Jack Rose: Japanese Prisoner of War Camp
Date:Tuesday, January 1, 1985
ID:Digital audio recording #: 19.85-15
Note: audio quality is quite poor.
BD: How was morale at the camp?
JR: It was pretty good. The only way one could survive that kind of thing was to think, ‘Today is here, and tomorrow something exciting is going to happen and we’re going to get out of here.’ And when tomorrow came, it was today again…and the next day, something exciting was going to happen. Some fellows were really sharp and smart. One fellow he told everybody that he had these dreams and he knew what was going to happen, and when it was going to happen. And of course we were ready to believe anything…the conditions were so awful, it didn’t take very much…If anyone said anything good, we wanted to believe it, because the status quo was so horrible. But he was smart. He always said, “Well, I can’t dream on an empty stomach. I’ve got to have something to eat. I dream better.” [Laughing]. So, every once in a while, he’d say, “I know something is going to happen, but I won’t be able to have a dream unless I have something to eat.” Fellows would take a little bit of food and everybody would give him a little. [Laughter]. Then he would dream, then he would come back and say, “In one hundred days we’re going to be free.” Everybody would take, you know they’d have a pencil on the wall and they’d mark off every day up to one hundred and when that hundred was over then something else would happen in another hundred and another hundred and another hundred. And we were there for over a thousand days, that’s a long time. That’s how we survived. I always knew I was going to come home, though.