The Angeny family included Ed and Carol Angeny and their young daughter Helen. The family was imprisoned in Camp Holmes at Baguio before being sent to Bilibid Prison. Bilibid Prison, located in Manila, had been used to imprison military prisoners of war, mostly American servicemen, throughout the majority of World War II. As the war in the Pacific turned against the Japanese, the prison administration began to consolidate the civilian internment camps by closing the smaller outlying camps and bringing the internees into the more centralized prisons of Santo Tomás, Los Baños, and Bilibid Prison. Despite being near to each other, civilian and military prisoners of war were kept separate until liberation in 1945.
Pass, c. 1945
This pass was issued to internees, allowing them to leave their internment camp and move within the city limits for certain hours and certain days. In the early days of internment, camp restrictions were generally less strict and internees could receive special permission to leave the camps for reasons like purchasing items at local stores and seeking medical treatment at outside hospitals. Some civilians, such as women with young children, were allowed to live outside the camps but husbands were often forced into internment. As the war turned against the Japanese Empire, internment camp restrictions were tightened and eventually these passes became rarer. Some women living outside the camps would also voluntarily intern themselves when the cities became more dangerous and supplies became scarcer. In these cases, living inside the camps was deemed a safer option or at least the option that allowed families to be together. This pass was issued to Helen Angeny, an internee who was imprisoned at Bilibid.
POW Postcards, 1944
These postcards were sent by Ed Angeny to family back in the US. Very little mail came or left the internment camps as the Japanese prison administration was concerned about communication, especially any possible communication with the guerrilla resistance movement. There were also concerns about word reaching the US about the treatment of the civilian prisoners overseas. These postcards were a restricted form of approved communication that allowed internees to send very brief messages to family members in the US on their location and health. These postcards were sent from Camp Holmas in Baguio, also known as Internment Camp No. 3. Angeny asks for vitamins and medicine, items crucial to fighting malnutrition and illnesses associated with poor diet within the camps. Care packages and Red Cross kits seldom made it into the internment camps.
A young Carol Angeny stands with Irene and Wayne Miller on Leyte after their liberation from Bilibid Prison in 1945.
Helen and young Carol Angeny are pictured sitting under a shaded area on Leyte with a serviceman after their liberation from Bilibid Prison in 1945. They were waiting for transportation during their repatriation to the US.
Ed and Carol Angeny are pictured with a young Seabee in front of the Sea Bee Canteen on Leyte in 1945. The family had been liberated and sent to Leyte to wait for transportation that would send them to the US.