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During the time of the Japanese occupation life for the Swedish missionaries carried on fairly normally. There was mission work to be done, sermons to prepare, and meetings to attend. Dollan continued on with her piano lessons.
In the darkness of the early morning at 5:00, Dollan would leave Hua-Yuan (the name of the family's house) in Kiaohsien along with the cook or Farfar's horseman. They walked forty minutes to the gate of the city wall through the city gate, and another twenty minutes to the train station to catch the 6:30 train to Tsingtao. Along the way Japanese soldiers with their bayonets fixed to the end of their rifles would jump out of the bushes close to the Lutheran mission [was this the American Lutheran mission which the Reinbrechts were from?] shouting, "KU-LIUNG!" "WHAT'S YOUR NAME!" The moon would be high or if there was no moon a kerosene lantern reflected off the bayonets pointed toward them. Dollan jumped with fright every time. The cook or the horseman would answer quickly, but calmly as possible, that he was escorting a child of the mission to catch the train for her piano lessons, and they would be allowed to pass. They would come to the heavy city gates, which the guards would be opened for her. Dollan would pass through, and the gate would be closed behind her. In the darkness she would not know what waited for her between the city gate and the train station. She would arrive in Tsingtao two and a half hours later [after starting from her house or starting from the train station?]. During the war passenger trains were not available, so she rode in freight trains to her music lesson. Dollan took six years of piano lessons during eight years of Japanese occupation.
In Tsingtao she made her way her way by foot, now in the early morning light, to Mrs. Rieder's home a stucco dirty cream building high up on a Tsingtao hill. Dollan would enter the hall entrance to the house where she hung her coat then took a left. The piano was dead ahead, a black upright piano. Some other furniture stood on the right and beyond a formal dining room with a long table, chairs set around the table, and a sideboard behind the table. A strict, Swiss-German piano teacher she was an excellent musician, and was known for her excellent organ playing at Christ Church in Tsingtao where Oscar would ask her to play. One Sunday Oscar asked her to play Handel's Hallelujah chorus. Her playing, and the grandeur of Handel's music 'nearly took the roof off the church' Dollan afterwards said.1
Mrs. Rieder was always a nervous wreck with nerve trembles in her face all the time. Perhaps she, herself, was responsible for some of them, Dollan thought. Mrs. Rieder made Dollan, and all her other students, learn Bach, Schumann and other composers by heart. Dollan would sometimes loose her place in the music, and ask, "Where am I?" Mrs. Rieder with a look of sarcasm in her nervous face and voice would reply, "You are in Tsingtao, China!" Not a very pleasant person, Mrs Remitter could be qualified as being 'bitchy.' Piano lessons were difficult, Mrs. Rieder uncompromising. In the winter Dollan's fingers would be stiff with cold as she tried to hammer out her music lessons to the satisfaction of Mrs. Rieder. Even in with the cold of winter Mrs. Rieder never offered Dollan something warm to drink. Later Dollan had a fellow classmate who went with her to piano lessons, Arne from Kiaohsien. His parents were from another Swedish mission, but lived near Peking without a Swedish school.
Fortunately, Dollan was not required to take music lessons during the summer.
Dollan thought that perhaps Mr. Rieder taught something, perhaps German, in one of the local schools, but actually he was with the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission for Switzerland. 1.1 Short, chubby, bald with a zero personality, young Dollan thought, she did not see him often at all. Either he was in an other room or at work. He spoke poor Chinese she remembered.
Swedish school continued on for the missionary children in Kiaohsien. Dollan took chemistry, but because the Swedes did not have a chemistry lab, so she took chemistry at the high school from a Chinese teacher who taught in Chinese. The chemistry lab really did look like chemistry lab with test tubes, and beakers, other glass containers and burners.
The Japanese did not mistreat the Swedes. They were neutrals and not subjects and the Japanese respected that. Other nationalities2 such as the Americans were subject to suppression, and imprisonment.3 The Swedish neutrals were required to wear white arm bands 4 with the Chinese characters "Swehdian Gwe" (Swedish Country) printed upon them. All the other nationals also had white arm bands with their respective country's name, which in this area were usually Swiss and Russian [how about German?] Women were required to wear slacks rather than skirts for the odd reason that during air raids they would be able to run faster. To travel from city to city such as Kiaohsien to Tsingtao a person had to carry a special pass issued for the purpose, and also inoculation slips to prove that you had gotten the required shots against disease.
Neither Oscar or Dollan remember the Japanese visiting the house. The Japanese were always nice, and always more interested in talking to the children than anyone else. Neither did the Rinells have any dealings with the Japanese in town and didn't have to report to them at any time, except on one occasion. A Japanese officer came to the house, Oscar talked to him and '"led him to the Lord" while Hellen and Dollan were praying in another room. The Japanese officer becoming a Christian was an unusual event.
Japanese arrived in Kiaohsien and several, about four or five went to Egron and Gerda's house. Gerda needed to use the bathroom, entered and closed the door behind her, which angered the Japanese soldiers. To show their displeasure and to insult this foreign family the soldiers urinated against the inside walls of their home.4
Sometimes the Japanese helped the Chinese troops against the bandits in the surrounding areas. But this was not often. Oscar mentions that later when the Japanese were to turn over Tsingtao to the Chinese the Japanese were hoping that the Chinese bandits surrounding Tsingtao would spoil the whole agreement. The Chinese talked it over with these bandits, gave them some bribe money, and the Japanese plan didn't work out.
