On August 17, Brian Butcher (from Canada) is standing in the front of the British Olympic champion Eric Liddell's memorial. Between 1942 and 1945, Brian was a prisoner of the Japanese, mostly in Weifang concentration camp with his father and mother.
This same day, 12 ex-prisoners who had once been detained in the Weifang Concentration Camp and their descendants: total 80 people spontaneously returned to Weifang. They looked for what they remembered of the past, cherished the memory of history and paid homage to the deceased.
(by Google Translate) ... "On August 17, Brian Butcher (from Canada) is standing in front of the British Olympic champion Eric Liddell's memorial. Between 1942 and 1945, Brian was a prisoner of the Japanese, mostly in Weifang concentration camp with his father and mother. This same day, 12 ex-prisoners who had once been detained in the Weifang Concentration Camp and their descendants: total 80 people spontaneously returned to Weifang. They looked for what they reminded of the past, cherished the memory of history and paid homage to the deceased.
Western Nationals come back to remember the past and pay homage to the deceased.
On the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Weihsien Camp, Western Nationals and their families came back to remember the past and pay homage to the deceased.
1945年8月17日，潍县集中营解放，被关押在此的 2000多名西方侨民获救。 如今70年过去了，当年生活在这的孩童已是白发苍苍，不过他们仍记得潍县集中营这个地方。2015年8月17日，曾被关押在潍县集中营的难友及后代共80多人自发回到潍坊，故地寻访，缅怀历史，凭吊故人。
Patricia M. and Heather J. unveiling the statue of their father Eric Liddell.
On August 17, 1945, Weihsien Camp was liberated by rescuing more than 2000 Western Nationals and, 70 years later, even though time has passed, they still remember this place. The ex-internees accompanied by their families are here to-day: August 17, 2015, a total of more than 80 people, coming back with emotion to remember their past history, recalling old places, and paying homage to those that have passed away.
莎莉·费舍尔 – 美国
Sally Fisher -
the United States of America
Sally Fisher came on behalf of her mother, to see where she once lived.
70年后的 2015年8月17日，上午9时许，来自英国、美国、挪威、比利时等国的友人来到乐道院抗战纪念馆前的十字广场，缅怀那段历史，这次前来探访的有 12位当年的幸存者。他们在签到处按下手印，并郑重写下自己的名字。另一侧，工作人员将折好的纸鹤粘在了背景板上，友人写下自己的名字，以表达怀念和祝福。
70 years later, on August 17, 2015, at 9 o'clock in the morning, friends from the United Kingdom, the United States, Norway, Belgium and other countries came to the Cross Square in front of the Memorial Hall of the Anti-Japanese War Memorial Hall to commemorate that period of history. There are 12 survivors for this year. They pressed the fingerprints at the check-in and rewrote their names.
On the other side, the staff glued the folded paper crane to the background board, and the friends wrote their names to express their nostalgia and blessings.
Although Sally Fisher from the United States is not a witness to the Weihsien concentration camp, her mother lived in the Weihsien concentration camp. Her mother has passed away.
This time I came to Weifang, she said that she was looking at this place on behalf of her mother.
“Listening to my mother’s tales of the life in a concentration camp. At that time, living in the concentration camp was very hard. I had to eat crushed eggshells every day. So when I heard of crushed eggshells, I had a conditional reflex, I didn’t want to eat it, even after leaving the Weihsien concentration camp. For many years, my mother heard the word 'aubergine' and responded.” Sally said that this time she can come to see where her mother lived. I feel very sad for her. She hopes that the world will be peaceful and there will be no more war.
帕特丽夏·玛格丽特和海瑟·珍 - 加拿大
Patricia Margaret and Heather Jean – Canada
Unveiling their father’s statue, they recalled the past, with much emotion, thinking about Eric Liddell and remembering stories of Weihsien camp.
这是两姐妹第二次来潍坊，2008年5月，她们选择在北京奥运会开幕前的日子来这里纪念父亲，父亲作为奥运会冠军，她们认为也代表了一种奥运精神。 70 年前的 8月 17日，潍县集中营里的难民被解救，只可惜她们的父亲没有等到这一天。“ 我们现在生活在加拿大，能回来参加这次活动很开心。”海瑟·珍说。
So, on August 17 Eric Liddell’s two daughters came too, and were the centre of much attention. All those from Weihsien expressed their gratitude, telling Patricia and Heather of all they owed to Eric Liddell, their father.
