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.

May 24, 1942

This is a heluva way to spend a Saturday night although I have spent quite a number already right here and can't say that I like it yet either. However, so it goes. They are having a show over at the main building tonight and things were very quiet up 'till a moment ago when it started raining and now the crowd is swarming back to roost as the show was called. Thought I would have a quiet evening and catch up a little on the latest dope but no soap. Have been busy building folding canvas chairs lately; make a few dimes every now and then for cigarettes. They cost me about P2.50 to make and I sell them for P5.00. That is not counting the time I work on them which, with available tools, takes about two days per chair.

If, after getting out of this place, any one gets me, or rather tries to get me to stand and wait in a line, it will be a plain case of murder, for that is what we do for everything from the chow line to bathing, toilet etc. Facilities for everything are so limited. To find any one in camp just follow the chow line and they are sure to be there.

Todays paper has pictures of a number of Nurses taken prisoners at Corregidor, several of whom I knew. We had consistant rumors that they had all been evacuated to Australia but like most of the rumors we get in here, they are false. The paper also states that Mexico has declared war on the Axis. Some say this occurred several months ago as there have been people carrying Mexican passports in this camp for some time. Personally, I do not appreciate why the Japs are broadcasting this now but one can rest assured they have something in mind.

Rumors come in that the Russians have at last taken Kharkov after giving the Germans a terrible "shellacking." With all the optimistic news we have been getting about that front lately, the war should be practically over. As a matter of fact, we have had here rumors that Germany had sued for peace on several occasions, but the war still goes on and they are fighting every inch of the way. So far as we know, things are very quiet out this way since the fall of Corregidor. We have heard something about a Coral Sea naval battle, with both sides claiming a victory so don't know what to make of it. There appears to be nothing around the Philippines so it really is beginning to look like we are the forgotten peoples.

In the mean time the Japs continue their abuse and looting of everything in sight; they are now working out on properties of the Filipinos, taking their cars, radios, stores and etc.

And speaking of abuses, we had an example of it right at the gate of this camp several days ago and this is no rumor either, for I witnessed it myself. It seems that a Filipino got into trouble with a Jap civilian just outside the gate and pulled a knife on him inflicting a small cut on the arm or head, am not sure where. The guards at the gate joined in the scrap and all but beat the poor fellow to a pulp. Then they brought him inside the gate, tied his hands behind him and beat him up some more, slapping his face, kicking his shins and stamping the butt of their gun on his foot apparently trying to break his arches. When the poor fellow fell down in pain and exhaustion, they would kick him in the ribs and face until he got up. It was a terrible sight and I was probably a "heel" to watch it as long as I did but could not help seeing what animals they really are. Other guards stood by with fixed bayonets and there was absolutely nothing any one could do but just boil all over at such cruelty. This happened about four o'clock in the afternoon; the poor fellow was kept at the gate and beat up until eight, then was taken away, almost dead. We have since learned his wife and kids came to plead for him and they let him go. That is just another example of the "New Order."

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