[New York: 1943-1945]. Seven issues, totaling pp. Legal-size sheets, stapled. Previously folded. Light wear and toning. Very good. Item #4668
A collection of seven newsletters by a New York-based aid group, Relief for Americans in the Philippines. Included here are issues 14 through 17, 23, 27, and 28, the final issue, which were published between 1943 and 1945. The organization was devoted to the support of Americans who were imprisoned at San Tomas, Gabuio, and other camps after Japan occupied the Philippines during World War II.
At the outset of the war, the Philippines were a commonwealth of the United States, but within three weeks of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese seized control. The 20,000 American and 80,000 Filipino troops on the ground departed and any remaining American or British citizens were rounded up in Manila and transferred to the University of Santo Tomas, where they were left to fend for themselves. The only exceptions were a 7:30 pm roll call each night and the use of room monitors. The background of the captives varied wildly, from business executives and retired soldiers to prostitutes. At the end of the war, the total number of prisoners liberated was 3,785, 2,870 of which were American.
Issue 14 remarks on the first anniversary of the non-profit organization: “On May 8th, 1942, just a year ago and two days after the fall of Corregidor, our organization came into being for furthering plans for the shipment of food, medical supplies and other necessities for the internees and also to serve as a clearing house and point of dissemination for information concerning the welfare of these internees.” The monthly newsletter prints news and developments from the camps in the Pacific, and documents the efforts of the organization to provide aid to the prisoners there. The issues also print a running list of all those believed to be in the Philippines, “solely for the purpose of obtaining names and addresses of the nearest relatives of who we have no record.” A scarce record of this little-known relief effort during World War II.