Doris Van Der Strat­ten

The Sun (Malaysia) - - THE RIGHT READ -

Author: Andrew Bar­ber Pub­lisher: Karamoja Press ISBN: 9789834337261

BAR­BER has writ­ten sev­eral books fo­cus­ing on Malaysia’s colo­nial his­tory. A for­mer Bri­tish diplo­mat, he was based in Kuala Lumpur for two decades as a con­sul­tant.

In this book, Bar­ber fo­cuses on the tragic life and death of Aus­tralian ci­ti­zen Doris Van Der Strat­ten, who was the mis­tress of the Ja­panese com­man­der of the Kuala Lumpur Gar­ri­son.

Not much is known of this woman who was found dead in 1946 af­ter an in­ter­ro­ga­tion by the Kem­petei.

Ac­cused of be­ing a Bri­tish spy, she ei­ther leapt from – or was thrown out of – a win­dow of the build­ing where she Kuala Lumpur at War (1939–1945). This book, which is sup­posed to tell more about her, only scratches the sur­face of Doris’ life.

It is padded up with war his­tory, the story of the Eurasian fam­ily she mar­ried into, and the trial of the man ac­cused of killing her. As for Doris her­self, her his­tory is brief but enough for us to know that she comes from a bro­ken home, was a di­vorcee who lost cus­tody of her two young daugh­ters, and that she was feisty and de­ter­mined. Not enough to fill the pages of a book but enough for a TV movie. – S. In­dra Sathiabalan

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