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December 18, 1944


Dec. 18th – One week until Christmas, the worst and at the same time the best we have spent in this camp – It is wonderful what the women are making for the children out of nothing –

The camp was just on an alert basis at 10:20 today, after 98 hours of airraid alarm -No siren blew, so we assume that Manila is still under air-raid – No US planes today but there were some Jap planes around –

The Japs admitted yesterday the landing in Mindoro – This is fact, as is the report of the Polillo landing – It is rumored that the Japanese language paper admitted a landing in Tayabas – But

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This is rumor –

Kit stories current again – We are to get them before Xmas – Also a rumor –

3 things hit us very hard: 1) Lack of food 2) Lack of tobacco, 3) Lack of authentic news –

A man in our room collapsed today and had to be taken to the hospital – All hospitals are full, and the rooms in the buildings are full of sick people for whom there is no hospital accommodation –

There are signs that the Japs are becoming more lenient – But I am skeptical – Perhaps Shiragi, Kamatsu & Abiko will be


removed. Then I’ll believe it –

Have you ever read “My Antonia” by Willa Cather? It is delightful – Story of pioneer days in Nebraska and a Bohemian family – I wonder why I never read it before?

I was thinking of Paul Reif to-day – I consider him my very best friend, almost an older brother – An Austrian who went to Holland in the twenties – Charming wife – 3 little girls – I wonder where he is and what he is doing? I am looking forward to a reunion with him- I want you & Neil34 to meet him –

And so another day – The 1077th in this camp -Is it possible?