Sunday, March 31, 2013

American tank crews listen as Bernard Herzog (US citizen) who was liberated from the camp of Santo Tomas, Manila tells of his experiences, Manila, Philippines, 1945

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The Philippines were an unincorporated US territory at the time. There were a great number of US citizens living in the Philippines. Once the Japanese took over, they were put into internment camps.

His lower legs are swollen probably due to Beriberi, an illness caused by B1 vitamin (Thiamine) deficiency. This was probably caused by a diet composed mainly/exclusively of refined white rice, common in the Japanese POW camps. That is a can of baby formula that he is holding, probably contains most essential nutrients and would be relatively easy to digest, which would be very important considering he's probably eaten nothing but rice for a few years. Ingesting something different after that would probably be a huge shock to his system. It's called Refeeding Syndrome and was first described in Far East prisoners of war after the second world war. Starting to eat again after a period of prolonged starvation seemed to precipitate cardiac failure.

(From left to right: Private 1st Class Arnold Senstrom, Sargent Frank Duer, Private 1st Class Joseph Lewandowski, Bernhard Herzog, Technician 5th grade Bill Tksack, Technician 5th grade Clifton Griffin, and Private 1st Class John Rogen ) US army photograph.

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