Diary of Albert E. Holland

December 26, 1944

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Dec. 26th – The air-raid signal was given at 10:15 A.M. and is still on at 2.00 P.M. – We can hear bombing in the distance – Reports are current that the Japs admit evacuating Corregidor – I doubt not the evacuation but the admission –

The man next to me is dying – In part because he has given up – I am going to make it my job to keep him alive – He must regain his desire to live – He must eat –

I wish you could see this ward – men swollen like balloons from beri-beri, men weakened by the exhaustion of bacillary dysentery, cases of protein deficiency, pellagra, severe Anemia – All smashing down defenses undermined by starvation – And death

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watching by every bedside until a moment of acute weakness – usually the early hours of the morning – when he can lead another victim away – Day in, day out the struggle goes on – against disease and against starvation: against death –

Conrad writes in “The Mirror of the Sea” of the “hope of home, the hope of rest, of liberty – – – following the hard endurance of many days…” Home, rest, liberty – what dreams are conjured up by these words – And what determination to fight against the Jap policy of deliberate starvation, what vows to obtain revenge for our friends who could not hold out – If you could see us now, your anger could not be controlled!

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