- Indeterminate sentence / Allan Handyside
D810.C82 HAN (Call Number)
During World War II, New Zealand politicians were much less tolerant of pacifist sentiment and conscientious objectors than those in Britain and other similar countries. As a consequence, around 800 NZ COs were detained, either in specially built remote camps or in prisons, for "the duration of the war." Their usual human rights were suspended and they received an indeterminate sentence. COs were only released well after the end of hostilities and after troops had arrived back home. Handyside recalls, that in contrast to other camps, Rangipo prison officers never had a friendly word for the prisoners, never treated them as human beings. Discipline was harsh, with solitary confinement on a bread and water diet a common punishment. Yet there was also humour and comradeship among the prisoners. Some were encouraged to plan and attempt escapes to help them stay sane. Authorities never discovered the secret mailrun between Hautu Detention Camp and Rangipo Prison that enabled those at Rangipo to get news of the outside world. After the drab conditions of Rangipo, on release Handyside found the shock of colours of flowers and the music of playing children's voices overwhelming. The impact of this experience, the disruption caused to his relationship with his parents and his continuing commitment to the peace movement were apparent throughout the rest of his life.
viii, 120 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
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