Monday, January 12, 2009

Sunday 15th August 1943

This place has another disadvantage in addition to those mentioned yesterday; this is bugs. I've never known so verminous a place – and I've experienced a few such, including old Italian buildings. I was awake until 1a.m. Each time I struck a match, I saw one of the blood-filled creatures scuttling away. I destroyed 20 or so. Some I burnt in agony; others I squashed, making a horrible pool of blood out of an insect. Soon after 1 a.m. the orderly allowed me to transfer to another bed. Shortly after lying down again, I killed 4 more bugs...

Until mid-forenoon today I was, from time to time picking bugs off myself. They were in my clothes as well... When the sun was at it's hottest, I took my mattress and locker out into the yard and let 'em roast. Many of the inmates were dislodged in this manner and obviously died painfully. They cannot endure the full heat of he sun for more than 20 seconds.

Being Sunday we have not been molested much. I was reprimanded for walking to the dining hall without a cap on... In the afternoon we were allowed to go along to a nearby lido, for a swim in the canal. They brew a good, sweet cup of tea at the lido canteen. There was the usual hard, hot wind blowing...

Each afternoon the Khamsin...

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