The Sack of
(This account of the wholesale destruction of
Killed by a Japanese Bayonet.
The order that brought this about came directly from
Early in December, 1944, the puppet President Laurel, made a
futile attempt to have
A Mother and Child Murdered on the Streets of
In the first three weeks of February 1945, commencing with the
liberation of Santo Tomas Camp, the Japanese began to burn and destroy,
systematically, the churches, convents, and charitable institutions of Intramuros, the old "
They reduced to a rubble heap the fine old Pontifical University
of Santo Tomas, the greatest Catholic university in the Orient and the oldest
under the American flag. Only the ruined walls are left of Manila Cathedral,
the most beautiful church in the
Outside of Intramuros, the Japanese
destroyed with the same cold calculation Spanish institutions belonging to the
Sisters of Charity. In Looban Asylum, where the
Japanese fired the convent, were more than a thousand refugees, mostly women
and children. In
A Man Suffering from Burn
and Bayonet Wounds
On 10 February 1945, a squad of Japanese soldiers entered the Red Cross Building and proceeded to shoot and bayonet everyone in the building, including staff doctors, patients and young babies, nurses, and refugees. Nurses pleaded for the lives of mothers with new-born infants, but all were bayoneted or shot. Then the attackers ransacked the building for food and supplies. Modesto Farolan, Acting Manager of the Philippine Red Cross, escaped. Under affidavit, he has described these inhuman atrocities.
On 12 February 1945, a Japanese officer and 20 soldiers forced
their way into
A Man Executed with His Hands Tied Behind His Back
On 23 February, 50 bodies, bullet riddled, with hands tied behind backs, were shrunken and gave the appearance of malnutrition and near starvation. These bodies were piled in layers, several feet high. In another room were eight bodies in the same condition.
On that same date, 23 February, 30 bodies were found in a small stone building 15 feet square. The bodies were all burned or scorched. A Filipino, who had been bayoneted by the Japanese but had survived and escaped, directed an American sergeant to the chamber of death. He was one of 58 tubercular patients who had been removed from a hospital and brought to the area. They were left without food or water. When ever one of the patients had asked for water of food, he was bayoneted and thrown into the building of the dead.
A Woman with a Bayonet Wound
On 24 February 1945, a heap of 250 to 300 bodies was found in a 15 by 18 foot dungeon which was barred and closed by steel doors. The dungeon was without light or air. No wounds were found on the bodies and there was every indication these people had died of starvation. Positions of the bodies showed they had struggled desperately to escape. American officers who opened the doors attested that the stench was like a blast.
Even though the Spanish flag was prominently displayed at the
Spanish Consulate, the Japanese fired the building and more than 50 people were
burned alive or killed with bayonets in the garden. The Casino Espanol and library were burned. The House of the Auxilio Social and Patronato Escolar Espanol were bunged. It
is estimated that 90 percent of the Spanish properties in the city of
A Mass of Dead Bodies in
The provinces faired no better. On the first of February 1945, the Japanese dynamited the sugar central "El Real," in Calamba, belonging to the Dominican Order. In Calamba 5,000 men, women, and children were killed and the town was completely destroyed by fire. Five priests, who after being tied and about to be killed were saved, related under affidavit their experience.
A Japanese Beheading Party in the Provinces.
Men Dug their Own
In Intramuros, the majority of the Spanish priest and brothers were conducted by the military police to two shelters in front of the Cathedral. When they were penned in the shelters, the Japanese soldiers threw hand grenades among them, then covered the entrances to the shelters with gasoline drums and earth-literally burying them alive. Out of 13 Augustinian fathers, only two were saved. Franciscan, Capuchin, and Recollect priest were killed in the same way. Outside Intramuros, 15 Paulist and three Capuchin priest were assassinated.
Murdered Priests Found in Intramuros
Dr. Frankel, 55 years old, a surgeon, urologist, a lecturer on
History of Medicine in the
On 7 February, on the southeast corner of Juan Luna and Moriones Streets, 49 mutilated bodies were found scattered on the grass, the pavement, and in ditches of water. Approximately one-third were babies or young children and about one-third were women. Most of the bodies were found with hands tied behind their backs. On the same day, the bodies of 115 men, women, and children were found on the grounds of the Dy-Pac Lumber Company, near the railroad station. The Japanese had shot and bayoneted these people and pushed their bodies into the ditches. Many adults and some older children were tied, while very small children had been killed without having been tied. The children were from two to twelve years old. Some of the women had been pregnant.
