Journal of the royal asiatic society Hong Kong branch, Vol. 57, 2017, p. 1-31 : photogr.
The plight of mixed-race people in wartime is unenviable. Problems of identity and entitlement that are tricky enough in peace-time become matters of life and death. That Hong Kong, always a far more racially mixed and diverse population than its Chinese majority has admitted, is an example of this was made clear during the Japanese Occupation. The ‘enemy’ were interned in prisoner of war or civilian internment camps and many of the non-combatant Chinese residents outside camps either slowly starved, or fled to Macau and China. The in-between people tried everything. Eurasians had clear ties to the ‘enemy’ but were also partly ‘Asiatic’ and so fell between the stark racial and nationality distinctions of the Japanese administrators. If identified as Chinese, the Eurasian took his or her chances as a potential member in Japan’s Co-Prosperity Sphere. If seen as ‘British’ and yet not British enough for internment, they struggled to survive—until the Red Cross man in Hong Kong, Rudolf Zindel, set up the Rosary Hill Home. Why this was necessary, who got to stay there and how it worked form part of this article, which also illuminates the larger issues of race, nationality, identity and survival.