Shop now Learn more Shop now Up to 50% off Fashion Prime Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Halloween Pets Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Voyage Listen in Prime Learn more Shop now
FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books.
Only 5 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Manila Memories: Four Boy... has been added to your Basket
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Like New | Details
Sold by Wordery
Condition: Used: Like New
Comment: This fine as new copy should be with you within 8-9 working days via Royal Mail. Please note this title is print on demand.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Manila Memories: Four Boys Remember Their Lives Before, During and After the Japanese Occupation Paperback – 1 Aug 2008

1 customer review

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
"Please retry"
£6.46 £7.05
£9.95 FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books. Only 5 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Save £20 on with the aqua Classic card. Get an initial credit line of £250-£1,200 and build your credit rating. Representative 32.9% APR (variable). Subject to term and conditions. Learn more.

No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet and computer.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.

Product details

  • Paperback: 140 pages
  • Publisher: Old Guard Press; First edition (1 Aug. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848610106
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848610101
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 0.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,550,222 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See the customer review
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Andrew-uk on 31 Aug. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Arrived promptly. No problems.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 8 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
A boys' version of Anne Frank 28 Oct. 2008
By Mary Miley Theobald - Published on
Format: Paperback
The four authors who were boys in Manila during the months of the brutal Japanese occupation share their recollections of those terrible times in a simple, poignant narrative. Through the eyes of children, the horror is given a surreal quality, as memories of toys and games are juxtaposed with friends gunned down by sniper fire, Japanese firing squads, neighbors tortured to death, and relatives dragged off to execution. No historian, reporter, or adult stands between the boys and the reader as they tell their story--a story largely untold in the West.
As one who has taught American history, I was familiar with Japanese atrocities during World War II; still, much of what I read here was revelation. This short book would make a good reading assignment for young people studying the period, especially for junior high or high school age students like the boys themselves, and would be a valuable addition to any school library and to any history teacher's bookshelf. Just as Anne Frank wrote of her life under Nazi occupation, these boys tell of their lives under the Japanese.
It's hard to believe anyone survived the devastation of Manila, and even harder to believe that those who did could have grown up to be normal, functioning adults after such trauma. This is the sort of story that makes me swear I'll never complain about anything again. I highly recommend it.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
The Horror of War through boys' eyes. 17 July 2010
By Robert Hansen - Published on
Format: Paperback
The book "Manila Memories" describes the transition between the years "before the war" and "after the war." However, the book's focus is "during" the war. Because it's about life in Manila it is mainly a tale of life during the Japanese occupation in which the term "liberation" marks the sharp transition to "after the war." Liberation, however, was not a clear demarcation. For most it was a horrendous experience in which lives were forever changed.

I have a particular interest in this subject because it mirrors situations that my family and our friends endured. Many of the events described in the book were events that were discussed around our dinner table. Most of us have heard the stories of the occupation and liberation of Manila from the perspective of MacArthur and various historians. However, the destruction of Manila often garners little more than a paragraph or two in written accounts. This is a different perspective. This is the perspective of the people who survived these horrific events and didn't read about them in books. I use the term "survived" because one didn't just live through those times and events, you survived. This book is the story of four young boys who survived.

Other "survivors" have written about their experiences. Some of the accounts are obviously edited or filled with excessive prose. However, this book is succinct and unpretentious. It is a compilation of the memories of four young boys who were old enough to understand what was going on but young enough to experience a sense of awe and adventure because of the circumstances. The editor and principal narrator is Juergen Goldhagen, a refugee from Nazi Germany who was fortunate in that the Japanese recognized his family as erstwhile allies while ignoring the fact that Juergen's father was a Jew with an expired German passport. The families of the other three narrators, Roderick Hall, Hans Hoeflein and Hans Walser were also treated as allies by the Japanese to a point.

Their stories are told as a series of vignettes of incidents they remembered. Some of the incidents are mundane and typical of young boys - throwing rocks at other boys or breaking things without their parents' knowledge. Other vignettes exemplify the horrors of the times -- Roderick Hall's family was arrested and his mother summarily executed by the Japanese for possessing a "radio." In the cases of these boys, life or death was random and happenstance. Roderick and some other family members were let go. Juergen came close to being accidentally killed a few times by doing things a boy does. For all of them, the shells whistling overhead and flying shrapnel did not respect their nationality. Death could be just by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. These boys survived but many of their friends and family didn't during the month-long "Battle of Manila.".

