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April 14, 1946 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1946-04-14

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Y, APrIIL 14, l94

T-H--E Mltflli AN b-NILY


. . . ............ ............ . ..

E l tAL i 1

Prison Camp Life Described


(Continued from page 1)
Red Cross," he continued. "At first,
we had enough for a fairly adequate
-filling, let's say-breakfast and
supper, but during the last six
months, we were given the total of
697 calories a day in contrast with
the 2,500 we had started out with.
These some 600 calories were in the
form of rice and corn."
Needless to say, most of those
who didn't succumb to the meagre
diet, slept 14 hours daily, and did
as little physical work as possible."
Although all four of the students
were initially interned at the Santo
Tomas camps, Fernandez and Rob-
ert Schoendube were transferred to
the southern camp of Los Banos-
"L.B."-in May, 1943.
"I lost six pounds in perspiration
alone from riding with 49 other in-
ternees in a small railway car," Fer-
nandez commented. "Eight-hundred
men were jammed into those cars
for transfer to L.B., and although
Jap propaganda said 'the internees
were transported in luxurious
coaches,' believe me, it wasn't true."
"The intention of the Japs in
moving some of us south, was to
-build a camp on the site of the
rLos Banos Forestry School in order
to transfer all the internees from
Santo Tomas, and we were sent
there as a 'first shipment.'"
"Even though we had been moved
from the camp, we wanted to con-
tinue the school system that had
been set up at Santo Tomas," he said,
"so with the help of a former Michi-
gan student and professor, Lawrence
Hebbard, 20 of us organized a school,
which was called the 'Class of '47,'
for that's when we would have grad-
"In fact, it was Mr. Ilebbard,
who convinced us that we should
come to the University," he went
on, "and we decided that we would
-ifvwe ever got out of the camp
alive." In remembrance of the
class, their professor gave each stu-
dent a small, gold key with "'47"
on it. "That is something we can
never forget," he added.
Schoendube was vice-president and
Fernandez, secretary of the class.
"Besides our school system, we
organized basketball and soccer
As a

teams, and generally were better off
at L.B., because the camp was located
in the country where food was easier
to get," Fernandez explained, "and
we fared much better than those
who remained at Santo Tomas, for
in addition to the growing lack of
1od there, the Army had taken
over control of the camp, and made
things a lot harder for the internees."
"Of course, even things at L.B.
got bad in September, 1944," he
continued. "Our food rations were
cut in half, and blackouts-com-
plete ones-were held every night."
"The thing is," he went on, "that
we didn't know that the reason why
she Japs were intensifying their dis-
:ipline was due to the fact that our
troops were defeating them on all
;ides. We expected the opposite be-
havior in that event, because we felt
they might want mercy later on."
"Undoubtedly the biggest thrill
of the whole time," Fernandez
claimed, "was our liberation from
L.B. on Feb. 23, 1945. Shortly be-
fore 7 a.m. roll call, we heard the
roar of plane engines, and jumped
up to see about 25 planes over-
lvad. Not only were there 25
planes, but streams of paratroopers
were bailing out of them."
"After that we were not permitted
,o look out of the windows on penalty
of death, so we had to peek out paral-
lel with the sill to see what was going
on. Paiatroopers, plus Filipino guer-
ilas, were closing in on the camp,
and fortunately, many Jap guards
were taking their morning exercises,
which meant that their guns would
be in racks, and not in their hands.
They were virtually mowed down,
and our 300 liberators made possible
ur return to Manila through nests
)f 40,000 Japs who were scattered
between us and the capitol."
"No word had gotten to me about
the Santo Tomas liberation 20 days
before," he continued, "and that
knowledge, plus my first chocolate
bsar in three years was about the
most wonderful thing that ever
happened to me."
Shortly before the liberation of
both camps, Robert Schoendube had
been transferred back to Santo
Tomas, and he described the earlier
liberation of that camp:
"Immediately before we were lib-
crated conditions had become so de-
plorable that five or six people were
dying daily of starvation, and the
little corn and rice we had was hardly
capable of giving us strength to even
walk "aiound for more than a few
"Ironically enough, there was a
'100-Pound Club', and about 20 of
us were members. We were down
to virtual skin and bones, and it
wasn't a pretty sight.
"There were blackouts every night,
and during that time: no one could
even smoke a cigarette-that is, if
there were a cigarette to smoke.
"On Feb. 3, 1945, everything was
dark and quiet, as usual, until we
heard the rumble of something
against the high stone wall that sur-
rounded the camp. We thought it
was probably some Jap tank that had
gotten out of control, and we even
continued to think so after it had
-crashed through the wall.

