Natalie Crouter

Natalie Crouter

(October 30, 1898 — October 15, 1985). Resident of Vigan and later Baguio in the Philippines. Interned by the Japanese with her family in Baguio, then Bilibid Prison in Manila.

Aug. 1, 1943

June says the little kids stomp about saying “God damn” over and over. Buddy on potty remarks, “I hope God will give me a good

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Aug. 10, 1943

High school grads are learning a new song by Father Gowan, not like the usual Alma Mater. It expresses this thought—“We hope it won’t be

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Sept. 25, 1943

There were five or six parties, one of about fifty guests for a husband’s birthday. A guard with his nose pressed against the wire watched

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Dec. 25, 1943

Like spiders crawling in every direction from the center of a web, all of the 450 internees were coming from the bodega with carts, sacks, poles, ropes—anything

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Jan. 1, 1944

It still burns me up that we have no letters, no message of any kind from America as we enter the third year of confinement.

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Jan. 5, 1944

Nida [The Crouters’ former cook] sent us bananas, a pomolo, cigarettes, red radishes, and four baskets of big red strawberries, which we hulled and washed

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Jan. 7, 1944

There are many infections now—thumbs, feet, boils in many areas. Lack of some vitamins is causing trouble with vision for a few who cannot see

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Jan. 10, 1944

Yesterday the four military police left and were replaced by fourteen regular army. In town also the military police have gone, the army is in

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Feb. 14, 1944

Damn the enemy. Even Germany permits bags and letters from home. I don’t want these officers killed, I want them isolated and incommunicado in a

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Apr. 14, 1944

Special Section on Bill, Gene, and Jim in jail. Bill was strung up by his thumbs four times in four hours. They tied his hands behind

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Apr. 18, 1944

Tomibe is very human. When he heard the children call the dog Tojo, he says they can call the dog Roosevelt!

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April 29, 1944

Moving and hammering all this day too which surged around couples who refused to move. They remain obturate islands, but Tomibe said to go by

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April 30, 1944

Mac came for coffee with us. His wife took a trip to Manila where people are either leaving to return to the provinces because they

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May 1, 1944

Practice for Maypole dancing, rope wreaths made of evergreen, monotonous piano tunes inkling for days—will soon be ended after today’s program. At quarter to six

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May 2, 1944

Another rumor says that the Japanese have named 8 open cities in Japan and Roosevelt had reported “we will not bomb Tokyo but—we give you

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May 3, 1944

The dentist has brought in the panels from his office which, with other boards, he is making into a paneled apartment for his wife, taking

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May 5, 1944

We had a casual conversation with Father Barter last night in which we told him of Bedie digging under the house. He said he had

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May 6, 1944

After breakfast I went over to Peg’s to lie down as Elizabeth was having her bed swung to make table space and dressing corner curtained

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May 7, 1944

Shelters, arbors, roofed gardens, shacks and cubby going up in wide variety, ingenuity and attractiveness. Camp Bulletin: “The Consensus of opinion [is] that available relief

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May 9, 1944

Little Walter got up at four to do guard duty with his Dad. The family are proud of him and it was an excellent idea.

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May 12, 1944

Camp pictures—the wood crew walking in after lunch in all kinds of caps and clothes, battered and patched, torn and dusty, motley but picturesque; Dr.

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May 14, 1944

A sound sleep and a good day. Jerry was busy in the cubicle building underground. He talks about building the West Wall as though it

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May 15, 1944

I am now trying to enjoy Sheba as a study in psychology.  June and I are timing her shampoos during a week. She is always

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May 16, 1944

Afternoon rains are here. It is our third wet season. There was quite a gale last evening. Jerry carried our table into the dugout and

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May 17, 1944

We had all our meals in the dugout and I spent the whole day there, resting and reading. A box is our cupboard and Dr.

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May 18, 1944

Jerry woke me at 6:30 and I dressed quickly. With a cup of coffee in hand and a bun, we sauntered to hospital point to

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May 19, 1944

Dr. Bruce came in and was also impressed. He said that in our dugout he could see the continuity of Culture! I said, “Yes, we

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May 20, 1944

Jim saw Marie Outside and told her to go ahead on selling clothes for us. Tonight Bea tells us that she has sold things and

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