More Murdered Children
Enemy documents relating to the massacre include a diary entry recording the death of 1,000 civilians by burning, a battalion order giving instructions for the disposal of civilians by burning and an order instructing that all people on the battlefield, with the exception of Japanese are to be killed.
A Woman Who Was Raped and Bayoneted
The individual atrocities, as told by the survivors, were countless and barbarous. Women were slashed with sabers, their breasts cut off, they genitals pierced with bayonets; children were cut and stabbed with sabers and bayonets. Men, trying to save their belongings from burning homes, were burned with flame throwers and forced back into the burning buildings. Few escaped alive. A affidavit made by Medical Officer John H. Amnesse list such wounds as teen-aged girls with both nipples amputated and bayonet wounds in chest and abdomen, a 10-year old girl and a 2-year old boy with arms amputated, children under five suffering severe burns and stab wounds. Further evidence of atrocities committed could be found in any of the civilian hospitals in the area.
A Young Girl Whose Nipple was Amputated
La Salle College Massacre
Brief statement by Father Superior
La Salle College Massacre
On Monday, 12 February, about 70 people had gathered for
protection from shelling at the foot of the staircase in the southern wing of
A Man Hacked by a Japanese Sword
That night I managed to extricate myself from the dead bodies and hid behind the high altar of the chapel, where I was joined the next morning by eight or ten others still alive. We remained there until Thursday afternoon. At times the Japanese soldiers came in and tried to violate young girls who were actually dying. The soldiers ransacked the building and all the sacred vessels were stolen. On Wednesday evening, the Japanese set fire to the chapel. One of the brothers, who was dying, succeeded in putting it out. The following afternoon the Americans captured the college and took the few survivors out.
The Spaniards were separated from the Filipinos and forced to enter the shelters in front of the Cathedral. In my shelter there must have been over 80 people, many of them priests like myself. In about half an hour the Japanese soldiers began throwing hand grenades through the air holes. We were all very badly wounded. We rushed to the door and the Japanese met us with a volley of fire and laughter. Then they covered the entrance with stones, gasoline barrels, and earth, burying us alive. That night I dug a hole through the earth to breathe through. In the morning a Jap soldier saw the hole, fired several shots through it and packed the earth down again. After-awhile I opened it again. I was lying on top of the decomposing corpses of my companions-there were already worms in them-and a swarm of flies covered everything. I managed to enlarge the hole enough for a companion and myself to escape, at midnight of the fourth night.
One side of my body was covered with grenade wounds and my companion's wounds were worse. Rolling on the ground most of the way, torn by barbed wire and sharp rubble, we searched for water, food, and shelter. We did not find food, but I found water in the tank of a toilet at the Bureau of Justice. The next morning I heard footsteps approaching my hiding place and a voice called .Come on. Come out." It was an American soldier.
Starving Children Found in Manila
After the City was Liberated
I believe that we were the only ones to escape. Later I learned that the thousand or more Filipinos who were separated from-us in the beginning had been covered with gasoline and burned alive ....
"I am a nurse 22 years old. On at least two occasions I was
an actual eyewitness at the killing of an estimated 75 to 100 civilians."
On each occasion, Japanese firing squads composed of about 10 soldiers armed with automatic weapons lined up the civilians at the intersection of Victoria and General Solano Streets and mowed them down with point-blank fire. Women-folk of the victims who ran out to plead with the soldiers were killed in cold blood before they even reached the soldiers.
Two Women Who Were Bayoneted While Fighting Off
Japanese Soldiers who Tried to Rape them.
I was living within the walled city with a family named Velez on
"An estimated 400 bodies were found in three different different places in the
Report of the 129th Infantry Regiment
The first group of dead consisted of approximately 50 bodies with hands tied behind them: The bodies were stacked in layers, face down, with from three to six bullet holes in each. Their position indicated that a row of victims had been faced against the wall and shot in the back. Then a second row was shot to fall over the first. Then a third and a fourth. The bodies were shrunken, giving evidence of near-starvation.
The second group of about 30 bodies was found in a stone
building 15 feet square. When it was first discovered, the building could not
be approached because of the heat of nearby fires. Later it was learned from a
Filipino survivor that a group of 58 tubercular patients had been moved to this
area from the hospital and left without food or water for two weeks. Whenever a
civilian asked for water or food he
was bayoneted and his body thrown in the death chamber. The survivor showed a bayonet wound in his back inflicted when he asked for water. The regimental surgeon inspected the scene, but because of the burned and seared condition of the bodies it was difficult to determine the manner of death. Wounds could be seen in the chest and stomach regions of some of the bodies.
