From: MTPrevite
To:
Weihsien@topica.com
Sent: 1/6/2010 7:00:56 A.M. Eastern Standard Time
Subj:
Let's salute Tad Nagaki on his 90th birthday

 

 

Tad Nagaki will celebrate his 90th birthday on January 25.  Tad is the only American member still living from the  "Duck Mission" team  that  parachuted from a B-24 to liberate Weihsien on August 17, 1945.  A Japanese-American,  Tad was the interpreter on that  rescue team.

 

Tad is a widower who lives alone.  His children are dead.  At age 90, he still farms in Alliance, Nebraska

 

I plan to write a Letter to the Editor to the Hemingford Ledger  saluting this American hero on his 90th birthday.  The Ledger is the weekly newspaper that covers the county where Tad Nagaki lives.    The editor tells me that half of his readers live in Alliance,  the town where Tad lives and farms.

 

Would you join me in writing Letters to the Editor from around the world to honor Tad?

 

Ledger editor Aaron Wade is delighted with this proposal and has promised me he will print your letters. Don't worry if you've sent letters in the past.  This is a different  newspaper, a different audience.

 

Even if you have no specific memory of Tad Nagaki,  you can write what you saw  and felt and how you celebrated the day the Americans parachuted from the sky to rescue us.  Who can forget that day?  You can  thank Tad for his part of that rescue that gave you freedom.

 

1. Address your letters via e-mail to

                           news@ledgeronline.com

 

2. Include in the subject line:  90th birthday salute to Tad Nagaki

 

3. Include your name and the city and country from which you are writing.

 

4. Deadline:  Letters should be sent on or before January 14.

 

Thank you for joining me in this birthday celebration.

 

Mary Previte

 

----- Original Message -----

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Thursday, January 07, 2010 3:15 AM

Subject: Weihsien info forwarded from Angela Elliot

 

 

 


From: Harold Sydnam <
hjsydnam@comcast.net>
Subject:
Weihsien info
To: "Elliott, Angela" <
angelalousia@yahoo.ca>
Received:
Wednesday, January 6, 2010, 10:29 AM

Weihsien Camp

 

illustration: Letter from Weihsien internee, sent to a third national in Peitaiho.

 

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.

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Sunday, January 10, 2010 10:34 PM

Subject:

Letter to the editor from Carol Orlich for Tad Nagaki's 90th birthday

 

January  10, 2010

Letter to the editor: 

 

To Aaron Wade, Editor,  Hemingford Ledger

 

From:  Carol Orlich,  Widow of Pvt. Peter Orlich, member  of the Weihsien

            Liberation team

            The Queens, New York

 

Subject:  Honoring Tad Nagaki on his 90th birthday

 

My one big wish and prayer is that my Pete were here.  He was a member of the team that liberated the Weihsien Concentration Camp, along with Tad Nagaki.    Pete was radio operator on the mission, and, at age 21, the youngest member of the team.

 

If Pete were alive, he would be in Alliance in a flash to celebrate your 90th birthday with you, Tad.

 

Pete, himself, desperately wanted to be a member of the team to liberate Weihsien. But he wore glasses and didn't think he would be accepted to parachute. When they were giving the eye exam to volunteers for the mission,  Pete hid his glasses and memorized the eye chart by listening to the men in the line in front of him.   They also did I.Q. tests.   Pete was selected for the team.  But on the first practice jump, his glasses almost flew off his head.  From then on, whenever he jumped, he always taped his glasses to his head.

 

My Pete didn't talk much about this rescue, but my family considers their father and all members of the team as World War II heroes.

 

I, myself, can't even imagine jumping out of an airplane at 400 feet.  You are a hero, Tad Nagaki.

 

I wish you a healthy and joyful birthday.

 

Carol Orlich, widow of Pvt. Peter Orlich

The Queens, NY

 

From: Albert de Zutter

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Monday, January 11, 2010 11:05 PM

Subject:

Re: Letter to the editor from Carol Orlich for Tad Nagaki's 90th birthday

 

Mary, please forward to Carol Orlich

When I reached the spot where our rescuers had converged after landing I remember, as a skinny 13-year-old weighing perhaps 85 pounts, standing perhaps two feet from him, looking up at a crew-cut young man with glasses taped to the sides of his face as he stood looking over me toward the major (I surmise) who must have been saying something. I am happy to know the identity of the rescuer whose appearance stays most distinctly in my mind. Possibly one of the reasons he made such an impression on me (aside from the taped glasses, which I had never seen before) was his youthful appearance. Believe me, at that moment Pete Orlich, Tad Nagaki and the others were to us the equivalent of angels dropping out of the sky.

Albert de Zutter

 

From: Ron Bright

To: weihsien@topica.com

Cc: Brightaway@aol.com ; AERA@yahoogroups.com

Sent: Tuesday, January 12, 2010 4:35 AM

Subject: Re: Amelia Earhart at Weihsien 1943-45?

 

Group,

I just recently ran into your web site  and find this opportunity to address the surviving Weihsein internees. I hope this is the right format.
I am a long time Amelia Earhart reseacher. Years ago I started to investigate the claim made by former OSS Lt, James Hannon, made circa 1987, that he believed a woman at the Weishein camp was in fact Amelia Earhart. She was comatose, emaciated, and held in a part of the Japanese side of the Assembly camp for years and attended to by a nun. Prior to the
OSS team liberating the Camp in Aug 1945, a Japanese plane arrived outside and she was taken away, reportedly to Japan. Some researchers claim that Earhart was rehabilitated and eventually returned to the US and lived under a dilfferent name in New Jersey.
  During the past few years. I have corresponded with Desmond Powers, Dr Nordo, Mary Previte, Pamela Masters and several other internees as well as interviewing some of the
OSS team, Jim Moore, for one. Pamela Masters in her book "The Mushroom Years" addresses this claim. None of the above believed that Earhart was ever present at the Camp.
  Yet even today, some of the Earhart researchers believe that Hannon, who came forward in  1987, believe that Earhart was hidden there and may have been known as the "Yank". Hannon based his belief on a telegram that George Putnam received in Sept 1945,  unsigned. but indicated that the camp was "liberated with volumes to follow," and say  "love to mother". Hannon believed that was a message sent via the State Dept from Amelia.
   I have read several books, the "Duck Report" but can not find any confirmation that Earhart was interned at Weihsein. Major Steiger in charge of the liberators says he knew nothing of any unknown female and that  was not his mission.
  Thus in trying to close this chapter, I am soliciting any input concerning the woman held in the Japanese quarters or anyone having any knowledge that Earhart was held there. In view of the significance of this alleged imprisonment, I think it is worth pursuing.
  Please feel free to ask any questions or post comments pro or con.
  Thanks in advance. And I especially wish to thank Pamela Masters for her input on this claim.

Ronald E. Bright
Bremerton, Washingto, USA
Amelia Earhart Researcher
360 479 3640

 

From: Dwight W. Whipple

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, January 12, 2010 6:07 AM

Subject: Re: Amelia Earhart at Weihsien 1943-45?

 

Ron~

Your subject line indicates 1943-45.  Many of us were repatriated in September of 1943 just after a group of students were interned from Chefoo and perhaps other places.  Do you have any indication when in 1943 you suspect that she would have arrived at the camp?

~Dwight W Whipple

 

From: Ron Bright

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, January 12, 2010 9:08 AM

Subject: Re: Amelia Earhart at Weihsien 1943-45?

 

Dear Dwight,

   I will go thru my investigation again, but as I recall the possible arrival of "
AE" was  late 1943 or so. Since noone knew exactly who Hannon was referring to, it is impossible, I think, to put a date on any arrival.
   "The Yank" may have been who Hannon mistakely thought was AE. Her arrival can be determined.
  Supposedly Earhart was in
Japan from 1937 until  her "transfer" to Weishein for some kind of security's sake. I haven't found any evidence she was in Japan. (Recall she disappeared somewhere near Howland Is on 2 July 37, Many theories range from crash and sank to her survival at Saipan, then Japan)
   The internee that wrote the famous Love to Mother telegram to Putnam , after an extensive 2 year investigation , was most likely Amed Kamal. Many recall him at the Camp. (he is deceased).
    Mary Previte has interviewed Hannon in person.
  
