These items were donated by Sascha Weinzheimer Jansen and her family. Sascha was a member of a third-generation family who had immigrated to the Philippines to start a sugar plantation outside Manila. When the Japanese invasion of the country began, the family went to Manila as they like other internees thought it might be safer due to being near major American military bases. When the Japanese took over the city, Sascha’s father was sent to Santo Tomás Internment Camp while the rest of the family was allowed to live outside for a time. Eventually, the family decided to voluntarily enter the internment camp so they could reunite with her father and remained there until liberation.
Meal Ticket, c. 1942
This ticket belonged to Sascha Weinzheimer Jansen, who was eight years old when the Japanese invaded in 1941. Tickets like this one were used by internees to get meals from the community kitchen or chow line. Stamps meant that once someone got their meal, they couldn’t go back for seconds, a measure meant to make sure everyone got a fair share of food. Some internees like children, the sick, or those doing “heavy” work details, were sometimes given special diets or extra meals.
Santo Tomás Internment Camp “Diplomas”
These tongue-in-cheek faux diplomas were created and distributed among internees as satire and sarcasm. The date under the drawing of Santo Tomás’ main building references the date the camp was created. The graduation date towards the bottom is a reference to the day the camp was liberated. Stereotypical caricatures of Japanese guards stand on either side and march along the bottom of the paper. The “Special Scholarship” granted by the Japanese Empire is a reference to the internees' forced imprisonment. Diplomas in the Weinzheimer collection were “awarded” for actual work duties completed by the internees like room monitor duty and kitchen supervision, but also for things like “trying to grow” and “bowing.” These latter two are references to the lack of nutrition inside the camps which caused weight loss and other issues as well as the enforced bows of respect internees were forced to make to their guards towards the later part of their imprisonment.