Diary of Juan Labrador, O.P.

August 28, 1942

The latest news from Camp O’Donnell reported the death toll of some 30,000 prisoners to this date. This is the most stupid and criminal monstrosity we’ve ever heard of during the war. With a little hygiene and organization in the distribution of food, medicine and sanitary work, this mortality which cries out to high heavens could have been avoided. Those who have been freed recently are indignant about the abuses, neglect, and usurious practices being committed in the concentration camp.

Fortunately, since about two weeks ago, the situation has improved and the congestion was relieved. Aside from releasing the greater number of survivors, the Japanese have assigned American doctors to do sanitary work in hospitals and quarters. So much has been the work accomplished that the day after the doctors arrived, the mortality decreased to 19 deaths in one barrack where there used to be 50.