Ron Bright

 

From: Tapol

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, January 12, 2010 10:11 AM

Subject: Re: Amelia Earhart at Weihsien 1943-45?

 

Dear Ron,

I questioned Father Hanquet on that subject. A young Catholic Missionary in his early thirties at the time of our imprisonnement. He was part of a group of very well informed persons such as Father de Jaegher and his answer was quite categorical.

"If an American -- whoever it might be -- was detained in the Japanese part of the camp we would have known it. No such thing ever happened!"

---  we never talked about the Amelia Earhart subject again.

 

Best regards.

Leopold

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, January 12, 2010 12:57 PM

Subject: Letter from John Taylor honoring Tad Nagaki

 

Letter to the Editor to honor Tad Nagaki

 

From John H. Taylor

 

I honor you, Tad Nagaki, on your 90th birthday.  I honor you for your heroism in liberating Weihsien – for liberating me.

 

I remember eating eggs shells and abominable food that often made me gag.  I remember a boil on my leg that wouldn’t heal  and daily roll calls, numbering off in Japanese – ichi, nee, san, she….”  I remember freezing our fingers making coal balls with a recipe of mud and coal dust.

 

But, oh, do I remember the day the Americans came.  The unfamiliar sound of a low-flying plane interrupted us in a music class in the church right there by the gate.  Forget the music!  Were we about to be bombed?  We rushed out, gazing at the sky. There we saw the American star on a plane as it flew so low over the ball field.  When I saw the parachutes, I dashed through that barrier gate into the gao-liang fields to welcome you American heroes.

 

After almost three years in Japanese concentration camps and after 5 ½ years of not seeing Daddy and Mummy, what does a hungry, 74-lb., 11-year-old remember of liberators?  FREEDOM.  Then the B-29s  brought candy and chewing gum. I stuffed about five sticks of gum into my mouth all at one time and chewed them all day until my jaws ached and then saved the wad so I could chew it all again.

 

Your coming told us the war was over.  You were one of seven brave young men who volunteered for a very dangerous mission.  Thank you, Tad Nagaki.  You gave us FREEDOM.  You opened a door to a whole new world of opportunities.

 

John H. Taylor, MD

Dayton, Ohio

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, January 12, 2010 1:28 PM

Subject: Re: Amelia Earhart at Weihsien 1943-45?

 

I   talked to  Major Stanley Staiger,  Jim Moore,  Tad Nagaki,  and Jim Hannon face to face.  Staiger,  Moore, and Nagaki  were adamant:  they knew nothing of Amelia Earhart  or "the yank" in Weihsien.  They told me -- repeatedly -- they did not believe Jim Hannon's  story.

 

In the many times I talked to Hannon,  I  never challenged his stories.  I listened.  When I first visited him and his wife in Palm SpringsCalifornia, he showed me portions of a manuscript  and artwork for the book he was writing about his story of finding Amelia Earhart in Weihsien.  He told me that  a brief news article  about the Putnam telegram -- I believe in the 1980s -- stimulated his memory.   As, I believe,  Pamela knows,  Jim Hannon was enfuriated by Pamela's comments in her book,  The Mushroom Years,  challenging his story.    In later years Hannon  told me he had revised the manuscript to make his Earhart story into  fiction.  He released the book as fiction --  The Secret of Weifang.

 

Mary Previte

 

From: Ron Bright

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, January 12, 2010 8:06 PM

Subject: Re: Amelia Earhart at Weihsien 1943-45?

 

Leopold,

Thanks so much for your input. It certainly seems unlikely that the famous avatrix Earhart would have gone unnoticed at Weihsein.
Ron Bright

 

From: Ron Bright

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, January 12, 2010 8:11 PM

Subject: Re: Amelia Earhart at Weihsien 1943-45?

 

Mary,

Thanks for the information. If you recalled, I talked to you many years ago. As I remember, you were visiting with Hannon in
Calif and asked him to point out the place were AE was held. He could not.
It was in 1971 that Hannon brought out the possibility that Earhart was at Weishein in his book "Savages". Hannon was a close friend of Joe Klaas who wrote the "Amelia Earhart Lives" book, suggesting that Earhart survived.
I think Hannon was influenced by this scenario.
Ron Bright

 

From: Ron Bridge

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, January 12, 2010 9:01 PM

Subject: RE: Amelia Earhart at Weihsien 1943-45?

 

I had long exchanges with the late James Hannon in writing and on the phone and have no idea where this suggestion came from he could not tell me the source of what he was investigation, it had " just kind of happened". She is not listed in any of the numerous list of inmates that I hold, sadly the Swiss US records had been destroyed when I started on the hostorical analysis but I have a copy of the SWiss Consular British records which include next of kin date of birth, passport details Etc . Hannon's idea was that she was one of three women with mental health problems who were living in a block behond the Japanese HQ block( Blocvk 45 or 46) I think that if she had been there Langdon Gilkey would have mentioned it in "Shangtung Compound." after all that was writte in 1964/5 from his notes taken in Weihsien.

In answer to Dwight Whipple there were odd people drifting in and out throughout the latter stages of 1943. The main move out was the RC Priests ansd Nuns on the 15 and 17 August 1943 the Gripsholm evacuees in  the first ten days of September 1943 whilst the Chefoo School moved in in early Sept 1943.  In 1944 the only movements other than the escape were medical cases going for treatment generally to Tsingtao but occasionally Peking.

For  those that do not knwo me I ahve accumualted a data base of over 100,000 names and it includes all British Civilians and nearly all US civilians. I also ahve all the British military but not the Dutch and not all US military

RGds

Ron Bridge ( One time Weihsien)

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, January 12, 2010 10:58 PM

Subject: Re: Amelia Earhart at Weihsien 1943-45?

 

I am interested in Ron Bridge's report of what building Jim Hannon told him where Amelia Earhart was kept.

 

In my meeting with  Jim Hannon and his wife in Palm Springs,  I asked Jim if he could tell me exactly where Amelia Earhart stayed.  He couldn't  remember where it was.  That seems strange.  Hannon parachuted in with the team on August 17, 1945,  and stayed  until all internees were evacuated well into the fall.   

 

Major Stanley Staiger had both a strong will and a gripping personality -- who  fought off a strong challenge when head of a failed OSS rescue mission on August 17, 1945,  flew in to Weihsien and tried to take charge of the show there in order to save his own face. (Incidentally,  Tad Nagaki says that that interloper should have been court martialed for dereliction of duty.)   I simply cannot imagine that a leader like Major Staiger would not have found out about Amelia Earhart being confined in secret at Weihsien if indeed she were there.

 

Ron Bright, yes, I remember getting phone calls from several members of the Amelia Earhart Association. 

 

Mary Previte

 

From: Ron Bright

To: weihsien@topica.com

Cc: pamela@hendersonhouse.com ; Brightaway@aol.com

Sent: Tuesday, January 12, 2010 11:56 PM

Subject: Re: Amelia Earhart at Weihsien 1943-45?

 

Mary,
     I have files and files of the Weishein claim, but I have not made any report. I did make a report on my investigation into the "Love to Mother" telegram from Weishein, that appears in the Tighar.org group. The fellow was Kamal who was a friend of George Putnams in
Los Angeles and had asked Putnam to look after his aging mother.
    I never talked with Hannon, so I have no idea where he thought Earhart was. In one newspaper account, [Hi Desert Star,
Yucca Valley, Cal] Hannon claims he was hurt during the parachute drop and he was asked (?) to look after a  semi conscious woman in her own room where she was being given morphine by the Japanese warden. He claims that for almost six weeks he was with her twice a day. ( seems someone from the Camp would know where a very sick lady was located and that someone would follow Hannons day to day activities)
    He claimed that a "mysterious message" was radioed into the camp that one prisoner out of the 1500 was going to be evacuated differently. While he was away, he said, a supposed American Col arrived in a Japanese Betty Bomber and took out the woman he thought was Earhart. She disappeared.
    Of course this account lacks details. I think from other sources Hannon claimed that the woman was held in the Japanese quarters where she was attended to by a sister "Mary Ann", and thus noone in the camp would know.
    It is an interesting story but I doubt if there is any public interest now.
Ron Bright

 

From: Ron Bright

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Wednesday, January 13, 2010 12:08 AM

Subject: Re: Amelia Earhart at Weihsien 1943-45?