If one was sick at all or looked sick, they were not allowed on the trains at for fear of spreading the disease to others. The Japanese also required everyone to have taken particular inoculations against disease, and to carry papers proving they had received the inoculations. At train stations Japanese were on duty to inoculated anyone who had not had their shot. Same needle and same syringe used for all. One day little Johnny had forgotten his papers. In desperation he rolled up the sleeve of his shirt and slapped a band aid on his arm. At the train station he was asked for his papers to prove he had received the latest required shot. He rolled up sleeve, showing the official where he had presumably been given his shot. He was allowed to continue on.
During the war years inflation ran out of control. It took a whole suitcase of money to buy even everyday food items. The Rinells bought good wheat on the market and stored it in boxes as a hedge against the inflation. When the wheat was finished they bought other items immediately before the prices went up. Sometimes they bought gold units, which were very easy to hide, or Yan She-kai silver dollars. Later when the Communists defeated Chiang, this was not even allowed.
In the last few years of the war, little money was able to reach the Rinells from Sweden. Chinese workers for the mission would give the Rinells millet and rice until they were able to get money of their own. Along with the rice and millet they ate 'di gua' or sweet potatoes. In they got up in the morning they had di gua for breakfast. When they came in for lunch, di gua. For supper, di gua. The di gua was prepared in different ways for variety. "Di gua ger" was di gua slit down the middle and baked in the sun. It was also prepared as mush for breakfast, boiled for lunch, and baked for dinner. For the latter the sweet potato would be pricked a few times with a fork and baked for about an hour or until the peel loosens from the sweet potato. The latter was the best way to prepare it.5 Things could have been worse. The di gua was deliciously sweet and filling. Dollan' classmate who lived with the Rinells for a time came in one day to Dollan saying, "Guess what we got for breakfast!? Di gua!!!"
On one occasion the Rinells had a break from their monotonous diet when Dr. Neastrum, a professor at Shense Tiwan-foo, brought money back with him from Sweden on one of his yearly trips back home via Siberia.
On June 16 the Swedish Baptist missionaries "expressed loyal felicitations to their Majesty King Gustaf the Fifth of Sweden" on his 85th birthday in a telegram.6 The king wired back "heartfelt thanks" and kind wishes. The Swedes of China still felt loyalty and affection for their old king, though many of these Swedes had spent more years in China than in Sweden. Dollan too had affections for the royal family. She cut out photos of the royal family from magazines, and made paper dolls out of them.7
In the spring 63the Reinbrecht family were staying in a hotel at Iltis Huk where other nationals of the allies - Brits, Americans, Dutch, French and other nationalities - had been take [or required to go?]. One day Japanese army trucks pulled up. Soldiers demanded they all pack their suitcaes. Everyone was to be taken away. Georgie does not remember being scared at the time, but her parents were. 72 The soldiers allowed them to take only what they could carry, which amounted to two bags suitcases each. In the front yard, the soldiers emptying the contents of each bag, removed some things. Georgie saw a soldier removing a flashlight. The Reinbrechts and the others repacked their bags, and the soldiers ordered them all into the trucks.
The soldiers drove the trucks to the train station [where is the train station?]. They were all ordered on the train bound for Weihsien and interned at the Presbyterian compound, which had been transformed into an internment camp.
A member of the Swiss consulate would made at least a few visits, traveling to Weihsien from Tsingtao. Accoring the Georgie Reinbrecht there may have been times when the consulate added items such as medicines to the their list of permitted items thye wre allowed to bring into camp, possibly adding items to blanks spaces on the list.73As far as Georgie remembers the consulate official came one or twice though there may have been more times that she does not remember. "The [consulate official] came for a visit maybe once or twice but that also was difficult because if he came [he] might not get back [to the consulate], because often train lines were bombed. But he certainly did what he could for us." 74
The ship the Reinbrechts and others were expecting to take when they were first take from their home in Kioahsien to Tsingtao did finally arrive on the coast. This was possibly the ship named the Gripsholm. The Janapese selected a few hundred people to leave the camp for the ship. What critereon they used to make their selection, the internees of the camp did not now. [Georgie believes they went to the coast of North Africa and there exchanged prisoners. As Georgie says, "Ours for Japanese from the US. We were told much later that they had a terrible time exchanging, because even for even, BUT one lady thoughtlessly had a child born on the ship and they had problems with one more from the Orient than from the US?????"][ A source on the web states that an Ameican Missionary couple, "George and Gertrude Wilder left the Japanese internment camp at Weihsien on Sept. 14, 1943 in an exchange of prisoners. They boarded the Japanese ship Teia Maru in Shanghai for Goa, India. There they were transferred to the neutral Swedish ship, Gripsholm, which took them to New York City.] 80 81
For third party photographs of the camp see: http://personal.nbnet.nb.ca/sancton/index.html.
On Thursday, May 20 Hedvig had dinner at Hellen and Oscar's house. Both of them were not doing well. Hellen had to go in for surgery soon, probably for a hysterectomy. Oscar's stomach was not doing too well. He was getting thinner and thinner and always felt tired. "God help them both to health again," Hedvig writes.8
Hedvig was lonely. She longed to hear from all her children, but communication during the war was difficult. She would go for long periods without a word. And, it had been nearly two years since John Alfred had passed away. Then they were two who could divide between them any burden, but "now it is so heavy, so heavy."9
Sunday was a rainy day. Oscar was in Long gia tsuen (sp?) and Hellen was still not well. At the Sunday service Pastor Han preached from the 4th Book of Moses 14:11. God was speaking in these scriptures, "How long will the people disdain me?" [Len, look up English translation to get exact wording]. That question haunts people Hedvig thought. It bothered her as well. "May I not be one of those who disdain God," she writes. "No, God I am your child, so help me to lift you up in word and deed."10
Wednesday morning Hedvig prayed to God for those things that were troubling her. "May not all of it run into the sand. Don't let the word return to no avail." Oscar was back home, but would travel again on June 3. [Hedvig writes here something about the 'international' in Russia is no longer functioning. All offices are closed immediately. "What comes next," she writes. [I don't know what she is referring to here.]
