I am Manny Merfalen to represent my father, deceased, my brother, deceased, and my sister, also deceased, and myself. I'm going to stay away from the process of internment and the process of forced march.

I'm going to get to the point of brutality that was sustained by both my father, my brother and my sister, as well as myself. I'm going to start off with my sister. One morning, we were visited by a few Japanese and an interpreter and the Commissioner of Dededo. At the present time, their title is Mayor. They introduced themselves to be the representative of the police, and the reason for their being there was because of my sister being married to an American Navy man. The interpreter was sort of rushing the investigation, and he thought that, when I was delivering the question to my mother, he thought that my mother was the wife of the American Navy man. I had my sister in hiding.

And the question, the first question that came out, was where is the American? My mother cannot answer that because she doesn't know what he was talking about. So immediately went and told my sister to come out, when the next question was told to my mother, if you didn't tell the truth, you would all be executed. This is in regards to my brother-in-law being an American, and they thought that we were hiding an American.

So the question went on repeatedly to my sister, and my sister was only giving them negative answer. Each time they're not satisfied with the answer, it was followed with a blow in the face, not with the palm open, but with the fist closed, to my sister's face every time she gave a negative answer. This went on for almost an hour, and they finally decided to leave, leaving my sister with a puffy face, bleeding through the mouth and nose.

And then the following day, the same people came, informing my mother that we have to deliver my sister down to the Agana police station for more investigation. My mother ordered me to accompany my sister to the police quarters. I turned her in, and the same interpreter that came to Dededo the day before was there waiting for my sister.

The other two Japanese who came with him wasn't there except for an additional man who was there in the police station. He ordered my sister to sit, and then turned around and looked and told me to get out. But I didn't want to leave my sister alone because I wanted to see what they were going to do to her. So I walked out the door, and did not leave. I stood just outside the wall of that police station listening to what they were going to do next.

By coincidence, they were moving her into the next room, but I cannot help but watch in through the window just across from where she was standing with the interpreter and another man in that room. They were tying up her hands in front of her, and there was a chair just before her and she was told to get on the chair. So they strung up my sister to the beam of that building and I watched her dangling on that rope.

Then the questions started. The same line of questioning was repeated that she was answering negatively when she was questioned the day before up in Dededo. Every time she gave an answer, it was followed with a whip, about a yard long whip, instead of a beating with the hand. I can see through the window flashes of blood. Her dress is soaked with blood. She wasn't crying, but I can see tears dripping through her face. That makes me so angry. I had to run away from there as far as I go.

And when she was unconscious before I left that place, the interpreter who was doing all the whipping instructed the man inside with him to bring a container of -- well, I thought maybe a container of water to wake her up. When I was watching through the window, they poured this container of liquid over her head, then she started screaming. And what it was, it's not water, but it's gas. I can smell the fume of that gas coming out through that window from a distance of maybe 15 feet. So I started moving away from the building. I was crying. As far as I can go from 100 feet away, I can still hear my sister yelling.

I went to my mother and told her what happened. The following day, they dropped my sister off in Dededo. She cannot eat. She won't eat. She won't talk for weeks. And then the investigation stopped. The more of the concentration - - the most of the concentration of the investigation was concentrated on the subject of my sister being married to an American Navy man, but what can she give other than to say no because there's no way that she can give any information with pertaining to the military and the activities that my brother-in-law was doing. Her husband never told her anything about the Navy anyway, to begin with.

The next day we were all sorted out in groups. My two brothers, all the other sisters were assigned to areas where they were supposed to be doing some work. And I was put together with my older brother and my father digging pits for making charcoal. And three weeks after that, one morning I reported to work on the same side, my brother and noted that my father wasn't there.

My father disappeared for the entire day. The following day, my mother found out that my father was in the hospital. We got more information about the situation, and we found out that the day he was missing from the site where we were working, he was down at the police station in Dededo being beaten up by the securities, ending up with multiple broken bones in his body, then ending up in the hospital.

Lastly, about three weeks just before the activities of the American airplanes started coming in more often, we were on an ammunition and supply detail for some command in Mangilao for the military and, at the time, there was a plane flying over us. We were told to disperse with what we have on our shoulder into the jungle. My brother, being a heavy smoker, he took out his cigarette and light it, and momentarily when the supervisor of that crew saw the light, he yelled at one end of the group of people where we were and, in no time, he was there already yelling at my brother. I couldn't help watching him, what he was going through, and he was brutally kicked, hit with a stick, knocked down unconsciously.

Then I try to render help to give him comfort when an officer and three other men was approaching. About that time, they were lifting him up, as I was holding my brother on one arm, and the officer drew his sword out. I thought he was going to cut my brother's head, but then he waved at me, placing the blade on my arm, left arm, and moving me to move away. So those two men in uniform held my brother's arm in a position where he can have access to the head of my brother, but then he didn't do it. He withdrew his sword back into the scabbard, leaving me with a slash on the gut about an inch and a quarter scar, permanent scar that was inflicted by the sword. And at that time, they tied my brother's arm and dragged him behind a horse, and that was the last time I see of him.

Real People. Real Stories. A weekly testimonial series provided by the Office of Senator Frank F. Blas, Jr..  The testimony of Manuel Mafnas Merfalen is recorded in the Guam War Claims Review Commission public hearing held in Hagåtña, Guam on December 8, 2003. This story is sponsored by the community involvement of Calvo Enterprises, Inc.  Photo courtesy of Expressions Studio.