Freedom and Food: The MacArthur Memorial Internment Camp Collections

By December 8th, 1941, there were an estimated 8,000 civilians from various Allied countries living in the Philippines, mostly Americans. They represented a diverse range of ages, genders, occupations, and backgrounds, but the majority would share a common destination: internment. Within a month of invasion, the Japanese empire would place these "enemy aliens" into "protective custody" and order them into internment camps across the islands. For most of World War II, these civilian internees, which included men, women, children, and the elderly, would remain imprisoned in situations that increasingly became more desperate as food, medicine, and supplies became scarce. As one internee, Natalie Crouter, wrote in her clandestine wartime diary, "All we think about is Freedom and Food." (Natalie Crouter, Forbidden Diary) Liberation came in early 1945 and many returned to families in the United States. Over the decades since their liberation, the survivors of those camps and their families have approached the MacArthur Memorial as a repository for the materials that represent their experiences and histories. 

Explore some of these remarkable pieces of history from the MacArthur Memorial Collection and Archives. 


MacArthur Memorial Archives Photographs

20231106_075048Scurr Collection

IMG_9447Fredrickson Collection

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Bailey Collection

20190530_103849 Opens in new windowKerns Collection

Olsen Collection20230918_120147 Opens in new window

20230918_120309 Opens in new windowWygle Collection

Angeny Collection20230919_104456 (1) Opens in new window

20230919_103626 (2) Opens in new windowHoward Collection

Ja20231104_140858 Opens in new windownsen Collection

MacArthur Podcast Cover Opens in new windowDigital Resources

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