Diary of Albert E. Holland

December 24-25, 1944

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Dec. 24th – Today, to keep Dorita & the children alive, I purchased from a profiteer 2 lbs margarine. 20 oz. Jam, 1/2 kilo sugar, 1/2 lb honey, & for Dorita 3 3/4 oz coffee – The profiteer charged me $ 500 (!!) payable after the war – Frightful! But I cannot see them starve – If Jess & José Ossorio had been of different caliber (if they had been MJ & Luis) this would not have been necessary –

This afternoon I was ordered into the hospital – Possible angina pectoris, complete physical exhaustion – emaciation – malnutrition – starvation – 97 pounds down from 191 – Perhaps I’ll come out of this alive, perhaps not – But Dorita & the children will pull thru –

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The ward is full of old men for whom I have fought tooth & nail with the Japs – I kept all of them out at least 1 1/4 years, many of them 2 years 9 months (until this Sept.). Now they are dying – It is shameful! Shameful! The Japs responsible for this murder should be tried & severely punished –

Tomorrow is Xmas – At once the best (hope) and the worst (physical condition) we have had – From now on it will be a race between the army & death – And, as has been written in many diaries of shipwrecked & lost souls “God help us All.”

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Mr Lawton died at 3:00 am. He was another of the very sick old men forced into camp in Sept from Remedios  and Hospicio:

Dec. 25th – Our 3rd Xmas here – And a wonderful one! First Xmas cards dropped from our planes (copy of message attached)39 – Then Mass & Communion – Breakfeast – Then I wrote messages to friends-Dorita gave me a pair of socks & her share of the piece of chocolates – The children each gave me a cigar – Dorita fixed luncheon – talinum salad, corned beef & a fruit bibinka – Mr Van Vorhees gave me a can of coffee & a can of spinach soup – This afternoon many friends came to visit & later Dorita came -I bought her & the children 1 kilo of mongo beans – price $ 150 – But they are starving, & a funeral would cost more – the profiteers have us

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just where they want us – But it is so close to the end – 3-4 weeks – We must live!

For supper tonight we had fried rice, camotes & greens – I had a dab of margarine and a piece of bibinka & the chocolate – Later I will have a cup of coffee, a bit of sugar & a small slice of cake – If you knew how little it takes to make us happy – We know you are thinking of us & we are thinking of you & praying you are well –

We have great hopes!

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