June 2, 1944

I went to see Bedie move up to 8th grade. One more year, then high school. Sometimes there are only three study books to a class.

Church Scott feels low. He said he couldn’t see anything funny about the Japanese anymore, couldn’t even laugh over the masticator story. He is so equable, with such balanced humor, that times are bad indeed when he is low. Everyone is hungry all the time. Meals are less and less. No vegetable for my bag for three days, only enough to put in stews for camp. Many are losing their sense of humor and out of funds which should be here. June wakes up ravenous.

Helga hemorrhaged for 20 days, terrible headache, low blood count and is taken to the hospital. But in spite of low morale and hunger the open house under the house was a success. It showed how something can be made from nothing. Some said they had no materials. Well, neither did we, for our neighbors built two of our walls from runo and old tin. For the first time we are in the “smart” class with a smart dugout, cosy and colorful for bridge games and coffee parties, if one is able to hold them. We have arrived, in practically the last word in Concentration style, with artistic den or studio or whatever Bohemia wants to call it. A Shangri-la in the earth literally! It saved my health and sanity that first week, smart or not.

Meanwhile the Japanese turn nasty. They had heard the children call them Japs and complained to Carl. Now the Chef, asked where some supplies came from, replies that the Japs brought it in. He is overheard by the buyer and reported. It grows into a major incident. The Chef is called to the guardhouse, given a tongue lashing, nearly half a day tries to explain it is a slang term, but to no avail. He is threatened with three days in the jail room at guardhouse (two or three recently built), finally made to write an apology. The Committee was called to a meeting about it and about our attitude of fading out when a General comes, etc. They complain that we don’t like them. What do they expect after poor treatment. Denki told them bluntly that as we grow more hungry and tired, ill and nervous, we would grow more disagreeable, blame them, blame the Committee, for no food, no housing etc. Evidently the General gave them a raking over and being nervy and jittery anyway they pass it on to us as they have done before. This happens to all people.

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