Received solution to put on gauze gas masks today. As planes approach we must apply solution to masks and tie over nose and mouth. Have small pieces of wood to put in children’s mouths to keep mouths open. Children wear the pieces of wood on strings around neck, like a big oblong bead. Keeping mouth open during bombing helps protect the eardrums from concussion caused by bomb. Having nothing more important to do as we await the approach of the Japanese, the women of the Central have fallen into two hostile camps concerning the best type of air raid shelter. One group –a minority, and unfortunately I expressed a preference for this type of shelter– prefers the dugout, while the majority prefer shelters above ground, seemingly suffering from claustrophobia. So most of the shelters are made of bagasse above ground.
A censored letter from Mrs. Schulmann, German Jewess whose husband is now in concentration camp in Bacolod, thanking me for baby blanket sent to her. She expects first baby in a few months. Husband has been in concentration camp with the Japanese since outbreak of war. Mrs. Schulmann sent him a bed and sends meals daily. Mr. Schulmann has been dismissed by the Swiss company for which he was working and the Swiss have made no effort to have him released. Swiss on this island have been a disappointment to most Americans as they have given no support to civic war preparations, only taking every precaution to be sure they will be personally safe if the Japs come. Their 100 percent “neutrality” at a time like this when they (many of them) have made fortunes in the Islands under American guardianship is a bit of a setback.
The things that people throw away when they think that everything may be taken by aliens—old letters, souvenirs, pictures. There was a general burning of old love letters on Central. One lady married 32 years still had all the love letters of her husband written prior to their marriage. Destroyed all, as Japs might scatter them if they could not read them.
An Australian broadcast announces that a soldier smokes 2½ times as many cigarettes as a civilian, and that since the start of the war in the Far East, Australian consumption of tobacco has increased due to tension, as war draws nearer home.