On Tuesday, June 1, Hedvig visited Hellen at the hospital in Tsingtao. She was doing pretty well, but any surgery would not take place for a while. Oscar also has been checked. His blood pressure was 108 (Mom said this reading is low and wondered if this was the 'top' reading.). He needed rest. The doctor suggested two months. Probably Hellen and Oscar would soon move to Iltis Huk. Hedvig went out to visit John's grave in the cemetery behind the hospital on the hill. The grave was well taken care of. It was peaceful.11 "Out there there is no war." It would be nearly two years since he left her. "Cry not my heart. We will soon meet!" she writes. Egron and Oscar stopped by for coffee. Egron also looked tired. Everyone looked worn out that spring.
Wednesday was another rainy day, and so dark. Getting to school was not easy. Little Margareta was six months old. The little one looked very happy. Gerda left Margareta in the care of those at home and went into Tsingtao to help Oscar open the cottage at Iltis Huk and get it ready for summer. (Someone would always go to the cottage early to prepare it for the rest of the family). Because of his health Oscar would need to take his vacation early. Egron could hopefully follow soon.
Hedvig had heard some good news. The Americans had taken Andalusien. [Where is this and is that the right spelling?]
On Saturday Hedvig puttered around the house all day and dusted. Krankenschwester Friedel12, Mrs. Matzat,13 and Streker, an American missionary were coming to dinner. They celebrated Margareta's birthday. It was good to have Friedel come visit. She was so good when Hedvig and John Alfred were ill two years before. In the afternoon they had coffee in Nanguan (north yard). Ester Wahlin also joined them. Poor thing had a bad cold.
On Sunday June 6 Hedvig was in church a good deal of the day. Pastor Han's sermon this time was Jesus' statement "I'm the light of the World." At 5:00 PM she attended a women's meeting. The reports given on various mission endeavors were interesting and there were many people to pray for. Still, with many mission enterprises and prayer, the Chinese still did not come in any great numbers to the Lord, she writes.
On Monday 'Dwan and Matilda and Hedvig were invited to Hedvig's for dinner. [Not sure if it was Hedvig's place or someone else's for dinner.]
In was decided on Friday that Valter and Ingred Andréen, Swedish Baptist Mission (SBM) missionaries living in Gaomi, would take a leave of absence by July 1.14 Valter and Ingrid Andréa. [Accent goes other way?] were missionaries in Chucheng and also in Gaomi.15
Friday was also graduation. Seven young men and two girls graduated from mission school, and three men and two girls graduated from Bible School. Mr. Schultz gave a long speech on always being cheerful, prayer without thinking of receiving anything, and thanking God. Mr. H. Lindberg also spoke. Egron led the meeting. Dinner followed at Egron and Gerda's.
Mattis (Mathilda Pearsson) who had been visiting traveled home with her girls. Schultz also went home. Word had also come that Dollan must rest because her heart was not good. Now father, mother and daughter were all on sick leave. The stress of the war combined with little or poor food caused many to become sick. Common at this time was strep throat which led to heart problems.
June 15 Hedvig returned from Tsingtao. She had not been feeling well at first, but now was better after some rest in the 'stuga' at Iltis Huk. Dr. and Mrs. Eitel were their guests several times. Dr. Eitel was a Christian Jew and an excellent doctor at the same hospital, Faber Krankenhaus, where Dollan was in training. Dr. Eitel played the flute. When he and his wife had company for dinner at their home he would tell the head nurse at the hospital, KrankenSchwester Friedel, "Ich muss Dollan diesen abend haben für mir Piano zu spielen. (I must have Dollan this evening to play the piano)." The head nurse would then let Dollan off early from floor duty and she would go with Dr. Eitel to his home to accompany him playing Bach, Schubert or Schumann.14.1
Hedvig appreciated Dr. and Mrs. Eitel. They were such 'heartful' and good people. While Hedvig was in Tsingtao Dr. Eitel took Hedvig's blood pressure. It was 184 over 71. Her heart was good and normal, especially considering her age. Three years ago her blood pressure had been 175 and in July she weighed in at 59 kilos.
Hellen had another attack of hives. In another week she was also to have surgery.
Pastor Han spoke again at the service on Sunday, June 21. It was a pretty good sermon on Ephesians ['Ef'] 2:1-10. Little Margareta kept Hedvig company. Gerda and Egron were in Gaomi congratulating Martin on his fortieth birthday. Egron and Gerda were thinking of traveling to Tsingtao again. Bible class had been postponed another week. Hwanghsien brothers16 had promised to come by July 3. [Maybe they were to speak at the Bible class?].
June 22. It had been two years since Germany invaded Russia Hedvig writes. That war was to last only three months according to Sister Helena, a fat German nurse at the German hospital in Tsingtao, Faber Krankenhaus. The German army had not even reached Moscow. "To Stalingrad comes Hitler's soldiers, but there they died and [some] were sent away. It was a harder nut to crack than what Hitler thought."17
Two days later it was Midsummer Eve and in Sweden it was also All Youth's Day. "Here there is really nothing that is happening." Hedvig was missing the midsummer festivities of Sweden. China had none of these. She is thinking again of traveling to Tsingtao. She is also worried about Hellen.
The next day, Egron came in with letter from Sweden for everyone, though none came for Hedvig. Pastor Edin who was 69 years old and and Pastor K. W. Beckman who was only 51 years of age had passed away. That means Maria Edin was now alone too. Hedvig could understand the loneliness she must be experiencing. Hellen still has not been scheduled for an operation. Her hives condition was still not letting up.
