FIRST PERSON
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At 8 pm on 5 January 1985, in his mother's arms, David stopped breathing.
Our baby was four months old when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and we were no longer undesirable aliens but enemies. The next four years were to be spent in a succession of internment camps.
Japan was an insignificant island nation in the Far East until she won the wars against China (1894-5) and Russia (1904-5). Then she began to be counted as one of the major world powers.
I found relationships with girls difficult and withdrew into myself. My life became whatever was before my nose - and that was chess.
I was determined that my father should not get away with his action and I gradually turned my younger brothers and sisters against him and his second wife.
Every time the shelling began we had to take all the patients to the ground floor, lining their beds up along a dark corridor. On top of this, the wounded kept arriving in ambulances. Nearly all were young men under 30.
Life in such isolation, on a land area less than five miles by one, acquires a certain focus on the essentials, an acceptance of shortage, discomfort and monotony.
My wife and I come from a background of privilege and Protestantism - and are grateful for our heritage. But we have to face the fact that many react quite differently to that tradition.
I bought a black T-shirt and Levi jeans, grew long hair and made up a new past, which included various wild, totally fictitious adventures.
From 1983 to 1986, Bernard Gauthier was Prefect of Police for the Nord Departement of France. He writes in a personal capacity.by Bernard Gauthier
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