 

Ron Bridge,

  Thanks for the information. I wonder if you have any next of kin, date of birth and other identifiers for Ahmad KAMAL, who was at Weishein until it was liberated. His wife was with him..I have a list of some 1900 internees and the messages each sent out after the camp was liberated.
Would appreciate it very much.
Ron

 

From: Ron Bridge

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Wednesday, January 13, 2010 11:56 AM

Subject: RE: Amelia Earhart at Weihsien 1943-45?

 

Ron,

He and his wife both born 1914, nok Mrs C Kamal  lived in LAX I have sent you separate e-mail direct. They were American of Tartar origin

However they lived in Block 19 Room 3 next door to Bobby Bridger now known as he author Pamela Masters she may be able to give you more detail

Rgds

Ron

 

From: Pamela Masters

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Thursday, January 14, 2010 1:58 AM

Subject: Re: Amelia Earhart at Weihsien 1943-45?

 

Hi Ron (Bridge) --

 

Just for the record, my name in Weihsien was Pamela Roberta Simmons, and I was known as Bobby; that's  where my married name, Pamela Masters, comes from.

 

I believe Bobby Bridger's given name was Barbara, and that her married name is Backhouse. We gals like to keeps records straight, especially as we lose our maiden names and a slice of our identity when we get married.

 

As I said, just for the record....

 

 

PAMELA MASTERS, Author/Publisher
"You don't read her books...you LIVE them!"
Henderson House Publishing
Ph: 530-647-2000
Fx:  530-647-2002
www.hendersonhouse.com

pamela@hendersonhouse.com

 

From: "Donald Menzi" <dmenzi@earthlink.net>

To: "weihsien" <weihsien@topica.com>

Sent: Thursday, January 14, 2010 2:49 AM

Subject: Weihsien Guards

 

Ø     
> Here's another minor item, probably not of interest to most of us, but maybe worth a footnote at least.
>
> Some of you will recall the extended and rather heated debate about the color of the Weihsien guards uniforms, initially generated by Smith's wonderful picture of a regular army soldier in one of the guard towers.  Some people recalled only dark blue consular guard jackets and denied that there were any other kind there.  Others distinctly remember olive uniforms on at least some of the guards. Since Smith's painting was made after Weihsien's liberation and the soldier was actually protecting the compound from potential guerilla attacks, it doesn't prove anything either way about the guards before then.

> In this regard, I was interested to note the following sentence in Christine Helsby's "Our POW Christmas," recently posted to the topica list.

> "I turned to look out at the great stretches of brick wall, bristling with strands of electrified barbed wire, broken at intervals by menacing pillboxes that were manned by one of the omnipresent olive-uniformed Japanese guards."
>
> Although I wasn't there, I will bet that the consular guards did the internal policing while regular army troops manned the watchtowers to guard against outside attack. This seems to be confirmed by several drawings made by camp artists.
>

 

From: gdavidbirch@yahoo.com
To:
news@ledgeronline.com
Sent: 1/14/2010 12:27:41 A.M. Eastern Standard Time
Subj:

90th Birthday Salute to TAD NAGAKI, WWII AMERICAN HERO!

 

TAD NAGAKI
c/o The Hemingford Ledger
Alliance, Nebraska
USA

Dear Tad,

You won't know me today, but I am one of the 1500 or so inmates of the Weihsien Camp that you so bravely helped to liberate on August 17, 1945 when you and your Duck Mission teammates parachuted down to us from 400 feet on that sweltering hot summer day.

I was playing pingpong in Kitchen One with my friend Stanley Thompson that day when we suddenly heard the roar of a huge aircraft just overhead.  Stan and I dropped our pingpong bats and raced out into the brilliant sunshine to see this strange sight, Later we learned that the plane was a B24 Liberator from the US Army Air Force.  We were totally thrilled!  We had spent a four years of our young lives as civilian prisoners of the Japanese and had almost forgotten what freedom was like!

Tad, you were one of those seven heroes who came that day and set me free!

THANK YOU! THANK YOU!  THANK YOU, TAD NAGAKI!

I will never forget what you did for me that day by setting me free!  I had been separated from my dear parents for all the years of the war and could hardly remember what it was like to live with my own family.  But you helped to bring that sad part of my life to an end! You will always be enshrined in my heart, as long as I live, as one of my heroes!  I am so grateful to you!

With profound respect,
David Birch

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Thursday, January 14, 2010 11:34 PM

Subject:

Ledger story to honor Tad Nagaki on his 90th birthday

 

Editor Aaron Wade of the weekly  Hemingford (Nebraska) Ledger says that your letters continue to arrive with such vivid details that he may run a first story on January 21 and run a continuation on January 28.  Tad Nagaki's grandson and grand daughter-in-law plan a community open house on Saturday,  January 23,  at the Alliance Country Club  followed by a dinner for family and close friends.  So a follow-up story would allow The Ledger to  include something about those celebrations.

 

The stories and letters  will also be available online, starting Friday, January 22.

 

I can only describe Aaron Wade as THRILLED at having this mega-story for his newspaper and for his readers.  He says the fact that  most people around Alliance know Tad Nagaki as a quiet farmer will guarantee that this story and your letters will create a new vision of this humble man -- as a high school athlete and as a wartime hero. 

 

Thank you to all  who have sent Letters of congratulation to  celebrate this  American hero. 

 

Mary Previte

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Friday, January 22, 2010 3:54 AM

Subject: Saying happy birthday to Tad Nagaki -- in person

 

Tomorrow,  I fly  to Alliance, Nebraska,  to help celebrate Weihsien liberator Tad Nagaki's 90th birthday.  Speaking for all of us whose lives were so affected by his heroism, I will let his family and neighbors know exactly what he and the Duck Mission team did on August 17, 1945 when they parachuted from the B-24 to liberate Weihsien.  Most of them do not know this story. 

 

Thanks to so many of you who wrote letters to the editor to salute Tad Nagaki,  the last living member of the American team that liberated the camp.

 

You can go to this web site to read all of those letters and an article  about and photos of Tad Nagakihttp://starherald.com/articles/2010/01/21/hemingford_ledger/news/doc4b58c97be737b752317946.txt

 

Click on Letters from Weihsien.

 

Mary Previte

 

From: Ron Bright

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Friday, January 22, 2010 4:42 AM

Subject: Re: Saying happy birthday to Tad Nagaki -- in person

 

Mary P.

During your visit , if appropriate, I wonder if you could ask Ted whether he was aware of a young female, comatose, under the care of fellow
OSS member Jim Hannon, who claims he visited her twilce a day during the eight or so weeks he was at Weihsein. Reportedly she was referred to as the "Yank".

Thanks in advance,
Ronald Bright
Senior Researcher
Amelia Earhart Research Assoc.
Bremerton, Wa.,
360 479 3640

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Friday, January 22, 2010 11:54 AM

Subject: Re: Saying happy birthday to Tad Nagaki -- in person

 

I asked  Tad Nagaki last week -- once again -- about this story.  He has told me repeatedly that he knows of nothing of any occurrence like this.  Stanley Staiger and  Jim Moore were almost vehement in their comments  to me that no such thing happened.

 

Please keep in mind that Weihsien was a very small, tightly-packed compound where keeping secrets was very difficult.

 

Mary Previte

 

From: Ron Bright

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Friday, January 22, 2010 8:09 PM

Subject: Re: Saying happy birthday to Tad Nagaki -- in person

 

Mary,

Thanks for your help. I am convinced that Hannon simply made a mistake by adding up the wrong dots in ascribing Earharts presence at Weihsein in 1945.
Best,
Ron Bright

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Monday, January 25, 2010 10:45 PM

Subject: Reporting on Tad Nagakis 90th birthday celebration

 

While I’m still bubbling over with joy and delight, I want to write to you about 

Tad Nagaki's 90th birthday celebration on Saturday in Alliance, Nebraska.  I flew from New Jersey to take part.

 

Tad's two grandsons and grand daughters-in-law who live in the Denver area  orchestrated one of the most moving celebrations I've ever been a part of -- inviting the community for an open house at the Alliance Country Club from 1 - 4 p.m. and then hosting a private dinner in the evening for family members and close friends.  Up close and personal, I saw it all.