The only Survivors of a Large Family
Show their Burn and Bayonet Wounds
Later a third group of bodies was found under circumstances
which indicated a more diabolical, cruel, and premeditated form of atrocity
than evidenced by the others. A strong smell of decomposing flesh led to their
discovery. Probing in the rubble of a dungeon area disclosed two closed steel
doors. These were opened with difficulty, and the stench struck the
investigators with physical force. The dungeon walls were five feet thick. The
one high window was tightly sealed. Two feet behind the steel doors was a
locked steel-bar door. Inside the airless 15 by 18 foot cage were other steelbar separations. It is estimated that the room
contained 250 to 300 bodies. It was impossible to detect wounds on the
partially decomposed bodies, and there was every indication that they had died
"Modesto Farolan age 45, Filipino citizen, witnessed massacre in the Red Cross building on 10 February."
The story of the Red Cross service to the people of besieged Manila is written in the blood of its own doctors and nurses who fell victims of Japanese bullets and bayonets at six o'clock in the evening of 10 February 1945, murdered in cold blood with their patients and the many refugees, mostly women and children, given shelter when their homes were burned or destroyed.
Another Baby, Dead from a Bayonet Wound
From Sunday, 4 February, to 10 February, my staff of doctors and nurses worked continuously day and night, without let-up, hardly without sleep, food, etc., and without ever leaving the place, for since Tuesday the entire neighborhood was barricaded by the Japanese.
Suddenly, Saturday afternoon, a squad of Japanese soldiers entered the Red Cross building and began to shoot and bayonet everybody they found in the building. Dr.de Venecia a voluntary surgeon, was preparing with an attendant two cases for operation. Miss Rosario Andaya a nurse on volunteer duty, was out at the main corridor keeping order among the large crowd that filled the budding to overflowing. As we heard the noise of rifle fire in every section of the building, Miss Andaya screamed for mercy to spare the lives of a mother and child beside her. Before we knew what had happened, a soldier with drawn bayonet came into the temporary combined office room-ward where I was. Dr. de Venezia who had just walked over to my corner, Misses Loverize and de Paz, both nurses, and an attendant, ducked into our respective corners for safety.
A Woman Whose Tongue Was Removed
First, Dr.de Venezia was shot twice while he was seated at his corner. The soldier next aimed at the attendant beside him but missed her. She threw herself over to where the two nurses had covered themselves with mattresses beside my desk and saw two patients crouching underneath. One bayonet thrust finished each of them. Another bayonet thrust at the girl that had escaped the first shot caught Miss de Paz underneath. Looking underneath my desk, the soldier fired two shots at me but the bullets passed between my feet, scraping the bottom rim of my Red Cross steel helmet. After me, he shot a young mother with her 10-day baby, along with her mother, the baby's grandmother, who was nursing the two. That, for all the Japanese knew, finished all of us in the room without exception.
More shootings went on around the rest of the building. From where we were we could hear victims in their death agony, the shrill cries of children and the sobs of dying mothers and girls ....
A Soldier Tending to Children Wounded by the Japanese
The first Filipino Scout of the advance columns of the American forces reached the Red Cross area at seven in the morning of 13 February and warned everybody to clear the area for street fighting. I called to the few survivors to leave. As we began to run, the Japanese machine-gunned us indiscriminately. How many perished in this massacre, I cannot tell.
What could be the explanation for this beastly murder of innocent victims? This incident, among others, may throw much light into the case.
On the morning of the massacre, when the Japanese marines came to make their customary search of the building, they saw me ordering our houseboy and a volunteer attendant to replace two Red Cross flags that had just then been blown down. They stopped me, saying in broken English, "No good, Americans very bad, no like Red Cross. Japanese okay."
When they came back at six in the evening, what had been back of all their interest became clear. They did not like the Red Cross. They did not want us there, hence the cold-blooded murder by the "Okay" Japanese.
For the sake of historical truth, I must comment that the
With the American and Filipino liberators just on the other side
of the Pasig River, the Japanese soldiers and
sailors, and the Korean marines proceeded to go from one city block to another,
burning and looting the homes, raping the women, and murdering as many citizens
of Manila as they could, in biblical proportions. The Ermita,
Conservative estimates state the the
Manila Massacre, which took place in February, 1945, claimed the lives of over
111,000 civilians, an estimate of 35,000 more than either
A special thanks to our Philippine Representative, James Litton,
for showing us this article. Also, most of the pictures shown above were
taken by the US Army Signal CORP, soon after the liberation of
This Web Page is in Honor of:
the Victims of the "