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The Battle of Manila, Feb. 3-March 3, 1945

The Philippine Diary Project contains a first-hand account by Lydia C. Gutierrez, of the Battle for Manila. In fact her diary covers only ten days: from the start, to the end, of their ordeal.

In his diary, Fr. Juan Labrador OP, wrote of the liberation of the University of Santo Tomas in his entry for February 20, 1945; he talked to survivors and wrote down their stories, for example, see his entry for February 18, 1945, about the massacres in Singalong, De La Salle College, and the German Club; and see the accounts of survivors of the massacre in Intramuros in his diary entry for February 24, 1945; he also toured the city after the fighting and vividly described the ruins of Manila in his diary entry for March 17, 1945. On March 18, 1945 he visited Los Baños, and described the ordeal of prisoners there, and the destruction of Batangas.

From his diary entry, March 20, 1945:

Our new friends repeatedly asked us if we had not feared that such human slaughter would occur; if we did not have any inkling that the Japanese would make such a bloody exit.

Frankly, neither did we foresee or at least suspect such. Had we known it, we would not have submitted to it like lambs. Never did we imagine that a human being, even if he were Japanese, could go down to such a low level of brutality.

For more information, visit The Battle of Manila, in the Presidential Museum and Library site, with an embedded rare color film of the ruins of Manila in 1945. Visit Battle of Manila Online, too.

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