 

On three walls of a banquet room, the grandchildren had posted huge enlargements of stories about Tad along with photographs, sketches, and letters to the editor from former Weihsien internees that had flooded in last week to the local weekly newspaper.  These letters came from New Zealand, Belgium, EnglandCanada, and USA

 

I watched in awe as some 200  people  poured in  throughout the afternoon -- some in cowboy boots and cowboy hats, some in sneakers -- all of them full of stories about this modest farmer and his family and what he has meant to them and to this farming and ranching community.  Most stayed for hours to chat and celebrate.  They inched along the walls, reading the enlarged  newspaper stories and letters to the editor.   Folks seemed especially fascinated with an enlarged photo of a baby bonnet now on display in the Smithsonian's Museum of American History -- with the autographs of Tad Nagaki and other liberators on the brim.  This bonnet, worn by a baby born in Weihsien, is part of the Weihsien display now housed in the Smithsonian exhibit called The Price of Freedom. 

 

Being challenged with all things electrical, I was awe struck by the arsenal of cameras, recording devices, enlarging machines that  Tad’s  grandchildren used to create these wall displays and to record the highlights of the evening.   Jason, the elder grandson, works in an engineering firm, so enlarged the articles, sketches,  and letters to the editor  with a copier that reproduces blueprints.  

 

About 60 family members and close friend from as young as a 3-year old great grand daughter to 90-year-old Tad took part in the dinner -- held in the same private banquet room.   

 

Following the dinner, the grandchildren asked me to tell the story of the liberation of Weihsien and Tad's part on that liberation day -- recording the whole proceeding -- including Tad's reluctantly cutting his birthday cake -- surrounded by grand children and great grandchildren.  (No, there were NOT 90 candles.)    What a thrill to stand with a big American flag next to me and Tad seated up front, not three feet away, and to tell the story and to add little-know details  about Tad's athletic prowess at a local high school and his being chosen from 250 Nisei volunteers to be part of the 19-member Nisei unit in the Office of Strategic Services Detachment 101 that operated behind Japanese lines during World War II.  I told them the story of how I tracked down all these heroes in 1997.  What a hug-the-world day!   I'm still pinching myself to believe that despite fog-bound flight cancellations I could be  part of this celebration.

 

Can you believe it --Tad even let me hug him?  O, my!

 

Believe me, this family and community salute to this modest farmer warmed  every corner of my soul about the well being of America.  The Scottish poet, Bobbie Burns once wrote of life in Scotland’s humble country communities that made his country great: 

                                        “From scenes like these

                                         Old Scotia’s grandeur lies.”

 

Watching this celebration on Saturday, I saw America’s grandeur.

 

Some of you may not know that Tad's wife died in 1996 and all three of his sons are dead.   He has two grandsons and, I think, 7 great-grandchildren. They were all there to celebrate with him on Saturday.  Tad lives alone on his farm. 

 

In spite of an adventure with a dead battery in my camera, thanks to the local Radio Shack, I got some photos of Tad on his farm with its windmill and giant tractors. 

 

As you know, Tad is very shy about being the focus of any public display, so I was surprised beyond belief that he consented to -- or at least didn't ban --  this celebration. If ever I saw one, this was a lovefest that included townsfolk like the owners of the Alliance tractor store and of  the bean company where Tad hangs out in the winter, the head of the local veterans' museum, owner of the local grocery store and every other  kind of friends.

 

Mary Previte

 

From: Pamela Masters

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, January 26, 2010 3:35 AM

Subject:

Re: Reporting on Tad Nagakis 90th birthday celebration

 

Thanks Mary for a lovely story -- I found myself living every moment of your visit along with you. Now I am waiting, as I'm sure we all are, to see some of the photos that were taken, especially those of our friend and hero, Tad.

Thank you for keeping these 'good memories' alive.

Love -- Pamela

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, January 26, 2010 3:53 AM

Subject:

Re: Reporting on Tad Nagakis 90th birthday celebration

 

I was too exhausted today to get my photos printed.   My travel was far more exciting than I'd have liked.   Fog canceled the last lap of my flight so in order to arrive in time for the Saturday celebrations at Alliance, I had to fly in to a small airport 50 miles away, rent a car,  then drive it to Alliance in the dark and in the fog -- of course,  in an unfamiliar car and on unfamiliar highways.  Going home,  I had to drive the 50 miles back to return the rental car.  (Sigh!) 

Because the grandchildren were snapping photos all day,  I've asked them  to forward  photos.

 

By the way, when I took Tad out for Saturday breakfast,  I asked him again about the Jim Hannon story of "the yank" or Amelia Earhart in Weihsien. As many times as I've asked him, Tad had never wavered in his response:  He knows nothing about such a thing and he cannot imagine  any unusual happening like that would have escaped the attention of Major Staiger in a camp under Staiger's jurisdiction.  He doesn't believe any such thing happened.

 

Mary

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, January 26, 2010 2:58 PM

Subject:

Re: Reporting on Tad Nagakis 90th birthday celebration

 

Horrors,  Audrey! 
I don't have Tad's cell phone number because I've never been able to connect with him on that number.  Tad  says he usually leaves his cell phone in his truck.

 

His home number is 308-762-2968.

 

Tad actually got to blow out some birthday candles yesterday when the folks from the Trinidad Bean Company took him out to lunch.  January 25 is his actual birth date.  (Tad grows pinto and white beans on his farm, so he likes to hangout at the bean company in the winter.  Tad's such a regular there that those folks told me that if Tad doesn't show up every morning  to drink a cup of coffee and read the newspaper,  they get ready to send out the search team to make sure he's all right.

 

Mary  Previte

 

In a message dated 1/26/2010 12:04:57 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, berean@xplornet.com writes:

Thanks for update.  what is Tad's cell phone number--I was going to call --but am away from home so don't have cell phone number with me.  Audrey

 

From: berean@xplornet.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, January 26, 2010 9:34 PM

Subject:

Re: Reporting on Tad Nagakis 90th birthday celebration

 

So glad you got to visit Tad on his birthday weekend.  Enid Graham Fischer's birthday is on the 24th of January. I called her--she is widowed now and in a retirement home. 

 

  I wish now that we would have asked Tad to drive us by his farm--when we visited him.  Will look forward to seeing the pix you took of his farm house--is his windmill a typical Nebraska windmill--?  

 

I have a very long Christmas letter--on e-mail.  Not sure you would want to have to pour through the pages--so I will just attach a picture of our windmills--

 

We are still down here in Ocean Shores--not staying with Kathleen as too much for her--she would never say that--but it wears her out to talk.  She gets to church on Sunday morning then she is drained through Monday.  we really did surprise her on her 80th birthday--as she thought I was home wearing a heart monitor for 24 hours. 

 

In the Janie Hampton proof--she didn't know who was getting married--it was Miss Ruth Green and Buddy Price--think that is what Kathleen said--they saved up bread to make her a wedding cake.  using jam go hold it together==and Buddy wrote them thank you notes--The girls had them over for this party-

 

I will write that to Janie--I am sure someone else would have already told her that.  Janie asked me to scan my log book that I had from camp--so I did--a good thing for me too--as I have that as a copy too.  Jenn Bevan was our sixer

 

We have just got back in contact.  Jenn and her husband vacation in Spain.  they were last year and think they are now--attending a church that a missionary from our board, has.  Somehow he knew about my story--(to my knowledge we have never met)  Anyway he connected Jenny (as she is called now)and me  together--She has a good memory like you have.

 

If I remember right--you got together with your parents in  Shensi, but then you had trouble getting passage back home--is that right? 

 

Will close for now--thanks for taking the time to write.   We are in limbo right now waiting for Mahlon to have his quadruple bypass heart surgery--on the list--Angiogram was Dec. 7th--and no call yet from the hospital.  Receptionist said it wouldn't be in January and might be during the Olympics in Vancouver, maybe in March. 

 

Love,

 

Audrey

 

From: Tapol

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Friday, January 29, 2010 12:39 PM

Subject:

Re: Ledger story to honor Tad Nagaki on his 90th birthday

 

Dear Mary,

Hello,

--- by now, you must be safely back home from your adventurous trip to Nebraska. Driving in thick fog is not a pleasure. It is frankly dangerous!

