Diary of Albert E. Holland

November 30, 1944

Nov. 30th

Air-raid alert at 8:20 AM. I feel very much better today. Probably because the depressing effect of large dosages of Sulfa-drugs has been eliminated –

Clarence Beliel, head of publicity, Bessie Hackett, his Asst., and I have founded a “Prunes for Gloomy Remarks Club.” Anyone making a gloomy remark about the war, the relief shipment, personal health, or conditions in the camp, is given a black mark. When the kits arrive, each black mark must be redeemed with a prune from the comfort kits (or 6 raisins, or 1 dried apricot). Bessie has 1 black mark; so have I. The aim is not to make us Pollyannas

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but to prevent gloomy discussions which do no good.

We hear the relief ship is in the Bay. and that the prisoners in Bilibid31 already have their kits.

All clear at 4:03 PM – No action –

Tomorrow we go into December – our 36th month of internment – what is the situation compared with Nov. 1st?

To begin with, the food is less – In calories: 950 against. 1250. Camp reserves are gone – The camp is out of money (except a small sum – in purchasing power – just rec’d from the Amer. Red Cross). There is no more coconut milk – Individual reserves are depleted -Probably not more that 10% of the internees have more than a few cans left.

The health of the camp is much worse – the aged are becoming increasingly helpless – the children are growing paler, and the group from 18-50 have lost much weight. We are now forced to turn the entire gymnasium into a hospital (250 beds) – This means 120 beds in Sta Cat., 60 beds in the Isolation Hosp., 20 beds in the Childrens Hosp. & 250 in the Gym or a total of 450 hospital beds – over 12% of the entire population hospitalized,

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and almost, 15% of the adult population in bed – This does not include at least 200 more for whom special housing arrangements have had to be made – So that we can say with truth that 20-25% of the people over 18 years in this camp must be given special care by nurses & orderlies & doctors – you can imagine what work this is!

From the military viewpoint our position has improved – We have tightened our grip on Leyte & Samar and have smashed all Jap attempts at reinforcement. The bombings of Luzon have intensified & landings may soon be effected – We have landed also on the islands of Cebu & Panay, perhaps on Mindoro –

Another fact which will help us – if it really arrives – is the relief ship – There, is a very good chance of this –

Summing up – If both the Marines and the relief supplies arrive in the next weeks, we’ll be weak but alive – If the relief supplies arrive, the Marines can wait until Feb. – If the Marines arrive, they’ll have to feed us slowly back to a decent standard – If neither Marines nor kits arrive, there will be many deaths and widespread permanent physical impairment – So Come on you Leathernecks!

[End of part one of Holland’s Journal; part two is contained in a paperbound “Bureau of Education” notebook, a child’s schoolbook most likely produced in the Philippines, as well as several loose scraps of paper. The entries beginning on December 1st, 1944 are in the notebook with every other page being numbered.]

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