A letter finally arrived. This one is from Stensnäs (a place in Sweden). Augusta was still well at 86 years old. He was bedridden, but sat up six to seven hours per day. The relatives are well and everything is peaceful and quiet in Sweden. With the war going on in Europe, Sweden had frozen all prices though things were a bit more expensive now than before.
On June 28 Hedvig and Egron arrived in Iltis Huk. The next day they visited Hellen. The operation had finally been done, and she was doing well though she was of course experiencing pain, and she had a fever.
Iltis Huk was cool and nice unlike the hot interior.
[Some days later perhaps - check diary] Oscar, Dollan and Hedvig went to the graveyard with some flowers to put on John Alfred's grave. At 9:40, the time of John Alfred's death, Oscar prayed and thanked God for supporting them all these last two years, "but we still miss our husband and father."
On July 3 they received a letter from their daughter Margaret and her husband Roy, dated October 12 of the previous year. Roy was still employed by some company and both were in good health. "How wonderful to hear from them. God is good and hears prayer," Hedvig writes. On the same day that Hedvig received the letter from Margaret and Roy, [If possible check to see if this letter arrived on the anniversary of John Alfred's death or on the day of his death in 1941. Probably the former. LJH].
In the evening of July 7 Dr. Eitel drove Hellen came home from the hospital from Tsingtao to Iltis Huk [probably] in his own car. She was looking much better. Everyone was very thankful that the surgery was finally over with. [Mom, could you look over the line on July 7 regarding 'thin gravel'. Don't understand that full sentence].
Three days later it was Dollan' birthday. Gerda and Johnny came over to Iltis Huk to congratulate her. The Eitels were over for dinner. Because of the difficult times, the Rinell family often did not have other people over. , and so food for entertaining, was scare. But Mr. and Mrs. Eitel were easy company to have over. Dollan does not remember much about her birthday except they all talked a lot. 17.1 This year would be a turning point for young Dollan. She had graduated high school. A new chapter in her life was starting.
Hedvig got back home to Kiaohsien in time for the morning service.18 Pastor Tsang preached a good sermon on Revelation 1. In this passage God was coming to get his own people where they sat forgotten and tired on the island of Patmos. [Actually this chapter does not talk about the people sitting on Patmos - though John was - and being forgotten and tired. Though the next chapter talks about the trials of some of God's people though not on Patmos]. The sermon was uplifting.
On July 14 Brothers Tsang and Teng "were our own dear guests for dinner." They sang songs and prayed for the Rinells.
News from Europe was that the Allies had gone on to Sicily and had taken nine airstrips. The German radio, however, said something different. It was difficult to know who to believe. "What is the truth?"19
On July 16 were Gerda's and Leander's birthdays. Gerda was in Kiaohsien packing to come to ________ the next day. [I'm not sure if Gerda was packing things in Kiaohsien or not. If so Hedvig was probably back in Iltis Huk. Perhaps Gerda was somewhere else which started with a 'K'.]
On July 20 three large bundles of Swedish newspapers arrived from Mrs. Blomdahl, a missionary from another mission whose husband had been shot and killed by communists the previous year. The Rinells read them carefully and with joy. The war was going full strength. This was in stark contrast to Shantung where everything was peaceful and quiet. Only one Vecko Posten arrived with the bundles. That was a shame. This issue told of the passing of four pastors back home: Bäckman, He___, Fritiof Pettersson and Eric Ohlson.
[Years later Robert and Dollan were schoolmates through high school. He was one class under Dollan. He had a crush on Dollan, but nothing came of the relationship He later married and emigrated to Canada. Many years later he committed suicide by walking in front of a train.]
On Sunday, July 25 a good letter came from Vilhelm [Mom, who is Wilhelm?]. Everything was well at home. One surprising event though, Mussolini had resigned. What did that mean for the war, Hedvig wondered.
Oscar was down with a bad cold, sore throat, high fever and pain in the joints. Dr. Eitel again, untiringly, was by to see what he could do to help.
The Germans in Tsingtao were worried about the war.20 They now believed that Germany had lost. The relationship between the German missionaries and the other missionaries were good. All the German missionaries were friendly though not really cozy according to Dollan. Some missionaries were Nazis.
July 28: Hedvig and other Rinells attended a ''good tea' at the Eitels.
July 29: No apparent change on the war front regarding Italy. Mussolini's resignations was apparently only an internal issue. Oscar was getting better. Hellen was very tired.
July 31: A business meeting was held.
August 1: It was Nina Fredrickson's birthday. Nina was a 'spinster' missionary. [Mom what is the funny story in language concerning Nina?] Oscar continues to improve but is becoming so thin.
Monday, August 2 was Hellen's birthday. The day was marked by good coffee, happy guests (no doubt partly due to the good coffee) and flowers. Though a good day, Hellen was still feeling tired and worn out from all her illnesses. And, she had to go in again for more treatments.
On Wednesday evening three letters arrived from Sweden. Two were about Aunt Augusta. A new stroke had ended her busy life on May 2 at the age of 87. She had now reached her goal. She had a been a warm and a good Christian who had left many good memories. Her brother and sister had come home [after hearing of her death?].
August 6: They had a good time at a tea party at the Scholz home.
August 7: Landin wants to have to have a Swedish school in Peking. Hedvig doubted that people would want to move there.
August 8: It was a good Sunday morning. The missionaries had a Swedish service on the porch which Gerda led. The church itself was full of soldiers, gasoline and ammunition. "It is that church [for which] we all donated for its construction. Now there are no praises to the Lord in it," Hedvig writes.21
August 9: It has become apparent that no one is interested in moving the Swedish school to Peking, so nothing will come of the idea. Hedvig promised Arne and Robert22 that they can live with her if they decided to return to school in Kiaohsien.