The Hemingford Ledger, you wrote, would have a complementary article about Tad's birthday celebrations on January 28. I had a look on their website but found nothing. Maybe I took the wrong URL ??

It would be great to have a few pictures to share ---

Best regards,

Leopold

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Friday, January 29, 2010 5:18 PM

Subject:

Re: Ledger story to honor Tad Nagaki on his 90th birthday

 

The editor did not attend any of the celebrations on  Saturday, January 23.  However, I did forward to him a couple of photographs.  I got the impression that he intended at least to use a photo with a picture caption.  I sent photo and  caption along for him to use.

 

Perhaps this will appear next week.

 

He tells me he has received wonderfully positive  feedback to his printing of the story and letters about Tad.

 

Mary

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Wednesday, February 03, 2010 1:37 AM

Subject: Photos of Tad Nagaki on his 90th birthday

 

Because the Weihsien Topica network is so large,  I'm unable to successfully scan to you through the network the photos of Tad Nagaki on his 90th birthday.  You can view the photos on the Weihsien web site.

Mary Previte

 

Below  are the picture captions.

 

To view the pictures,  go to www.weihsien-paintings.org   

 

Leopold Pander, creator of the site,  instructs as follows: Then go to the  far left margin and click on The Magnificent Seven.  Scroll all the way down to the section on Tad Nagaki's 90th birthday.  Click on the name Mary Previte.

 

HUGS FOR A HERO

Weihsien liberator,  Tad Nagaki,  gets a hug from Mary Taylor Previte at  his 90th birthday celebration in Alliance, Nebraska, on January 23, 2010 .  The Japanese interpreter on the 7-man, American rescue team, Tad Nagaki is the last  surviving American that liberated the Japanese-held Weihsien concentration camp in China,  August 17, 1945.  At 400 feet, the team parachuted from a B-24 bomber to free 1,500 Allied prisoners in the camp.  On Liberation Day,  Mary  was a 12-year-old internee in that camp.   Mary flew from New Jersey to join more than 200 friends and family members to salute Tad on his 90th birthday.  In 1997, Mary successfully tracked down the American  heroes who liberated Weihsien then went on a  two-year pilgrimage across the United States to say thank you to each hero face to face.

 

At age 90, Tad continues to farm -- growing beans, corn, and wheat on his farm in Alliance

 

The birthday celebration was a birthday gift from  Tad's two grandsons who live near Denver, Colorado.

 

WEIHSIEN LIBERATOR,  TAD NAGAKI,  90 years old,  is pictured here on his farm in Alliance, Nebraska.  Tad actively farms beans, wheat, and corn on his Alliance, Nebraska, farm in America's heartland.  Tad is the last living member of the 7-man American rescue team that parachuted from a B-24 bomber on August 17, 1945, to liberate 1,500 Allied prisoners  from the Japanese-held Weihsien concentration camp in China .   For his part in the liberation, Tad was promoted to sergeant and awarded the Solder's Medal for heroism.   After the liberation, Tad became a favorite among children and teenagers  because he played softball with Weihsien internees (he played  catcher).   Tad was  trailed by adoring children. "It was like being on a pedestal,"  he says.   Tad recalls one of the women cutting off a piece of his hair for a souvenir.

 

Photo by Mary Taylor Previte

 

The photo was taken by Mary Taylor Previte  on January 23, 2010 -- hours before a community celebration to salute him on his 90th birthday.

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Saturday, February 13, 2010 2:57 AM

Subject: BBC Radio 4 -- Girl Guides in Weihsien

 

BBC Radio 4 plans to broadcast a radio program about Chefoo Brownies and Weihsien as a way to celebrate this story from the history of "Guiding"  in  this  its 100th year.  The BBC Radio 4 producer is working with Janie Hampton, the author who has incorporated  recollections from many Weihsien-ers  for a book about "Guiding" that will be released this year.  In this book,   Janie includes a long,   fascinating chapter  about Brownies and Girl Guides in Chefoo and Weihsien.

 

Mary Previte

 

From: Estelle Horne nee Cliff

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Monday, February 15, 2010 6:53 PM

Subject: Re: BBC Radio 4 -- The Tungchow Piracy

 

There is also to be a programme on BBC Radio 4 on the Tungchow piracy. I was contacted by a Ms O'Dea in this connection, but as I was too young to be on that trip, she got in touch with Margaret Vinden Holden and others.

 

But she told me the time: 11am on 22nd March.

 

Estelle Cliff Horne

 

From: Tapol

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Monday, February 22, 2010 11:26 AM

Subject: The Children Of Weihsien ---

 

Hello,    :-)

Do you remember ------

By the way, is everybody OK? ---- in good health and happy ----

---

Something new : ---

It is still experimental, but here are the first 35 pages. I would very much like to have your opinions about what could be a ---- "photo album" !?

It is not on the website and I don't think it will be of any interest to those outside our Weihsien circle!

 

here is the URL:

http://www.weihsien-paintings.org/I_Remember/ALBUM/p_one.htm

Best regards,

Leopold

 

From: Donald Menzi

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Monday, February 22, 2010 7:54 PM

Subject: Re: The Children Of Weihsien ---

 

Fantastic!

 

Donald

 

From: <jknisely@paonline.com>

To: <weihsien@topica.com>

Sent: Friday, February 26, 2010 1:39 AM

Subject: Re: BBC Radio 4 -- Girl Guides in Weihsien

 

Ø     
>
> WOW!  We keep getting in the news!  Love to see the program and read at least the chap about "us". 
Thanks for keeping us up to date!  Georgie Reinbrecht Knisely                

 

From: Tapol

To: weihsien@topica.com

Cc: Janette & Pierre @ home ; Zandy @ home

Sent: Saturday, February 27, 2010 7:14 PM

Subject: The Children of Weihsien

 

Dear all ---

For all of you who have been printing the pages of the Album : "The Children of Weihsien, 1943 - 1945"

I just finished page "68"

http://www.weihsien-paintings.org/I_Remember/ALBUM/p_one.htm 

I still have a lot of paintings, sketches & photos for the layouts to come --- but no more texts !!!!

I did make a scan on all our Topica messages on the word : "remember".

----

Now, I need your help (if however you appreciate what I am doing !!)

What else do you remember?   ---- write to Topica ---

----

The pages will keep on coming as soon as I have the appropriate texts.

Just one simple rule:  begin with "I remember" ----

 

Thanks in advance &

Best regards,

Leopold

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Wednesday, March 03, 2010 3:17 AM

Subject: Re: The Children of Weihsien

 

What an extraordinary record, Leopold!   

I see my sister Kathleen, my brother Jamie -- and read his memories.  They're both gone now.  Jamie died just a year ago. Without your collecting  these stories, these photos, these paintings -- the record would be lost for ever.

 

Thank you a thousand times, Leopold.

 

Mary Previte

 

From: Tapol

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Wednesday, March 03, 2010 9:22 AM

Subject: Fw: The Children of Weihsien

 

 

 

Dear Mary,

Thanks for your encouragement.

As I wrote previously, there are still many more paintings to be printed and they are waiting in my computer's directory for new "I remembers" ---

so, --- what else do you remember?

Everyday life?

the cesspools?

the Japs ?

"no-can-do", King Kong and the others ?

the hunger ?

the hospital ?

the conflicts ?

the good times ? and the bad ones ?

the cold in the winter & the heat in the summer ?

the shoes ?

our clothing ?

just after the war?

did you have nightmares ?

etc. etc.

 

I am sure that there is still much to remember about before the flame burns out !

Make it short and start with : "I remember"

---

thanks in advance to everybody for your contribution.

---

Leopold

 

From: Kim Smith

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Wednesday, March 03, 2010 5:44 PM

Subject: William Arthur Smith: An American GI in China 1944-1945...

 

Just wanted y'all to know that I'm mounting an exhibition on Dad's work in China during 1944 and 1945, including many of the the drawings and photos seen on the Weihsien_Paintings site.  It will also include his illustrations for Pearl Buck prior to being recruited, which inspired her to suggest him as an excellent choice for OSS in China.  Also, there will be a few items of memorabilia, such as his blood chit, and the Military Intelligence field manual he helped illustrate "The Soldier's Guide to the Japanese Army"

The show should open at
Dominican University on an as yet undecided date in June.  I will make a more specific announcement to all of you.