This book is unpretentious and makes no value judgments unlike some books written by those who were adults during those times. Their stories are simple but spellbinding, realistic and intelligible. I heartily recommend this book to anyone who wants to know what really happened during those dark days of February 1945 when Manila was destroyed before these boys' very eyes. If you don't understand why the terms "before the war" and "after the war" are so significant to my generation and our elders, you will after reading this book.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
heart wrenching immediacy 23 Sept. 2008
By Alfred Moritz - Published on
Format: Paperback
Gripping story of a part of WWII in the Pacific--Manila Memoriesrelates through the eyes and experiences of four adolescents their survival, as best they and some of their families are able, the japanese occupation of Manila during the short-lived, euphemistically-named"Greater East-Asia Co-prosperity Sphere"---with control and prosperity flowing to the Japanese Empire. The arbritrariness and inhumanity of this new colonial power defies the imagination, illustrating once again man's potential for inhumanity to his fellow man.A most gripping read in which day-to-day traumatic experiences of these observers, these four innocent young protagonists, are related with heart-wrenching immediacy.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Manila Memories 2 Feb. 2009
By Norman Simmons - Published on
Format: Paperback
In this fascinating book, four boys tell of their memories of life in Manila, Philippines, before, during, and after the Japanese occupation during World War II. My comments on the book are biased because I know all four authors, having gone to the same school in Manila that they attended. However, my wife Hilah read the book too. She only knows the editor and has never lived in the Islands. Her comments are melded with mine, removing some of my bias.

The memories are told in the words of youngsters, and were largely non-judgmental, at least up until their tales of the liberation, a most stressful time. The boys understood that the Japanese were the enemy, and they feared them and wished them gone. However, they described some friendly exchanges.

After the Japanese took over the Philippines, food became scarce and the boys and their families were getting hungrier and hungrier. Although Hans Walser remembers that life under Japanese occupation was "... as normal as could be," he describes how shortages of food and medicines brought about tension. Tension heightened as the Americans returned to begin their liberation drive. Air raids made life more hazardous as shrapnel and spent ammunition rained down everywhere. Walser writes how life "... was starting to get less and less `normal'." Food prices soared. Understandably, the Japanese became less friendly, more suspicious, and guarded. But the boys still spent time playing, even in their perilous surroundings.

The battle for Manila is well described, and includes a map of American troop movements. Photographs show the devastation of the once beautiful city, known before the war as the Pearl of the Orient. It was an increasingly hazardous time for all residents, including the Japanese, with the significant threats of aerial combat, antiaircraft fire, artillery, and small arms fire, even for those in their homes. It was like a war game to the boys, but their parents were fearful for the health and safety of family and friends. Descriptions of this tension transport the reader through the boys' eyes to those exciting, dangerous times.

Liberation brought much happiness to all but the Japanese. The American soldiers seemed ready for the people who lined the streets to cheer them. They won the children's hearts tossing candies down to them from their trucks. They threw packages of cigarettes to the adults. This account of joy cheers the reader.

We recommend the book to those of our age who were children during the war, as well as other readers who would enjoy the experience of seeing such a major conflict through the eyes of young boys. It is a clearly written, entertaining, and thought-provoking read.
-Norman Simmons
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Four Boys Remember Their Lives Before, During and After the Japanese Occupatiion of Manila 24 Mar. 2009
By Doreen - Published on
Format: Paperback
This riveting memoir about pre-WWII culminates in the Battle of Manila in 1945. The book is authored by four young authors, who at the time were between the ages of nine and twelve. They are Juergen Goldhagen, Roderick Hall, Hans Hoeflein, and Hans Walser, all of European ancestry: German, Spanish and Swiss, all considered by the Japanese occupiers of the Philippines, as non-enemy aliens. They and their families were, therefore, not interned in concentration camp and spent the Japanese occupation in Manila surviving precariously on their own.
While life for the boys was relatively peaceful during the early Occupation, it became less so with shortages of food and medicine. Finally, with the month-long battle for Manila, commencing in early February, 1945, all vestiges of normalcy collapsed.
Three of the boys lived in the city and experienced horrific scenes, and were nearly killed.Nationality made no difference, and if one were in the wrong place, at the wrong time, one could be burned, wounded, or killed.
One hundred thousand civilians died in the Battle of Manila. Thousands upon thousands were massacred by the Japanese military.Roderick Hall's mother, grandmother, aunt, the aunt's fiance, and a family friend were killed.Miraculously, Rod, his younger sister, and two younger brothers survived.
Sixty-five years later, four memoirists tell their stories through the eyes of their boyhood--incredible historians with tales that will never be forgotten.
--Doreen Gandy Wiley, author and survivor of the Philippine Holocaust
Were these reviews helpful? Let us know