HomeManilavol. 8 no. 1 (2012)

A Wartime Legacy: The University of Santo Tomas and Its Continuing Mission of Education during World War II, 1941-1945

Jose Victor Z. Torres

Discipline: Philippine History



This is a paper about the University of Santo Tomas (UST) during World War II. But it is not the story of the infamous Santo Tomas Internment Camp (STIC) where some three thousand American and British civilians endured three years of forced confinement during the Japanese Occupation and were liberated by the American forces in 1945. That UST closed during World War II because of the STIC is a common misconception even among Thomasians. This paper will try to trace how this false impression came about which has brought about a lacunae in the university’s history in the 20th century. It is also a work on UST when it continued its mission to educate the Filipinos as the brutality of war and occupation spread throughout the country. It will show how the Dominicans in UST adjusted to wartime policies and how the university students and the seminarians tried and succeeded to better themselves through education in a time of hardship and dread.