Cheers!

Kim Smith

 

From: "Laura Hope-Gill" <laurahopegill@aol.com>

To: <weihsien@topica.com>

Sent: Sunday, March 14, 2010 9:51 PM

Subject: RE: The Children Of Weihsien ---

 

Dear Donald,

I was on this list years ago. My father and uncle were babies in the
camp, children of Dr. Donald Hope-Gill and Grace Hope-Gill. I am pleased
to see you still here.

These paintings and memory statements are powerful and poetic.
Thankyou.

Sincerely,
Laura Hope-Gill

 

From: "Donald Menzi" <dmenzi@earthlink.net>

To: <weihsien@topica.com>

Sent: Sunday, March 14, 2010 11:05 PM

Subject: RE: The Children Of Weihsien ---

 


Nice to hear from you, Laura.  Leopold deserves all the credit for this one.

Donald

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Monday, March 15, 2010 7:19 PM

Subject:

Girl Guides and Brownies in Weihsien -- BBC broadcast

 

To help celebrate 100 years of Girl Guides,  BBC will broadcast a half hour program a week from today,  Monday, March 22 at 11 a.m.UK  time.  The broadcast will include interviews with Chefoo School teacher,  Evelyn Davey Huebener,  who was  "Brown Owl,"  to the Chefoo Brownie troop.  Mrs. Huebener lives in the USA's  Seattle area. Former  Chefoo School Girl Guides  who were interviewed will also include  Beryl Welch ,  Margaret Vinden ,  Kathleen Strange, and me.

 

BBC  titled the broadcast, Captured By Pirates, taken from one part of the story in which some of the Chefoo School students were indeed captured by pirates.

 

A very big thank you to author Janie Hampton,  whose book on Girl Guides has triggered interest by the BBC.  Thanks to the miracle of the Internet, many of you contributed Girl Guide,  Brownie memories,  and related art  work to Janie.  Janie's interest in the Weihsien part of the story was triggered when she found in  Girl Guide Museum near Buckingham Palace a Chefoo School Girl Guide logbook  of its activities in Weihsien.

 

Producer  Beth Odea  has sent me the following note:

 

"Presenter Kate Silverton was so impressed that she wants me to try and get the programme extended!  Not possible, alas. 

 

Our programme is called Captured by Pirates, and it goes out 11.00am UK time on Monday,  March 22nd. 

 

This is the BBC Radio 4 web site, where you will be able to listen to the programme  after it's broadcast, for a week, via the BBC iplayer

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/radio/bbc_radio_four  "

 

Mary Previte

 

From: Gay Talbot Stratford

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Thursday, March 18, 2010 2:33 AM

Subject: Re: The Children of Weihsien

 

I found an old autograph album which i ha kept in WeiHsien. There on one page were the signatures of five Catholic bishops.

Memories came flooding back of that first Easter in camp, when Easter Mass was celebrated in the assembly centre. These five bishops stood in a line facing hundreds of priests, nuns and lay people. The ancient hymns soared,  Gregorian chant resounded and echoed from wall to wall expressing the faith and hope even in this place. It was unforgettable.

We lived in block 6 , right next to the hall, and during the numerous services, I heard and came to love all manner of hymns. Sunday evening ended with the Salvation Army 's rousing sing song at 10pm.   

Again,  the ball games took place right under our window. For the evening games of baseball, I used to stand tiptoe on a bed to watch these exciting games. The priests were enthusiastic players. The Dutch priests were new to the game but entered into the spirit  calling "lope lope” (run run) to encourage the black robed men as they ran with full beards flying..

I have an entry from Tod Nagaki which I will try and send to his family.

More to follow.

Regards to all,

Gay Talbot Stratford  

 

From: Gay Talbot Stratford

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Monday, March 22, 2010 6:38 PM

Subject: Re: BBC Radio 4 -- Girl Guides in Weihsien

 

Mary,

Thank you for all your input.

I have a note that Tod Nagaki put in my autograph album that he might like to have.  I will send it to the Leopold's web site as well. 

I wonder if you could send me Tod's email address.

Best wishes,

Gay Talbot Stratford  

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, March 23, 2010 4:21 AM

Subject: Re: BBC Radio 4 -- Girl Guides in Weihsien

 

Tad Nagaki's address is:

 

5851 Logan Road

Alliance, NE  69301.

 

I know Tad will enjoy hearing from you.  And I know Leopold will be delighted to receive more for his Weihsien web site.

 

Mary

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, March 23, 2010 5:03 AM

Subject: BBC Radio 4 broadcat today, Monday, March 22

 

Try  listening on  this site to  this remarkable  BBC broadcast  about Girl Guides and Brownies in Weihsien .  The program is called CAPTURED BY PIRATES.

 

Mary Previte

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00rdwm5/Captured_By_Pirates/

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, March 23, 2010 9:03 PM

Subject: Press -- The Times on Captured by Pirates

 

 

 


From: beth.odea@bbc.co.uk
Subj:
Press about Captured by Pirates

The Times
March 22, 2010 Monday
Radio Choices
BYLINE: Chris Campling
Captured by Pirates Radio 4,
11am
Kate Silverton's show starts off being about one thing, then spends the bulk of its 30 minutes being about something else entirely. First - in 1935 Margaret Holder, then aged 8, and her chums were kidnapped by pirates in the
South China Sea. They were rescued. The end. But what follows is the extraordinary story of what happened after Japan invaded China and Margaret and her entire school, teachers, nuns and all, were penned up in a concentration camp until the end of the war. Warning: you may cry.

 

Radio Times - Pick of the Day
Monday 22 March
Captured by Pirates
The 1935 raid on the SS Tungchow as it emerged from the Yangtse river will not go down as one of the greatest success stories in pirating history. The villains were hoping for a vessel laden with gold bullion, but what they got was a cargo of oranges and 70 British schoolchildren. The pirates were perfectly pleasant to the youngsters, apart from taking all of their pocket money. Six years later, the same children - who'd been on their way to a British missionary boarding school on the
North China coast when they were captured - found themselves interned in the Japanese-run Weihsien concentration camp. Kate Silverton speaks to women who went through these experiences and discovers that their morale was boosted by their membership of the Brownies and Girl Guides. She also finds out which badge every Brownie was destined to earn from living in a concentration camp. A most uplifting listen.

From: Donald Menzi

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Saturday, March 27, 2010 3:32 PM

Subject: Re: the children of weihsien

 

Leopold,

Is it possible to add an index, listing the artists and authors?

Possibly using the blank space to the right of the numbered boxes.

Donald

From: Tapol

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Saturday, March 27, 2010 6:23 PM

Subject: Re: the children of weihsien

 

Dear Donald,

The main idea is that the "album" is completely random. I chose not to mention any names for the texts. What I did do was to mention the copyright symbol © with the name of the author of the painting or the name of the person to contact. I might have missed a few !! give me the page numbers for the corrections.

There might be "horrible" spelling mistakes! --- let me know. If you recognize a text that you want deleted (for a personal reason) --- let me know too.

There are NO numbers on the pages. You can chose the order you wish best. It is just the cover page that comes first.

----

What I can do -- when it is all finished = when I have no more photos &/or paintings &/or texts --- is to replace all the "numbers" with thumbnails.

---

It is just an "album" for our pleasure! & for our kids & for our grand children ---- just to remember !

 

Leopold

 

From: Donald Menzi

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Saturday, March 27, 2010 6:54 PM

Subject: Re: the children of WeiHsien

 

Thanks, Leopold,

 

The reason I asked was so I could see if you used any of my grandmother's paintings as illustrations, without having to open all of them individually. The thumbnails would be helpful.  

Donald

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Sunday, March 28, 2010 12:47 AM

Subject: Re: the children of WeiHsien

 

Leopold,

 

What a marvelous collection of memories!  I very much like your new format.

 

My only problem is struggling to read the small print -- even with my tri-focals.

 

I'm encouraging Alison Holmes to send "I remembers,"   and today I also dropped a note to Georgie Knisley.