Thursday, August 12: A Japanese soldier swam too far from the shore and was eaten by a shark. They searched for him with boats and planes but could not locate his body. At another time three were eaten by sharks off the German beach. The Chinese Christians say that the Lord is punishing the Japanese because they made the church into a military installation. To Hedvig though the event was simply horrible. As it was the Japanese navy scouts left here after just a few days rather than a month. Perhaps they had more to fear than just sharks. The Japanese soldiers had been acting a bit jittery of late.
Saturday, August 14, brought more wind, fog and heavy weather -- heavy for both personality and nerves. Hedvig chided herself for the way she was feeling. After all what was a little bad weather when everyone was reasonably well. "Yes Lord, you are good. Why should one let small things bother us when one should thank and praise Him." "But we are that way," she admits.
Sunday everyone celebrated the birthday of Anna Andersson who was thirty-five years old. Also two issues of the Vecko Posten arrived allowing everyone to catch up on some news.
Tuesday was a day of repair to be done around the Iltis Huk home. Lutheran missionary Schön will be visiting in the winter. Leanders would probably be their guests in September. The day before, a one and a half year old boy died of dysentery. He was the only child of a man who was presently in Burma.
Wednesday, August 18 Gerda and Hellen traveled to Kiaohsien [to do something - can't make out what they were traveling back for - could you check this Mom?]. It was a bad night and nerves were a bit frayed again the next day. Again, Hedvig was fighting feeling down and depressed. "Why should one let little things irritate us when the whole world is suffering and bleeding."
On Friday they had the 'sweet' company of C. Silverbrand23 from Tientsien. With the Silverbrands, the Eitels and themselves they arranged a small picnic. On Saturday together with the Silverbrands they had coffee with the Andréens [Mom, did they live in the area?]. Their topic of discussion during the visit was a religious one: who will roll away the stone from Jesus tomb? On a personal level they saw that we all have 'stones' blocking their view. But Jesus is willing to remove them.
On Sunday the Rinells went to visit John Alfred's grave. Egron and Oscar took photos of the tomb stone with people gathered around it. Gerda and Hellen sang a song and Oscar prayed. Beautiful lilies were placed on the grave. It was memorable grave-side service for Hedvig. The cemetery attendant promised to save Hedvig a spot next to her husband. She would never have a chance to use it.
On Monday Lindberg turned seventy-eight. He had spent a good number of years working in China. Anna Andersson and those from Kaomi left for their respective homes.
On Friday August 27 Pastor Han came to Iltis Huk and reported that the Electric company blew up in Kiaohsien. The maintenance man had gotten drunk and forgot about the 'heating place'. Two people died and a few were injured in the explosion. One person escaped without injuries. The explosion destroyed the building at the plant and several houses nearby were damaged.
A pastor's conference had occurred [under James teaching(?) Note: diary unclear]. Four 'J' pastors were present. Hedvig mentions that they [perhaps the government] were attempting to get the 'Emperor's Cult' started amongst the Christians. This did not look very promising for the church.
Saturday, August 28. Everyone started to pack. 'The quiet wonderful rest is here.' [Perhaps they were going on holidays]. The strong heat of past weeks had let up and stark north winds were blowing. The skies were cloudy. The change in whether seemed to mirror changes in the world political climate. Word arrived that two Swedish ships had been sunk by German bombers. Sweden had protested to Berlin. Turkey was mobilizing for what reason Hedvig didn't know. Even in far off China, things of Europe were of concern.
Monday, August 30. Egron's family arrived in the morning. Ginsburgers [Mom, French neighbors?] came over to Hedvig's place for coffee bringing with them Mrs. Verber. Li-po-Ren and Miss Yang also joined everyone.
While they enjoyed relative peace, there was much to be concerned about in Europe. The news earlier in the day said that the king of Denmark had been arrested and Hitler's government was taking over. King Christian himself wanted to sentence the soldiers who didn't withstand(?) Hitler. [Confirm this previous sentence with Mom. Unclear.] Hedvig wondered when Hitler will be sentenced for his crimes.
Also the news mentioned that King Boris of Belgium died suddenly the day before yesterday.
Wednesday. September 1. They arrived back home again [from Tsingao?]. It was fun to be back. Though one of the best of the goats was ill.
Thursday, September 2. Oscar and Hellen came home unexpectedly. They thought it best to do so. They were able to get past the blackout and the 'long pants' [mom, who are the long pants?].6
Friday, September 3. School began. It was nearly impossible to find room in the church. There were about fifty new students in the mission school, not many in the bible school, but the grade school and grammar school were packed with more than usual number of students. Though Hedvig was always interested in education, evangelism was never far from her mind, 'God, help us to win them for you," she wrote. Egron preached a powerful sermon on Philipians 3:8.
More bad news though rumors had it that war between Sweden and Germany was brewing. "God protect our home land," Hedvig writes.
Monday, September 6. Hedvig has begun teaching her first class. She has been asked to teach "Harmony of the Gospels". It will be a lot of work considering she hadn't had this course for years. With the mission school boys she had Galatians and 1 Corinthians.
The Chinese had more news for the missionaries: the English and the Americans had landed troops in Italy.
Tuesday, September 7. Maj Brit A. only nineteen years of age 'took high school' from the Swedish high school in Kiaohsien in the spring and got engaged, and got engaged to a Mr. Dahlberg at midsummer. Hedvig didn't seem to think this too young. She was the daughter of Swedish missionaries from another mission.
A bit of rain fell. But not enough to do the harvest any good. Food would become more expensive Hedvig thought.
Wednesday, September 8. Someone sent Hedvig $15 which was not too small an amount in those days. It was not designated for anything in particular. She could use it for whatever she wanted. It would be enough to pay for tuition for Goa-Su-chong [mom, who is he/she?].
