Thursday, December 25, 1941

To Hawaiian-Philippine Central at Silay in afternoon. Spent morning watching things loaded on truck and furniture stored in Bacolod. Took Jim’s clothes from suitcases packed to go to Manila and stored clothes in bodega. Of course no word from Jim. Arrived at the Central in afternoon, to find flowers in house , gifts for children on hall table. Five American families and one British at Central all lovely to us—fruit cake (Mrs. Oss), homemade bread (Mrs. Woods), fresh sugar corn—in December!—artichokes, beets, spinach, bananas, eggs (Mrs. Gibbs). How nice to be among Americans again. Only other “blancos” in Bacolod were Swiss-German Jew named Schulmann—in concentration in Bacolod public schoolhouse with the Japanese—and one Russian bachelor. Spanish of Bacolod are so intermarried with Filipinos that they are not generally included in white population. Swiss of Bacolod either fled to hacienda out of city or sat smilingly and superiorly still calling themselves “neutrals.” “We’re neutrals, you know,” they say whenever war is discussed, and begin talking to each other in German. They take no chances while war news is bad. One actively loyal family (Mr. and Mrs. Simke) are German Jews. He is a longtime resident of Philippines and possessor of Philippine citizenship. She is recent refugee from Germany. They met in Philippine Islands and married in Jewish temple in Manila. He taught Mrs. Simke to polish her English while she studied for medical examination in P.I. Finished medical course in Germany and Vienna and practiced in Berlin hospital, but all diplomas, licenses, and records confiscated as possession of Reich when she was forced to flee with her mother and two brothers. Mrs. Simke could not practice in P.I. as a German refugee, but as Filipino citizen (as wife of Mr. Simke) she would be permitted to take medical examination, She was preparing to take exam in Manila in the spring when war broke out in December. Immediately volunteered services to PI, and began teaching first aid classes to Filipinos in Bacolod, organized emergency first aid groups and offered house for hospital if needed.

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