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“Impulsively, I lift the mud-spattered pages to my face and inhale deeply. I am totally unprepared for the assault upon my nostrils. Impregnated into the very essence of the paper, where it has lain for five decades waiting to be released, is that over-ripe smell of the jungle, that sickly, sweet aroma of decaying leaves, of damp and dank earth, of mould and rotting vegetation. It is the smell of death. It is the smell of Borneo.”

Lynette Ramsay Silver, author, Sandakan: A Conspiracy of Silence

“I assisted in the improvisations of making splints to hold the decayed legs of the prisoners. Many of them could only get around if their legs were reinforced with wood, their bones not being strong enough to carry their own weight…. Out of the whole party of 500 leaving Sandakan, there were only 183 who arrived at Ranau. On 17th July 1945, there were 76 alive. 28th August, 40 alive. Out of that 40, only 6 were able to walk around. That was when I escaped.”

William Hector Sticpewich

“By disposing of them I meant that in circumstances where nothing could be done in regard to both Japanese and prisoners of war, to kill them. I sympathized with Capt Abe for taking such a difficult and delicate business to escort prisoners of war so if he had to dispose of them as a last resort, I told him that I would take responsibility for what he did and I shall sacrifice myself for him.”

Capt Yamamoto Shoichi

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