues to explain: "With my dissertation I was able to enrich the existing picture of the Japanese occupation in Malaya and Singapore with the Japanese view, thanks to access to Japanese primary sources, for example sources of the Japanese 25th Army and the diaries of Major-General Kawamura. He was a key figure at the beginning of the occupation and found guilty of the Sook Ching Massacre, the killing of ten thousands among Singapore´s Overseas Chinese community in spring 1942. Accordingly Kawamura was sentenced to death after the war."

Zwischen Kollaboration und Widerstand: Die japanische Besatzungspolitik in Malaya und Singapur, 1942-1945“, is the first publication within the book series „Krieg und Konflikt“ at Campus Verlag, Frankfurt am Main.

For his doctoral thesis, Takuma Melber won the second "Förderpreis 2017 für Militärgeschichte und Militärtechnik", which is presented by the Bundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr (BAAINBw). The awarding ceremony took place on October 26 at the Zentrum für Militärgeschichte und Sozialwissenschaften der Bundeswehr (ZMSBw) in Potsdam.

Takuma Melber is lecturer at the Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe” and coordinator of the M.A. Transcultural Studies.

Read the official press release about the awarding ceremony here.


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