Liddell’s memorial stele and statue stand proudly in the southern corner of Cross Square, and at 10 o’clock in the morning Patricia and Heather together unveiled their father’s bronze statue.
Heather spoke about her father: saying he was a warm-hearted man. There were so many children in the camp without their parents that her father took on the responsibility of replacing them. Standing next to her father’s statue, while speaking to the audience, Heather's voice expressed much emotion …
This is their second time in Weifang. In May 2008, Heather and Patricia chose to commemorate their father the day before the inauguration of the Beijing Olympic Games. They very much respect the Olympic Spirit as represented by their father.
70 years ago, August 17th, the refugees of Weihsien Camp were rescued, but not their father…
Heather said: « We are now living in Canada, and coming back to participate in all the activities. It is a very happy moment. »
科特里尔夫妇 - 英国/美国
Cotterill couple – British/America
Holding the floor plan and explaining the layout to the children
Joseph Cotterill, 98, and Joyce Cotterill, 88, are the oldest couple present in Weifang for the ceremonies. Now they have their homes in the United Kingdom and the United States. The whole family has 14 people.
More than 70 years ago, Joseph and Joyce met in Beijing. Both of them had families, and the four were good friends. Later, because of the war, both of them lost their loved ones, and they eventually came together.
In Weihsien concentration camp, Joyce worked in the kitchen. Joseph and Eric Liddell were roommates. When Eric Liddell was in Hospital, Joyce went to visit him very often.
Everybody was impressed by Liddell. He got up very early in the morning - at 5:30h, did a lot of sporting with the children. Liddell was Joseph's witness when he got engaged and married in the camp.
Joseph said, that at his age, his memory was not so good. A lot of things, he did no longer remember. But Joyce still remained fresh in her memory for all what happened in the camp. She took a book, in which she had a focus of the layout of the camp, she explained it to the children present at the ceremony and located various points as to where were: the basketball court, the hospital ... etc.
In the memorial hall, Joyce also took out a special souvenir, is a small cloth bag in a plastic bag. The cloth bag was made by her own hand, which is embroidered some names with a variety of colors. She said, the names were whom held together at that time. She pointed to the above name, told their children about the status in her memory, and hope that the children can remember the history.
哈康·叶福礼 - 挪威
Hakon Daniel Torjesen - Norway
Find the room once living, speak to grandchildren about the stories before
86岁的哈康·叶福礼来自挪威，与他同行来潍坊参加活动的还有他的妻子、 儿子、 女儿和五个孙辈。 70年后重返这个曾经留给他磨难的地方，哈康·叶福礼感慨万千。
At the age of 86, Hakon Daniel Torjesen from Norway, came to Weifang to participate in the activities with his wife, son, daughter and five grandchildren. Returning to this place had left him suffering after 70 years, Hakon Daniel Torjesen was filled with a thousand regrets.
Hakon Daniel Torjesen’s parents were Norwegian missionaries. His father was killed in an accident and his mother took him to the Yantai. He studied in a school in Zhifu. He was arrested in October 1942. In August 1943, he was held in Weihsien camp together with three of his relatives.
In the beginning Hakon Daniel Torjesen lived in block-23 of the Weihsien camp. Later on, he changed for a room on the fourth floor. Today, he revisited the same room near the stairs on the fourth floor. Hakon Daniel Torjesen was very excited, because it was in this room that he once lived.
哈康·叶福礼告诉记者，当时在这个房里共有 8 个孩子，在一个班里，1945 年被解救时，正好毕业。因为在一起仅有几个月时间，如今过去了许多年，他已经记不清他们的名字了。
Hakon Daniel Torjesen told a reporter, that at that time and in that room, a total of eight children lived and that they were in one class. They just graduated in 1945 , the year of the rescue by the Americans. They were only a few months together, and now, as time has passed ... he has forgotten their names.