"Because it was so dark, no one
could make out just what kind of a
tank it was-and who's it was.
About 500 of us gathered around
the large ceiling-high door of the
main building in which we were
quartered, and watched the tank
that had swung around in front of
"I tore up to the second floor to
see whether I could get a better view
of it, but the campus looked as black
as the first floor.
"Then a squad of soldiers advanced
on us from behind the tank, and from
their helmets, we thought they were
Germans-no one had told us about
the-new G-I head gear, so someone
yelled, 'Who are you, Germans-or
Japs or what?'
"The reply came quickly and1
clearly, 'Hell, no.' We're Ameri-
"They were Americans all right,
and we were never so glad and
grateful to see anyone as we were
to see those boys.
"The thought of inflation-born
bananas as $5.00 a piece, and Spam
for $100 a can, and the stench of
newly buried bodies and newly
wounded soldiers was still with us,
but we had been liberated, and the
way we felt about that liberation
blotted out-for a while, anyway-
the three years of internment we had
Navy Designs Planes
To Race with Sound
WASHINGTON, April 13 - .() )-
Navy test airplanes designed to race
the 760-mile an hour speed to sound
are being developed at a California
The Navy said today several air-
planes, with instruments for record-
ings aerodynamic forces at "previ-
ously unattained horizontal-flight
speeds" are being built in the Doug-
las Aircraft Company's plant at El
Segundo, Calif.

(continued from page 4)
Freshmen, sophomore, and junior
women are urged to attend a lecture
given by Dr. Lee Vincent, who will
speak on Courtship and Marriage at
4:15, Tuesday, April 16, in the Rack-
ham Lecture Hall. Students will not
be required to present tickets or iden-
tification cards for this lecture.
Academic Notices
The Chemistry Colloquium will
meet Wednesday, April 17, at 4:15
p.m. in Room 303, Chemistry Bldg.
Mr. John R. Dice will speak on "De-
ivatives of 4-methyl-tetra-hydro-
State of Michigan Civil Service Ex-
amination announcements have been
received in this office:
Industrial Health Chemist II Sal-
ary $250-$290
Closing date is May 1.
Petroleum Hazard Reduction In-
spector I Salary $200-$240
Pianist B Salary $145-$165
Closing date is May 8.
For further information, call at
the Bureau of Appointments, 201
Mason Hall.
History 50, mid-semester, April 16,
10:00 a.m., ADAMS to KATZ, Room
B, Haven Hall; KAY to ZEEB, Room
1025 Angell Hall.
Students, Spring Term, College of
Literature, Science, and the Arts:
Courses dropped after Saturday,
April 20, by students other than
freshmen will be recorded with the
grade of "E". Exceptions to these
regulations may be made only be-
cause of extraordinary circumstances,
such as serious illness.
The University. of Michigan Sym-
phony Orchestra, William D. Revelli,
Conductor, will present a program at
8:30 Thursday evening, April 18, in

Hill Auditorium. Jeannette Haien, a
graduate student in the School of
Music, will appear with ti:e orches-
tra in Beethoven's Concerto No. 5 in
E-fiat Major, "The Emperor." for
piano and orchestra. The public is
"Ancient Man in the Great Lakes
Region." Rotunda, University Muse-
um Building, through April 30.
Events Today
The International Center: The In-
ternational Center in conjunctionj
with the Latin American Society andt

American Legion will present a pro-
,ram on Pan American Day, tonight
at 7:30 in the ballroom of the Union.
Highlighting the program will be
a group of Pan American songs and
dances offered as a preview of the
Pan American Ball. Included in the
program will be a brief talk by Prof.
Edgar G. Johnston, a movie, "Wings'
Over Latin America," followed by re-
freshments and a Community Sing
in the Center. Foreign Students and
Friends of the International Center
are invited to attend.
Jazz Record Concert, today from
7:30 to 8:30 p.m., North Lounge of
the Union.

Coming Events
The Research Club will meet Wed-
nesday, April 17, at 8:00 in the Am-
phitheatre of the Rackham Build-
ing. This will be the annual memo-
rial meeting. Members of the science
Research Club and the Women's Re-
search Club are cordially invited to
attend. The following papers will be
presented: "Edward Pickering," by
Professor W. Carl Rufus, and "Mar-
tin Luther," by Professor Albert
Spanish play: La Sociedad His-
panica will present two one act plays:
Rosina es Fragil and Las Codornices
(Continued on Page 8)

__ _.. _.



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