To the editor: Reading about the fight over teaching about the use of “comfort women” by Japanese soldiers during World War II reminded me of a letter my father wrote. ("'Comfort women' and a lesson in how history is shaped in California textbooks," Feb. 7)
Among the letters from my father, a medical officer for a special U.S. Army civil affairs unit in the Philippines during World War II, was a recounting of 12 Filipinas brought to his main hospital in northern Mindanao for treatment of venereal diseases after being freed from Japanese army troops. They had been forced to labor as prostitutes for almost a year.
“They make us work just like carabao,” he wrote of what they recounted about their forced sexual work. “Very, very painful.”
He expressed his disgust at the inhumanity, but of course was unaware of the extent of the Japanese “comfort women” system throughout occupied Asia.
David Smollar, San Diego