Pointing towards a building beyond the window of his room on the fourth floor of the Hospital - now a museum - Hakon Torjesen explained to his grandchildren that, in 1945, there was no such building, and that he could see the countryside far beyond with fields and crops. Above half of the window was blocked by the wall, then just can lived one person, here was his "happy corner", in those suffering days, this corner gave him a lot of memories. He kept to tell his grandchildren about the situation at the time, and took photo together.
Hakon Daniel Torjesen tell his family the great changes have been taken place in this camp. At that time weihsien Le Daoyuan had no steps, outside was a big yard. Got into the new memorial hall, [the museum] he saw some of the photos of the year, introducing to his family about the situation at that time without a break.
庞特姐弟 - 比利时
Pander, sister and brother - Belgium
Founded internee website, recorded the camp life
From Belgium Janet Pander and Leopold Pander are elder sister and younger brother, this time they come to Weihsien concentration camp Memorial Hall with lots of feeling. Two people picked up the camera time to time and took photos of all things in the Memorial Hall. "When I was 4 years old I arrived at the concentration camp, my younger brother just born, until I was 7 years old, was rescued." Janet Pander said. Although in the concentration camp had undergone a lot of things, the environment and the building was impressive, but had forgotten a lot of things, just remembered to play together with a few children in the camp.
詹尼特·庞特表示，当他们被解救出集中营后，她感到非常高兴，因为终于重新获得了自由。 如今再次回到当年的集中营，詹尼特·庞特还见到了当时一同生活在集中营22 区的老朋友，这让她非常开心。
Janet Pander said she was very happy when they were rescued from the concentration camp, because it was finally regained freedom. Now return to the concentration camp, Janet Pander also met the old friends who living together with her in the Block-22 at that time, which makes her very happy.
而弟弟利奥波德·庞特因为当时年纪非常幼小，对于集中营内的生活基本没有印象，但他做了一件更有意义的事情来记录集中营内的生活。“我在比利时建了一个网站名叫‘WEIHSIEN PAINTING ’，通过这个网站联系到了很多当年生活在潍县集中营的难友。”利奥波德·庞特表示，他离开集中营之后就没有回到这里，想通过建立网站了解更多当年发生在潍县集中营内的故事，以及这里的变迁。
The younger brother, Leopold, was very young, so he did not have the impression of life in the concentration camp, but he did a more meaningful thing to record the life in the camp. "I in Belgium built a website named 'WEIHSIEN PAINTING'. Through this site links to many friends who lived together in WeiHsien concentration camp." Leopold - Pander said he had not came back here after he left. He wanted to go through establishing a website to know more stories that occurred in Weihsien concentration camp in those years and the changes of this camp.
Leopold Pander said that although he is old, but he will keep going to maintain the website as long as the body permits. "This website is non-profit, every time I collected the picture information, I felt very happy." Leopold Pander said. This website is not only re-contacted all friends who lived in the camp before, and recalled the stories that happened in the camp, let more people can cherish peace.
布彻兄弟 - 加拿大
Butcher Brothers - Canada
“The plane memory” when young, he was afraid of it up to now.
来自加拿大的布莱恩·布彻和艾德里安·布彻兄弟来到集中营，看着记忆中的建筑，哥哥布莱恩不时向弟弟讲解。“我 3 岁的时候来到集中营，6岁时才从这里离开。 ” 布莱恩对记者说，当时他和爸爸妈妈一起在集中营生活，而弟弟艾德里安还没有出生。
From Canada, Butcher Adrian and Butcher Blaine came to the concentration camp. Looking at the building in the memory, the brother Blaine explain to his little brother from time to time. "When I was 3 years old I came to this concentration camp, when I was 6, I left here." Blaine told reporters. He and his father and mother lived in the concentration camp, while the younger brother Adrian was not born.
”Brian said that in the concentration camp, his father was placed into the kitchen to make bread while his mother worked in the kitchen for cutting vegetables. "It was very cold in winter at that time, in order to keep warm we will go out and pick up the briquettes." Brian said. The hardships of life gave him deep impression, the people in the camp changed watches, clothes and other things with the food of the people outside, eggs was the most, "some of the fences were not be watched by Japanese soldiers, the people in the camp hanged out the things with long rod to exchange what they wanted.”
