It was my 8th-grade history teacher, Mr. Danhausen, who started me on my life-long obsession with World War II.
It was my friend, Anthony Garrett, who provided me with a copy of his grandfather's journal.

Elwood Llewellin Garrett was an American businessman in Manila at the time of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
This is his story, as he recorded it, of living under Japanese rule in an enemy-occupied foreign land.

April 5, 1942 - Easter Sunday

Things have been rather quiet again for the past few days, not even any good rumors worth writing down except for last nights session. Just for the fun of it you might check up on the date of this one and see if our grape-vine is working.

It is reported that Allied troops have landed in France in an effort to split the German power before their contemplated spring invasion of England. Russia appears to be going strong and it is expected that they (Russia) will make a seperate peace with Germany. Another side is that Germany is expected to collapse within sixty days from date. It is also reported that food riots are becoming serious and that there is plenty of internal trouble in Germany. All this, of course, looks good for our side but as I have heard so many rumors both pro and con that have never materialized, I take no stock in any of them and just live from day to day, hoping for the best. It would be interesting to know if there is anything to this.

Last night there was another heavy seige of bombing and artillery, same as that mentioned under date of April first, which was probably another attempted landing on Corregidor. It is reported that the attack on the first was made by barges heavily loaded with men and supplies, all of which were completely annihalated by our forces from Corregidor. It is reported that they also attempted a landing at Bataan, behind our lines and this was likewise repulsed with heavy losses.

Our friends on the outside sent us in an exceptionally good meal today, this being Easter, the best we have had in some time; soup, roast chicken and some sort of frozen desert. It was a real treat.

In some ways this concentration camp life has been a real education, for it has afforded a great opportunity to study us Americans and other nationals in general, at a close range, and a lot of your so-called friends. Believe me, I have learned plenty although hardly worth writing about as it would not make for pleasant reading. I have also made several new friends who have really prooven themselves as friends, so consider myself quite fortunate considering all things.

As I mentioned before, foreign food stuffs and etc; are fast disappearing from the markets and we are getting back to native life and chow, even to smokes. We have been smoking native cigarettes for the past two months and like them. Every so often some one gets in states cigarettes and they are so different I don't even care for them now. It is just as well for we will be smoking "dhobies" for sometime to come.

To alleviate the food situation, we have plowed up by hand, about three acres of ground and have planted vegetables of all kinds. While I am hoping we are not still here to reap the harvest, it is a good idea anyway.

The morale of camp seems pretty good today; many of them are dressed up in their Sunday-go-to-meetin' clothes, neckties and everything, parading around the grounds to show off. It's great, the spirit of us Americans! I believe a great many of the extremely high optomistic rumors are started by the Japanese High Command so that when they do not come true, they expect we will crack up in spirit. We have had all sorts of rumors such as, all Japs were evacuating Manila and we would be out in a day or two; or the Japs were asking for peace; fifty percent of their navy is no more, and all such stuff. While we have had many let-downs almost enough to crack the best, we are still betting on Uncle Sam to save the day and teach these devils a lesson they will never forget. While they have taken the whole world by surprise and have taken everything they started out for, I can't see how they can possibly expect to hold it for any length of time. From all reports, they don't seem to know what to do after they do take a city. About all they have done in Manila is to loot all our homes, abuse the residents and spread a lot of worthless currency. There is no business going on, so as far as I can see they have accomplished very little other than causing destruction.

A flight of eighteen bombers have just gone overhead; they were flying so high it was impossible to say whether they were ours or not, but rumors are running high that we now have planes here so we like to think that they were ours. At least they went over without dropping any "eggs" on us so guess there is no harm is believing. Whenever any planes go over, most everyone runs out of the building, hoping to see what we have all been waiting for so long. It will be one grand and glorious day when it does come, for this is worse than being in a jail. When one is in jail, they know or have some idea when they can expect to get out, but with us it is quite different.

Directly across the hall from our room is a room full of Poles, who are not too particular about personal cleanliness and consistantly jabber away all day and far into the night. At times they get on ones nerves and I could cheerfully slaughter the whole lot. But such is life!

The latest rumor along the lines of exchanging diplomats and citizens is supposed to take place on April 20th; when a Jap ship leaves the Philippines for Mozambique, South Africa, where the swap is to be made. Applications are now supposed to be presented but it looks "fishy" to me so intend staying right here, rather than take that chance. A number of people have been reported to have put in their applications but I doubt if they will ever get on their way. Probably another Jap rumor, originated for the purpose of giving us another let-down but I again doubt if it will have the desired effect.

Siesta hour is over and the usual chatter is going strong so will sign off for a while until the spirit moves me again or something of interest comes to mind. We have a pretty good gang in this room and most every one can take a little "ribbing" now and then, which helps to keep things going. At the moment I seem to be in for it with none too flattering remarks so -------

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