Following are excerpts from the diary of Anne Louise Goldthorpe, a retired Washington nurse who was one of 4,000 Allied civilians interned in the Philippines for nearly three years by the Japanese army in World War II.
Aug. 31, 1942: The Japanese high command has asked a committee of women to see to it that the American women dress properly and have their bodies covered. They especially object to the skimpy halters some of the women wear and say they cannot be responsible for the conduct of the soldiers if the women do not heed this warning.
The secular people say the missionaries also internees made it up and the Japanese didn't command it.
Sept. 10: Cow's head and entrails for food. Meals are very watery and tasteless. We are all hungry all the time.
Nov. 28: We are learning many things: how to wash without water, bathe without soap, eat without dishes, cook without pots, write without paper, sleep without beds.
June 3, 1943: We had a near tragedy. A little three-year-old girl fell into the old uncovered latrine. Mary rescued her. She happened to be in the toilet with her children and heard a gurgling cry. She slid down the bank into the filth and caught the child and called for help.
She went all to pieces afterwards. Someone found her crying as if her heart would break, and trying to get herself washed clean in the shower room.
Oct. 14: The Japanese gave the Philippine Islands their independence today. All the Filipinos coming home from the procession were searched by our guards. Some of them were slapped. "Why do you suppose the Japanese are searching them?" one man asked a friend.
"To make sure they are not carrying any independence home in their pockets," he replied.
July 23, 1944: We talk of food all the time, and magazine pictures of food fascinate us . . . we are desperately hungry for sugars and proteins . . . three and four men fainting in the food line every day.
The children play concentration camp, acting as guards and inmates, giving out play injections for the plague and cholera.
Oct. 5 and 6: Things are still very bad here. People are . . . going through garbage cans . . . . Some of the food stolen from the kitchen is being put up for sale. We have our own gangsters, and some of our worst abuses in camp are not the fault of the Japanese, but of our own . . . .
Nov. 27: Commandant Morimoto said that no help could be expected here. Our salvation lies in gardening and we would have to work out our own salvation. It's impossible to raise enough food to feed 100 people on this place, and there are 4,000 of us.
Dec. 6: We had a memorial service for Mr. Umstad of International Harvester Company. While we stood singing "Lead Kindly Light," I thought what a pitiful lot we were--all hungry, in threadbare, patched clothes.
A baby was stillborn today. No legal father.
Jan. 7, 1945: Planes! Planes! Planes! . . . . The Japanese tore down their kitchen this morning. The children and some adults ran over and took whatever they could . . . . It was a distressing sight. One woman ran past with the whole backbone of a carabao water buffalo , with scraps of meat still clinging to it.
The Santo Tomas internment camp was liberated by American soldiers on Feb. 3, 1945. Goldthorpe's last diary entry was dated May 2, 1945, when she arrived in Los Angeles aboard a freighter carrying other former internees. At Red Cross headquarters there, she was met by a friend and taken to her home.
About 3 a.m. I plunged into a hot bubble bath. From the tub, I slipped into a bed big enough for four internees. I looked around the cheerful room lined with bookcases . . . . There were books and magazines I had been telling myself I would read at my first opportunity.
Oh well, I thought. They'll be here tomorrow.