Diary of Albert E. Holland

December 8-12, 1944

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Dec. 8th – Dec. 12th – In bed almost all the time during these 5 days – down to 100 pounds – The whole camp is getting weaker – the people look like disembodied spirits –
Very little news of the war – Apparently fighting is still going on in Leyte – We are cleaning up the Visayan Islands – Luzon has been bombed and shelled (we hear), But we have had no bombing around Manila since Nov. 25th

There have been many rumors about the relief supplies – We know they are in Manila (almost 3 weeks now) – But no distribution to us as

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yet. Now there are two conflicting reports 1) That the kits will be distributed before Xmas, 2) that, Santo Tomas will not receive any kits because some internees still have reserve stocks.

The internees have put so much hope in these kits that I am afraid there will be a breakdown (tending towards melancholia) if they are not distributed –

Our net daily ration now is 240 grams of cereal, 1 1/2 oz of pressed soy bean meal, and from our gardens 1 oz of vegetables – A calamansi (1/2 the size of a lurre) rice per week – Calory value about 950 per day – the Japanese are short 15% on their rice and corn deliveries. Rice & corn

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stocks will last until Dec. 19th.

There seems to be no doubt as to the policy of the Japanese: deliberate starvation to break our health & morale –

They may break my health, but they cannot break my morale –

I have been reading “King Lear” with Landauer’s Commentary – And now Jacques Maritain’s “True Humanism – One thing about starvation: You can grasp complex theories more readily and you have greater ability of analysis –

13 days to Xmas – I never thought we’d spend another

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Christmas here. But it looks very probable – We’ll make the best of it, and promise the children a real Christmas when this is over –

Have you ever read any of Ferrero’s historical writings – I have his “Life of Caesar”. Glancing through, it seems interesting.

What fun it will be to read the good books written since the war began – And the magazines – & PM – (I want to read Fortune, Nation, New Republic, Economist, Revue de Deux Mondes, Atlantic, Harpers, Foreign Affairs, Story) – Perhaps Reader’s Digest too – N.Y. Times Book Section – Journal of Political Economy –etc, etc. 6 months on a farm, good foods – books & peace.

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