Living Hell: The Prisoners of Santo Thomas

1942, Manila, teenager Isla ends up with other women imprisoned in a Japanese camp. The first camp she was in held 5,500 internees. Both sexes were interned in the same camp which makes this quite a bit different from most other camps. There is a morality squad to make sure the two sexes don't interact and have babies.

The first camp was apparently one of the best ones the Japanese had as the conditions were no where near as bad as the Tenko-like run camps. There were a lot of internees that shirked their duties and made it more difficult on the others. There was the typical rich bitch vs. regular women division in the camp. Another oddity was that the Red Cross packages actually got to the internees unrifled by the Japanese guards.

Then they move to another camp where conditions are much worse, like the 'regular' internee camps run by the Japanese. Food rations are continually being cut. There's major problems with disease. There are also some problems with the Filipinos who rob the camp from time to time.

Their caloric intake gradually goes down to 800 calories per day. Eventually, like the other camps, they are rescued by the Allies.

It's an interesting book especially in the material about how different the two camps were.

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