Although Adrian has not experienced personally of all this, but his parents often told him the life in Weihsien camp. "My parents told me that in the concentration camp, living environment was very bad, their living area was very small, and the food for everyone was very small amount." Adrian said, through the memory of his parents, he can feel the life here is very difficult, and can feel the war gave the despair to the people here.
Blaine said that he is now still remember that many planes flew over from the concentration camp everyday, people were screaming. "For me just a little child at that time, this memory I still feel scare until now." Blaine told reporters, "I found my parents’ name on the monument in front of the Weihsien camp."
Blaine said he felt very excited come back here this time, it let more descendant realize this history.
王成汉 – 中国贵州
Chenghan Wang - Guizhou, China
Was once the rescue team members, no mentioned after that.
In the crowd, there is an old man, not tall and burly, but spirit is hale and hearty, speaking agile. Joyce, Liddell's two daughters, have shook hands and communicated with him. Haakon Torjesen called him "a great warrior". The old man is 90 years old Chenghan Wang, he is one of the seven members of the U. S. "duck action group" who rescued Weihsien concentration camp.
Chenghan Wang was born in 1925 in Hankou, Wuhan, and currently he is living in Guiyang, Guizhou. For 70 years, he have never mentioned the experience of rescuing Weihsien concentration camp. Until this year, the United States Mary found him, then uncover the dust-laden history.
王成汉告诉记者，1943年，18岁的他考进了当时的四川大学物理系。1944年秋天，到庐州参加了国民革命军青年军，后来参加了译员培训班，并被OSS （美国战略服务办公室）招募进入OSS 四个行动组之中的SO （特别行动组）。之后，他在云南开元受训，再回到昆明时被分配到了SI（特别情报组）。
Chenghan Wang told reporters, in 1943, 18 year old he entered the Sichuan University physics department at that time. In the fall of 1944, to Luzhou participated in the youth army of the National Revolutionary Army, later joined the interpreter training class, and was recruited into the SO (Special Operations Group) of four action group of OSS (Office of strategic services). After that, he was trained in Yunnan Kaiyuan, then back to Kunming was assigned to the SI (special intelligence group).
In August 15, 1945, Japan surrendered, action group to accept the task, to camp to rescue the nationals. Chenghan Wang, a line of 7 people by bombers from Kunming, 16 arrived in Xi'an, 17 early in the morning to weihsien. At that time, the Japanese in China Beijing, Shenyang, Hainan Island has a concentration camp. U. S.troops were sent SI members separately to save, each group are in the name of a poultry for the code, Chenghan Wang belong to the the team is called "duck action group".
9:30 on August 17, 1945, "duck action group" arrived at the Weihsien camp over. The plane down to about 150 meters, can see the nationals in the Weihsien concentration camp, while the body of the United States Air Force logo, let the Weihsien camp suddenly boiling. Low altitude of about 137 meters, the crew to bail out. Chenghan Wang was afraid as he had never really jumped, then the man behind him gave him a push. Only 9 seconds, he landed at the sorghum fields outside of Weihsien camp, the nationals ran to carried them into the camp. The buttons, badges of the paratroopers, including fragments of parachutes, has become a competition for souvenirs. Some girls even cut a hair of the paratroopers as a souvenir, the younger children follow them everywhere.
Mary was 12 year old, the age is not big difference from Chenghan Wang, they had forged a deep friendship. Between 1997 and 1998, Mary began to look for the “duck action group” members, 6 Americans, two people died and the other 4 were found, just missed Chenghan Wang. Later on through the website and Chenghan Wang's grandson, finally confirmed the identity of Chenghan Wang. "This experience has never spoken of, only my grandson know a little, my son didn't know." Chenghan Wang said, back to the weihsien camp, which he has never thought.
When leaving the camp, Haakon Ye Fuli was 17 years old, he didn't even remember Chenghan Wang, two old men have lots of emotion when meeting again. Haakon Ye Fuli said Chenghan Wang was a superman at that time, from the sky, and himself was only a boy, when he saw the savior was floating in the sky, he was too excited. More surprisingly, he still has a chance to see him after 70 years.