 

Mary

 

From: Tapol

To: weihsien@topica.com

Cc: Ariane & Vivitch @ Ley

Sent: Sunday, March 28, 2010 12:25 PM

Subject: Re: the children of WeiHsien

 

Hello,

Mary, you can zoom the picture by clicking at the top of your screen: the "+" symbol in a circle.

Donald, ---- I got complementary explanations from my nephew. I always learn better from the younger generation!

I made a merge for the first 91 pages --- hope you find the URL/

http://www.weihsien-paintings.org/I_Remember/ALBUM/Weihsien98Low.pdf

the original size was 144Mb = quite big !!! I reduced it to 14Mb ---

--- I printed a page on A4-paper. Seems to be OK.

What do you think?

--- all the best,

Leopold

 

From: Tapol

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, April 06, 2010 10:31 AM

Subject: from Gay's autograph book:

 

Dear Gay,

Thanks very much for sharing the Tad Nagaki-page of your autograph book with the Weihsien Paintings' website.

here is the URL:

http://www.weihsien-paintings.org/ChSancton/pages/p_AutographTadNagaki.htm

It is also linked to the Magnificent Men's chapter. (leftFrame & scroll to the bottom)

---

anybody else has autograph book pages to share with "our" website?

(memories? IRemembers? stories?)

---

Best regards,

Leopold

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, April 06, 2010 10:54 AM

Subject: Re: from Gay's autograph book:

 

What a wonderful addition to the Weihsien web site, Gay.   Great!  Thank you so very much.

 

Mary Previte

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, April 06, 2010 7:43 PM

Subject:

More response from the BBC broadcast on Weihsien Girl Guides and Brownies

 

The BBC broadcast about Weihsien Girl Scout and Brownie troops continues to  spread its  ripples.  As you may guess,  the half hour BBC broadcast included only a small portion of lengthy interviews conducted with each of the participants.

 

Last week, portions of that emotion-packed broadcast were re-broadcast in a BBC feature called PICK OF THE WEEK. 

 

Here is a note I've just received from Beth O'dea,  producer of the program.  Beth writes: 

 

   "And today I've had a letter from the Imperial War Museum in London asking if they may have copies of the full, unedited interviews for the Imperial War Museum Sound Archive, for posterity.  I'm pleased about that because there was so much more that all of you had to say than we had time to play in the programme.  I do hope that's ok with you.

Beth O'dea"

 

Mary Previte

 

From: Tapol

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, April 13, 2010 10:53 AM

Subject: autographBook

 

Dear Gay,

Thanks very much for sharing 8 extra pages of your autograph book with the Weihsien-Paintings' website.

Here is the direct link to the first page (& click on the arrow for the next 8 extra ones):

http://www.weihsien-paintings.org/ChSancton/Gay/AutographBook/p_AutographTadNagaki.htm

Best regards,

Leopold

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, April 13, 2010 1:30 PM

Subject: Re: autographBook

 

Dear Gay, 

What a treasure you have given us with these pages from your Weihsien autograph book! 

 

Today,  I shall mail to Carol Orlich the page written by Cpl. Peter Orlich.  She will be ecstatic to get this record.  I'm also fascinated that Peter Orlich  signs his rank as  Cpl.  When he arrived in Weihsien, he was T/5 Peter Orlich, but by September 7 (the date on this autograph page), he had been promoted to Corporal.  Fascinating!  I knew that Major Staiger had promoted Tad Nagaki while Tad was still in Weihsien, ( Peter Bazire's Weihsien diary mentions this),  but your diary is the first I've learned that Peter Orlich was also promoted while he was still in Weihsien.

 

By the way, Gay, were you still in Weihsien on September 7?  Tad Nagaki's  memories to me said he had left the camp to set up an Office of Strategic Services  (OSS) base in Tsingtao late in August.  The date in your diary tells a different story.

 

Bless you for adding this to Leopold's web site.

 

Mary Previte

 

From: Gay Talbot Stratford

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, April 13, 2010 11:22 PM

Subject: Re: autographBook

 

Mary,

Thank you for your e-mail.

We arrived in camp in March of' 43 and left in about October'45. Our leaving date was postponed several times as the Communists kept blowing up the railway line.In the end we were moved out on a transport plane with seats along the side only.

 We returned to the mining area near Tangshang where there was fighting between the Kuomintang and the Communists. 

Best wishes to you and yours.

Gay 

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Wednesday, April 14, 2010 8:54 PM

Subject: Japanese Surrender- Amazing Footage Sept 2, 1945

 

 

 


 Japanese Surrender- Amazing Footage Sept 2, 1945

 

 

 

 

Japanese Surrender- Amazing Footage Sept 2, 1945...
 

Very moving considering what happened prior to this event...

This is a 'must see' for the WWII history buff or anyone interested in history.  Interesting the other signers to the document, from New Zealand/Australia to Europe/Russia.


This is an actual film made of the surrender ceremony of the Japs to McArthur in Tokyo Bay in September 1945.  Actual voice of the General.  Never been shown to the general public before.  We always saw the "stills" but never the film itself.


 

Historical Footage: Japanese Surrender Signing Aboard Battleship Missouri Sunday Sept. 2, 1945. 
An important piece of history.


Click your mouse here:   
Japanese Surrender

 

From: Tapol

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Thursday, April 15, 2010 2:43 PM

Subject: your autograph book

 

Dear Gay,

Thanks for the new text. I liked it very much and added it as a new page to your autograph book.

go to:

http://www.weihsien-paintings.org/ChSancton/Gay/AutographBook/p_FromGay.htm

--- and click on the arrow for the next pages.

Best regards,

Leopold

 

From: Pamela Masters

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Thursday, April 15, 2010 10:03 PM

Subject: Gay Talbot Stratford's Autographc Album

 

Dearest Gay --

    It's so great to hear from you. Margo, my oldest sister, kept in touch with your darling mom, Ida, all through the years, and kept Ursula and me posted on "The Talbot Family." Margo and your mom are both gone from us now, but they are together again...as we will be some day.

    I can't get over your autograph album. Apart from all the fantastic signatures you got from our "Liberators", I just about fell off my chair when I saw my old entry of the two kids doing the lindy hop (at least my version of it), signed by Roberta Simmons, from whence the name "Bobby" came. And then Ursula's entry of the singing bird -- which I will be forwarding to her. What touched me most was the date: They were both done in the spring of '42 -- our last spring in darling old Chinwangtao. Ah, the memories........!

    Do keep in touch -- I send Ursula's love along with mine. --  "Bobby"

(aka Pamela Roberta Simmons Masters-Flynn)**

 

(** No wonder it's hard for people to keep in touch with all us gals!)

 

 

PAMELA MASTERS

 

From: Brian Butcher

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Friday, April 16, 2010 1:18 AM

Subject:

 Re: Japanese Surrender- Amazing Footage Sept 2, 1945

 

Thanks Mary,

 

A few months ago I stood where this ceremony took place and remembered what it cost in lives to end the war and to set us free. This week I spent a few days with a friend from Shanghai who although she is far too young to remember, is nevertheless bitter about what the Japanese did to the Chinese. I know some Japanese paid with their lives for the brutality they displayed toward "white" men and women. However, MacArthur's terms of surrender did not allow for prosecution for crimes against Chinese in places such as Nanking

 

Brian

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Cc: sametcalf@hotmail.com

Sent: Friday, April 16, 2010 2:37 AM

Subject: Japanese Surrender- Amazing Footage Sept 2, 1945

 

What an amazing experience it must have been, Brian,  to be at the site of the formal surrender!  Is there some kind of monument to commemorate the event?

 

Your mentioning  your Chinese  friend's feeling bitter about  Japanese atrocities against the Chinese during the war reminds me of a powerful speech former Weihsien internee,  Stephen Metcalf,  gave at the Eric Liddell monument near the hospital during our 2005 reunion there.  In Weihsien,  Eric Liddell had made Stephen his assistant in sports activities for young people in the camp.  Stephen was so moved by Eric's message about LOVING YOUR ENEMIES (in other words, the Japanese), that Stephen  dedicated his life to serving God as a missionary to Japan.  Stephen's speech at our Weihsien reunion attracted world wide attention with his bold discussion of Japan's denial of  the reality of its war  and his message calling for forgiveness.  Here is part of Stephen's speech -- which, by the way, you can access on the Weihsien web site.  Click on Stephen Metchalf to access his chapter. 