News in Europe was heartening. The British had taken four cities in Italy. The Russians had gone through at the Dneiper. Bad news though in Peking were a bad cholera epidemic was spreading.
Arne Bergman was a guest for the night [perhaps the night before]. He arrived happy and well. Robert was expected on Wednesday. Leander and R. Erickson were [or were to be] visiting Tsingtao and then Kioahsien.
Saturday, September 11.
News arrived from Göteborg that Mormor [Hedvig's mother - name was Moster Alma?] was very sick with cancer lumps under the arm pit and had to go to the hospital. The doctors were to begin with radiation and later perhaps surgery. Hellen and Dollan sat crying at the opening of the school. [Many years before mormor Ida also had cancer but Doris things she had a mascectomy].
K. Solberg was almost killed by poisoned gengas [producer gas in English. What is that?] . Ingrid Andreén spoke at the opening of the school. Her talk was short and sweet according to Hedvig, who never seemed to like long sermons.
Sunday, September 12. Hosea Swensson spoke, again 'short and sweet.' He [and his wife?] later had coffee at Hellen's. Ando [perhaps his wife] was gray and bent. Anna looked pretty good. They finished their time together with song, bible verse and prayer.
Friday, September 24. Hedvig and Oscar traveled to Hangia tsuen to attend Gi-Da-sans funeral.9It was a simple as it could be considering the rain and ? [can't read your handwriting mom]. Around the wake stood her four sons with their wives, three daughters, and all her grandchildren She had been baptized for 3 years[mom, is this the correct translations of this sentence?]. "Peace over her memory," Hedvig writes. Hedvig wrote a piece for the Vecko Posten about Gi-Da-sans' life.
Sunday, September 26. It rained during the night before and during the day. Despite the weather Oscar went to Long-gia-tswen anyway.
Wednesday, September 29. It was Hedvig's turn to lead morning prayers based on Pred. 9:8 (what is that book of the Bible in English?) concerning white clothing. Later Hedvig talked to Principle Wang who reminded her that she had taught him. Three others were in the class on 'The Harmony of the Gospels': Wang-Tsong-dji, Tsue-she-yong and Luan from Shan-luan (Len-check on the spelling of all these words). Of these Tsue died and the other two had gone back to the world. Only Principle Wang was left to continue on with God and in God's work.24 "Dear God," Hedvig writes, not all is in vain, but still!"25
Sunday, October 3. Pastor Han gave a good sermon as usual. The text was about God's promise to Abraham about his 'seed' and the sands of the ocean. His ideas were well thought out.
The Swedish school invited everyone to Svensk Afton or 'Swedish Eve', which was a evening dedicated to all things Swedish in food and language. The invitations were well done with faces of the missionairies cut out from photographs and pasted on the invitation.
No one was allowed to speak English or Chinese the entire evening. Everyone was required to speak Swedish. Whoever broke the rule had to pay money into the kitty. Sten Lindberg's father who was very 'proper' and formal heard someone speak English mixed with their Swedish. He went up to walked up with a serious look on his face to enlighten the transgressors of their infraction of the rules of the evening and said, "Du skall inte mixe Engelska med Svenska. Du skall talle straight.' Without thinking he had thrown into his Swedish sentence two English words. The translation of this sentence is "You will not mix English and Swedish. You will speak straight." Everyone, young and old, laughed until they cried. The rest of the evening everyone just put in an English or Chinese word when they couldn't remember the Swedish.10Later [or before?] everyone did their best to recite (or read aloud) Victor Rydberg, a Swedish author, and to have their fill of Swedish food.
Wednesday, October 6. Teaching (or homework) during the day. They (Hedvig, Egron and whoever else) had Dr. and Mrs. Eitel over for dinner. Dinner was followed by a lot of singing, bible study and prayer led by Egron. Everyone had a good time.
Friday, October 8. The teaching (or homework) was difficult. But now it was all over and everyone had a week off. Hedvig hoped that all the teaching was not in vain. The day before a letter arrived from Sweden that Mama Colldén (Mom, is this Ida?) had an operation for breast cancer.
Sunday, October 10. Double 10 day, Chinese Fatherland's Day. But never had China been so broken up Hedvig thought. Poor people in a broken country. Oscar, Hellen, Egron, Jansson and Pastor Lee from Kaomi have traveled to Hong-shi on inspection.They found everything to be OK.
Wednesday, October 13. "Again, God has given me a birthday," Hedvig writes. "All in grace from beginning to end." Hedvig was congratulated by her family and the Ki family. Later everyone had 'mian-tang' or Chinese noodles, and cake and coffee. After eating everyone was happy and content. Best of all was the service afterwards.
Thursday, October 14. Egron, Gerda and Oscar went to Hedvig's for a short visit the day before. The missionaries also got Russian news. They were winning over the Germans!
Friday, October 15. Not much rain had fallen lately (Len, check to see rainfall in this part of China during this time). The land had been dry and thirsty. But, last night a nice rain had fallen that continued on into the day on Friday. The rain gave hope for a good wheat harvest.
Tuesday, October 18. Oscar arrived back from his trip to Kaomi. There a new church had been started for almost 300 members in Da-Tsingia-choong. The members were called 'Wei Bin' after a river that runs through there. The church services were good and Martin Jansson was installed as pastor.
Friday, October 22. A birthday congratulations arrived for Hedvig from Gothenburg. She was pleased to be remembered back home. She wrote a letter in response.
The week's lessons were over. It was a scary time for Hedvig. She didn't know if this 4th class of the bible school would accept her teaching. "God help both me and them," she writes.
Two students left the high school to go west. Among them was Hedvig's student Wang-lien-sho. "May God protect them," she prays, because much suffering will come to them.
