This is an online event hosted in Spokane, WA United States.
Sponsored by: Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture
Dr. Cyler Conrad (University of New Mexico)
The popular Hollywood film, The Bridge on the River Kwai, portrays an important series of events for prisoners of war during World War II in Thailand, also known as the infamous China-Burma-India theater of conflict. While the film’s creative story garnered acclaim and praise after its release in 1957, it masked the true experience of these prisoners in Thailand during the war. This talk will focus on the legacy of Hendrik Robert van Heekeren, a prisoner captured by the Japanese in 1942 and sent to the “Railroad of Death” camps in Thailand in 1943. van Heekeren’s experience during the war including captivity and work on the railroad – common scenes depicted in the film – but his legacy stems from the significant archaeological work and contributions he completed while a prisoner of war and after in Thailand, during the 1960s. The lecture discusses the intersection of van Heekeren, prisoners in Thailand during World War II, The Bridge on the River Kwai, and the broader record of prehistoric archaeology influenced by these events
via ZoomLaunch Meeting