AN EXHIBIT commemorating civilians who were interned in the UST campus during World War II was mounted again at the UST Museum of Arts and Sciences last April 4 to honor visiting former American internees of UST and remind Thomasians of the horrors of the war.

“The three-year existence of the internment camp is an important part of the University’s almost 400 years of history,” said Zita Maita Oebanda, collection management and documentation assistant of the UST Museum. “In the long history of the University, there were only two instances when the University’s academic life was halted. First was the revolution against Spain in 1898, and then during World War II.”

From 1942 to 1945, the University’s Main Bldg. was used as an internment camp for about 4,000 civilians, mostly foreigners. The UST was chosen as a camp since it was the property of the Spain which declared itself neutral during the war.

The exhibit titled “Spring of Peace: 60th Anniversary of the Liberation of Santo Tomas Internment Camp” displayed letters, diplomas, pictures, books, and the “Memorial Wall” where the names of the internees are listed. The exhibit was first installed years ago during the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the internees.

“Thomasians can learn so much from what happened to the internees inside the camp who did everything for their own survival and how the Filipinos showed generosity to them,” Oebanda said.

Leslie Ann Murray and John Hogue, Americans who spent three years of their childhood inside the internment camp, together with the relatives of other former internees, visited the remounted exhibit as a part of their “valor tour,” a tour for internees and their families around landmark places in the country during the World War II like Bataan and Corregidor. V.A.B.C.

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