Sunday, October 24. Oscar preached a wonderful sermon on John 8:31-36 (may be 'Johannes, if so would this be Revelation?). The 'truth shall make you free' was the message. Oscar looked pale and tired. Afterwards several people got together and celebrated Esther Wahlin's birthday. Among those at the celebration were Mrs Shultz, Mrs. Matzal26, Nina, Stretcher and two other ladies.
Wednesday, October 27. Gerda was operated on for appendicitis and uterine prolapse [Mom, what is that?]. Hellen stayed with her.
Friday, October 29. Hedvig received a letter from Wilhelm [probably Hedvig's brother and engineer on the Drottningholm]. Edith had send her greetings through Wilhelm and had some excellent news. Edith had gotten her degree at the University of Berkeley and now had a position at the Children's Hospital in the orthopedic ward. And, she lived only 10 1/3 Swedish miles from Margaret and even had a car to get there. Her hand was stiff from a fracture, but she was still able to work. It has been two years since she had heard from Edith due to the war. "Thank you God," Hedvig writes.27
Egron returned in the evening. Dr. Schmidt and nurse Gerda were kidnapped by guerillas from Braunes House on Laoshan Mountain. Mrs. Schmidt though not kidnapped was shot in the thigh. Dr. Eitel had to travel at 3:00 in the morning to bring her home. She had bled a lot and was in shock. To save her life Dr. Eitel gave her 600cc of blood. 'They' sent out an ombudsman to talk to the guerrillas. No doubt they wanted money. Ironically, the story was the Dr. Schmidt and nurse Gerda were having an afair, so it was quite convenient that they kidnapped together. The were both held several months and eventually let go.11
Saturday, October 30. Hedvig was a the women's conference in Kaomi. It was a peaceful and good time away. Nina and Wang-wan-hsien (sp?) spoke at the conference about the dress code (sure would like to know what the code was ! Len). Tsaing-mo-she spoke on how Mary poured oil over Jesus feet. Cheo-gue-sio (sp?) and Mrs Chao both gave speeches 'with a lot of frills' according to Hedvig. Mrs. Chen gave a lecture on Baptist history to 1654.
Gerda was doing much better.
Sunday, October 31. It was a wonderful Sunday. Mr. Chien (sp?) from Hwanghsien was led by God in his preaching, and he preached twice. Gerda was improving very well. Mrs. Schmidt had three blood transfusions and had regained consciousness. What was depressing though was that there had been no news from Dr. Schmidt and the nurse.
Hedvig had ???? Chin, Ki and and Hes (sp?) for dinner. They had a great time.
Tuesday, November 2. Everyone was back home after attending the conference in Kaomi. It had been a good conference. Now they were going to have more 'work-related time' with the guys from the north, three people are members of the seminary board. It was Egron, Principle Wang, and Pastor Kung [who was later murdered]. If they have a committee Oscar and two more brothers would join.
Friday, November 5. Mrs. Ki said that they had decided to add religion to the curriculum of the grammar school. Earlier the Japanese had become very angry when they discovered bibles in the school. Out of fear of the Japanese the decision was made to take religion out of the classroom. "My heart has cried many times since this subject had to be taken off [the curriculum]," Hedvig writes. An outcome of the missionary conference in Kiaomi was to put religion back in the school despite the danger. "Now we have to pray that God will protect Principle Ki and the school from the devil's pursuit."28
Sunday, November 7. Hedvig was thinking about the war and the apparent friendship the Germans and Japanese had. It was ironic. Twenty-nine years ago had been taken by the Germans. The Germans in turn lost to the Japanese. Now they were friends. How deep that friendship went no one knew.
The Sunday was peaceful and quiet. Oscar lectured on church membership and done an excellent job. Hedvig thought that he should really be the Bible School teacher rather than herself.
Principle Ki though committed to teaching religion in the grammar school again, thought it better to wait for the Swedish-Chinese conference. Hedvig agreed.
Monday, November 8. Egron returned home with good news about Gerda. Each day she was growing in strength. But now things were not good with Hellen. Dr. Eitel was not satisfied with the sound of her heart.
Two Japanese came with interpreters to the Bible School and to Egron's.
There was no news about Dr. Schmidt and nurse Gerda.
Thursday, November 11. Both Gerda and Hellen returned from the hospital in Tsingtao. Both were doing pretty well. Oscar's blood-pressure was too low, however at 112. His heart was not good apparently. And what is more, he had a busy month coming up with poor food while traveling. It would be better if he could take time off.
News arrived that the Americans had taken the largest island, Salomon, but at the cost of many ships and planes. But according to the Japanese (my assumption, LJH) they (the Japanese) had not lost very much. It was difficult to tell if this was the truth or not.
All flowers were taken in the first frost the night before.
Sunday, November 14. Sunday was a good day for Hedvig. Pastor Sia had as his text Acts 1:8 which was about the strength of the Holy Spirit. In the afternoon he spoke about true people and true words. After his sermon he asked non-christians to come forward for prayer if they wanted to. A good crowd of middle school boys came forward and kneeled at the alter and they were prayed for. "May their salvation be true and not uncertain," Hedvig writes.
Oscar had to travel to Wangtai using the John Alfred's old cart. The car battery was dead. He did not have a lot of strength to make the journey.
Tuesday, November 16. The meetings lasted for another two days. God was working among the people, but the Christians longed for more work of his Holy Spirit. Hedvig wondered if they themselves were keeping God from working because of the selfishness in their own hearts. "Light a fire in their hearts," Hedvig told God, "and burn up all apathy in our hearts."
