Testimony of Sofia Moog of San Jose, Batangas on Her Experience of Japanese Atrocity in 1945
|The ruined Municipal Building in San Jose in 1945. Image credit: United States National Archives.|
Q Please state your full name, age, address and nationality.
A Sofia Moog, 22 years old, Barrio Taysan, San Jose, Batangas Province, P.I., Filipino.
Q What is your occupation?
Q Do you intend to remain at your present address, and if not, how can your whereabouts in the future be ascertained?
A I intend to remain at my present address.
Q Did you suffer any mistreatment at the hands of the Japanese?
Q Will you please relate fully how it happened?
A On March 18, 1945, at about 8:30 o’clock in the morning, just after we had breakfast at the house of Nicomedes Ona, I saw about 40 Japanese coming. We were 25 persons altogether. Six of us ran away when they saw the Japanese. They were, Florencio Austria, aged 20, my brother-in-law; my two brothers, Antonio Moog, aged 15, and Francisco Moog, aged 5; my sister, Rosenda Moog, aged 20; Pedro Atienza, aged 18; and Benecio Lorzano, aged 15.
Three Japanese came inside the gate, the rest were left outside guarding the premises. One of these Japanese caught Florencio Austria, while the two others began bayoneting the men. One man who was bayoneted, whose name I do not know, fell near Florencio Austria and the Japanese holding the latter turned. Florencio them freed himself from the Japanese and escaped. Then, the rest of the Japanese came into the yard and began bayoneting the people they found there. I saw my father, Luis Moog, aged 50; and my mother, Dorotea de Moog, aged 45, bayoneted. My mother received a bayonet wound on the left chest and died immediately. My father was bayoneted four times, once on the upper arm, once on the neck and twice in the abdomen. One Japanese bayoneted me and wounded me on the left hip. I ran away and managed to escape. There were already nine persons who were bayoneted when I escaped. These nine persons were my father, Luis Moog, aged 50; my mother, Dorotea de Moog, aged 45; Nicomedes Ona, aged 60; Maria Ona, aged 30; Encarnacion Ona, aged 37; Jose Ona, aged 28; Rogelio Ona, aged 5; Eufemia Ona, aged 37; and Concepcion Atienza, aged 12.
I did not go back to the house any more. I heard from Mr. Saturnino Lorzano that he buried the bodies of my father and mother in their dugout.
Q Do you know the names of any of these 40 Japanese that you saw?
A No, that was the first time I saw them.
Q Can you describe any of them?
A Three of the 40 Japanese were with sabers, the rest were with fixed
bayonets. These three used the sabers for thrusting at the victims. I think all the 40 Japanese had at least a week’s growth of beard on their faces. They were camouflaged with branches and leaves. I cannot give detailed personal descriptions of any of them because I was too frightened to notice details.
Q What was the color of their uniforms?
Q Can you describe their insignia?
A No, I said I was too frightened to notice such details.
Q Do you know to what unit or organization they belonged?
Q Do you know what provoked the Japanese to bayonet these people?
A No, we were all peaceful people.
Q Have you anything further to add to your statement?
Q Have you anything further to add to this statement?
/t/ SOFIA MOOG
COMMONWEALTH OF THE PHILIPPINES
PROVINCE OF BATANGAS
TOWN OF SAN JOSE
/t/ SOFIA MOOG
/t/ ALLEN H. PEOPLES
Investigating Officer, War Crimes
1 “Documents Pertaining to the Testimony of Sofia Moog in U.S.A. v Tomoyuki Yamashita,” part of the U.S. Military Commission compilation of war crimes documentation, online at the Internet Archive.