March 1943 - October 1945
This website could not have been created
without the help of survivors -- most of whom were children during World War
II -- of Weihsien Concentration Camp in Shantung Province, China.
These documents, paintings, sketches, texts and memories have been assembled here for a better understanding of what we endured for so many long days in 1943, 1944 and 1945.
Children are always the innocent victims of the incomprehensible conflicts originated by "grown-ups." This is as true today as it was then -- all over the world.
Leopold Pander, (ex-prisoner of Weihsien and 4 years old in 1945 ---)
Located two miles east of Weihsien,
the American Presbyterian Compound in Weihsien was known by the Chinese
name of "Courtyard of the Happy Way." Its Shadyside Hospital,
constructed in 1924, was considered one of the best constructed mission
hospitals in North China. However, by the time internees arrived, all
useable equipment had been looted or carried off. Student dormitories,
consisting of rows and rows of rooms, as well as large buildings originally
used as classrooms and libraries, housed the internees. One of the largest
camps in China, Weihsien housed, at one time or another, almost 2,250
internees. Two internees who escaped provided information on the camp
to OSS operatives in Chungking, while remaining in the vicinity of the
camp with Nationalist guerillas. At the end of the war Weihsien was the
scene of an exciting drama when a seven member OSS team parachuted near
the camp and were welcomed by the overjoyed internees. Afterwards, Chinese
Communist guerilla activity prevented the evacuation of the camp. After
an initial group was removed by rail to Tsingtao, the railway line was
blown up. Internees were finally airlifted out by Army Air Force planes.
Click here to
read Stanley Camp