Monday, December 13. The express train to Tsingtao hit a mine at Chang-dien. About seventy people were killed and many more hurt. Such things were never mentioned in the newspaper Hedvig writes. These times were full of tragic events to bother mentioning them all.29
On Wednesday, December 15 John Alfred came into the room with a letter from Edith. It was a big surprise. It had been so long since they had heard from Edith. The markings on the letter30 indicated that it had gone through the customs house in Chungking. "How lovely it is to see her handwriting again and to know she is OK," Hedvig writes.31Hellen was due to travel the next day [back home I presume. LJH].
December 18: Oscar, still not feeling well had to go in for more tests a few days before. Dr. Eitel had to pump out the contents of Oscar's stomach to see if the stomach contains enough stomach acid which he doubts. That he thinks is why Oscar's stomach is not functioning properly. And, this may be due to his nerves. All this sickness worries Hedvig of course. "Father Jesus come our rescue," she writes.
By Wednesday, December 22 Oscar is back home again. What Dr. Eitel suspected is apparently true. Nerves are the reason for Oscar's exhaustion [and apparently his stomach problems]. He was given medication and told to rest as much as possible. Hellen too is about as worn out as Oscar. They must recover by March by which time both Hellen and Oscar must travel to Peking for a two month stay [why, I don't know -Len].32
December 23: Hedvig receives a big shock. Koang -hoa-feng paid back his debt of $4000. Hedvig had received now payment for the last two years. "That's how it works sometimes," she writes. Sometimes you don't have money and sometimes you unexpectedly do. But no matter, "my salary is in heaven."
Christmas eve arrives and everything is prepared though this year Christmas eve celebrations were at Ester [Wahlin] and Anna Jansson. Hopefully Oscar would be strong enough to join them.
December 31 [Friday] arrives and Hedvig records the last day of the year in her diary, "last evening for this page," she writes, "and the year's tears. So many beautiful dreams and wishes never came." [though she doesn't tell us what these dreams and wishes were. LJH]. The last line perhaps made her think she may not be feeling thankful because she follows it up with, "And yet how much love we gotten [passed tense?] every day from our Father's caring and loving hand. Thank you God for all you have given." The missionaries could go through very difficult times, but still thank God for his loving care.
In the very next paragraph of her diary Hedvig mentions how Gerda is sick but is better. Oscar is trying to rest but is frequently visited by Chinese, probably well-wishers who wish him the best, but keep him from needed rest.
Monday starts school testing.
Dollan and her mom had to take a train to Tsingtao for a doctor appointment. The only room available was on a freight train. They had gotten on and the train proceeded down the line, but stopped another station to let on passengers. People were eager to get on the train due to get away from guerrilla and/or Japanese fighting. If they couldn't get into a train car they tried to climb onto the roofs of the train cars and hang on.
A young woman of about twenty years was next to Dollan. A gang of about twenty men were trying to get into their freight car. The door was shut and locked, but they found a small window open. They came in head first one at a time several of them in a row, and landed on the young woman, she under them all. Dollan pushed them to the side, but she wasn't strong enough to push them all off the young woman. The young woman's screams became less and less and then Dollan did not hear anything. The woman still had about four men on top of her. Dollan screamed on top of her lungs and told them that they were idiots and demons. Others in the train car decided to help as did Hellen. They finally got the men off the young woman as she was gasping for breath. Someone quickly closed the little widow so no one else could come in. Hellen, Dollan, the young woman, the men who cam in the window and the rest of the passengers all stood liked packed sardines all the way to Tsingtao. 33
A high school student by the name of Eivor, a Swedish girl from another mission, went in for a tonsilectomy and died on the operating table.7She had come to Kiaosien because the Swedish Baptist mission there had the only high school. Arne Bergman, Dollan's and Eivor's fellow student, brought her to the hospital. Not long afterward Dollan was called over to Egron and Gerda's house where they broke the news to her. Eivor was an 'A' student in the high school who hardly had to study at all for her classes. She is buried close to John Alfred Rinell.
11. She notes that Mr. Boosen's grave lies right behind Mr. Kroghs grave. She probably mentioned that fact as a 'landmark' to finding John Alfred's grave. Doesn't matter now. All the gravestones were used by the communists for sidewalks.
12. Schwester Friedel was Dollan' head nurse later when Dollan was in training. This was when Dollan had turned 16 and the Nazis were out of the hospital. Up till then the Nazis were the only ones who could train nurses. The Swiss then took over and Dollan started nurses training. Friedel, Dollan says, was a nice lady. Also was she Swiss? What led up to you going to nurses training? Describe how it was when you first started.
13. Mrs. Matzat's son, Helmut, was Dollan' boyfriend when she was about 15. They wrote letters to one another when Dollan was 16,17,18. Helmut is still living and Lally has his brother, Willie's, address. They dated from about 1944-45. He was a 'handsome lug.' His mother died when a drunk sideswiped her on the street when she and Helmut were walking. [Was this in Sweden or China?]
15. In the 1990's at least they were still alive and living in
Sweden my Linnea Church. Dollan baby sat their cute son, Göran who is very nice
and also lives in Göteborg. The older Andreens did not speak Chinese or at least
not very well. Their mission station was Churching and then Gaomi while they
were in China with SBM.
Later in Sweden the older Andreens both had Alzheimers and died in an old peoples home. Göran married and lived in an apartment a few doors down from Linnea church in Gothenburg, Sweden. He worked in an art store. He would visit Oscar at his cabin called Sulatorp in Sweden, always bringing orchids to Oscar when he would visit. See email from Dollan Brown to Lennart Holmquist, September 12, 2007.
18. Hedvig implies she got home on the 12th, but she actually would have gotten home on the 11th if she made the morning service on Sunday which was on the 11th. There were no Monday morning services according to Dollan.
Copyright by Lennart Holmquist, 2007-08
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