 

Excerpts from Stephen Metcalf's speech at Weifang, 2005:

 

                                "Eric Liddell has been one of the many lives that has influenced and inspired me, as I set out  on a missionary vocation in Japan.

                                  "The little ship that took me to Japan was  packed with teenage British conscripts, heading for the war in Korea. On the Sunday, the officer asked me to speak to the men. I told them about Eric Liddell and praying for your enemies. I told them they were going to Korea with the UN forces to make Peace, by force with guns. I was going to Japan, with the Bible  in the name of the Prince of Peace. As some of these young soldiers spoke to me after, they were amazed that an ex Japanese POW would go to Japan. I sensed that they thought I was a deluded idealist. In fact in farewell services in Australia Christian people would come to me remonstrating with me about going to Japan. Why not another country!

 

                                        "After a number of years of language study I was baffled to find that the Japanese had deliberately made it a taboo to talk about the war. If I mentioned the war, I noticed peoples faces froze. Soldiers who had returned from the war often were too ashamed to even talk to their families. They had failed their ancestors and broken their army vows to their Emperor, that they would never surrender.  Occasionally when they were drunk they would open up and talk to me about the war. In the following years, every  school child seemed to make a  School trip to Hiroshima. The message they got was we were the victims of the atom bomb so we must proclaim to the world, 'No more Hiroshima’s!' As I listened to the guides speaking to the  youth, I was struck  that  it was embroidered with a patriotic nationalism.

 

                                        "One year the city I was living in decided to have a big  Exhibition for Peace. I was approached by a VIP to ask if I would make a speech at the exhibition on world peace. In preparation for this, I had to go to this man’s house. I arrived at his front door and rang the bell. Then I realised a rowdy shouting match was going on at the back of the house. So I rang the bell longer and louder. Still the angry voices continued.  In embarrassment,   I opened the door and shouted  “Excuse me is anybody home.” Then the wife came running. “Oh, its you, teacher.” Showing me into their living room, she said, “I will quickly call my husband.”  Soon he came in and for next hour we discussed international problems and world peace.”  All the time I kept thinking here is a man so zealous about world peace and he doesn’t even have peace in his own home.  Finally, I picked up courage to point it out to him in a rather indirect way. He went very silent for a time. Finally saying, “We must all do better”.

 

                                     "In 1989, the war time Emperor died and to our astonishment people around us began asking us about the war. Teachers, students, church people. Even the TV began to show war documentaries. It seemed they had fought for the Emperor, but now the spell was broken. By 1995, we had retired and were living in London. There was a meeting for reconciliation and friendship held at the Japanese Embassy commemorating fifty years since the end of the war. At the meeting I was approached by a Japanese English teacher from a large High School. “Would you please tell me about the war?” “Now that’s a very big subject.” I said. “What is behind your question?”

 

                                      "Then he told me that he had had to take his graduating students on a trip to Beijing. When they got there they met with Chinese High School students with an open forum to ask questions. A Chinese student asked a question about the war. The Japanese students looked at each other, unable to answer the question.  They said they didn’t know the answer; please ask a different question. Then another student asked a question about the war. So the students turned to their teacher (the man I was talking to). He, too, knew nothing about the war. He embarrassingly bluffed an answer saying the students don’t study about the war; it was a long time ago. Then a Chinese student asked about the Korean war and the Japanese students gave a clear answer. Following that, they asked a question about the Vietnam War and the war in Europe, and again the Japanese gave well informed answers. At that, some of the Chinese students got angry and said. “What’s the matter with your history books? You know all about the other wars, but you don't know anything about the war you fought in China.”  Some of the Japanese students replied that they didn’t know they had fought a war in China. Then the teacher told me, when he got back to his high school he reported the matter to the head, who replied this serious political problem and until it’s resolved we can’t pay visits to China. The politicians in the Education Ministry say that whatever they print in the text books it will be a loss of face to somebody and also for the dead ancestral heroes of the war. The Japanese don’t just live for the living but also their dead ancestors.

 

                                       "Actually there has been a lot written about the war by Japanese war veterans. Some of the books  expose the war crimes, but most people never read that kind of book. School textbooks  not published by the Government are quite realistic in their accounts of the war, but then the teachers skim over these because the curriculum is already overloaded.  Japan has made a big mistake by trying to sweep the war under the carpet. As one young teacher said to me, “What’s the use of discussing what happened 60 years ago.” As a result, it has meant that there are two generations who have grown up indifferent to what the grandfathers and grandmothers of China  and the Far Eastern countries have been telling their children about the horrific ravages of the Japanese army. Most Chinese who were affected by the war feel that the Atomic Bomb was a cruel and horrendous thing,  but that it was justified in the light of the barbaric actions of the Japanese army forcing the conquered nations to worship and bow down to the Japanese Emperor.

 

                                   "Unfortunately forgiveness is something that has to be mutual to bring about harmony and peace. Reconciliation is dependant on forgiveness, and forgiveness is dependant on an act of the human will. This means that forgiveness is a very personal matter. National pride and patriotism are a great hindrance to international reconciliation. China today is unwittingly  sowing seeds of hate and anger in the hearts of their youth and children by showing them graphic documentaries of the Japanese atrocities perpetrated by the Japanese army over 60 years ago. Jesus prayed.  “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” I’m afraid this problem is going to fester on.  Only an understanding of God’s love and forgiveness can put an end to such  tidal waves of malicious evil."

 

                                    This paper was given at a gathering sponsored by Keiko Holme’s Agape Reconciliation Movement, by Stephen. A. Metcalf  October 2003. People can contact Steve in London by Email. sametcalf@hotmail.com.

                           

From: sametcalf@hotmail.com
To:
mtprevite@aol.com
Sent: 4/21/2010 1:20:14 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Subj:
Weihsien Kids

 

In the photo that follows the one of the aeroplane & parachutes,  there are a lot of faces that appear familiar to me. I am only GUESSING, but I wonder if it is not some of the American party that travelled home on the Gripsholm. It looks like Mr Griffin on the top  right. He may have met the group when they arrived. On the top left looks like Heaver Andrews, then Martha Philips. the Novak girl. Mrs Smail & Jimmy in front. I'm afraid I'm not very helpful, but if  you ask somebody who travelled home on the Gripsholm. I'm sure they would know.
 
 By the way my biography by OMF is to be published on August the 1st here in the
UK. It will be in 2010 in North America.  If you look under Amazon or Google "In Japan the Crickets Cry " Stephen Metcalf,    you will see the promotion for it. God bless, Steve.


Stephen A. Metcalf
Flat 2, 207 Trinity Road
LONDON SW17 7HW
UK

Tel +44 (0)20 8767 4257
 

From: Tapol

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Thursday, April 22, 2010 10:10 AM

Subject: Re: Weihsien Kids

 

Dear Stephen,

Could it be the page 17 — of the Weihsien Children's album? If then, have a look at page 110. I guess that these photos have been taken at ± the same moment, after our liberation by William A. Smith. His daughter, Kim Smith should be able to confirm this. It would be great to recognize the people on the photo(s) — I could then add them to "our" website:

http://www.weihsien-paintings.org/KimSmith/PhotosSketches/Weihsien_Camp/p_WeihsienCamp.htm

Send me the names to add in a "who's who" page ----

Best regards,

Leopold

P.S. I found your book on Amazon. I'll order it asap via Amazon.uk ---

 

From: "Dwight W. Whipple" <thewhipples@comcast.net>

To: <weihsien@topica.com>

Sent: Saturday, April 24, 2010 5:34 PM

Subject: Tsingtao

 

Ø      Does anyone remember where the Iltis Hydro Hotel was in Tsingtao?  What
> beach was it near?  And which direction from the downtown area?  We will
> be in
Qingdao this year and hope to find our old house!  It was walking
> distance from the hotel where we were first interned after our house
> arrest on
Dec 8, 1941.
> ~Dwight W. Whipple

 

From: Kim Smith

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Monday, April 26, 2010 3:55 PM

Subject: Re: Arthur Hummel....

 

I have been looking for a photo of Weihsien escapee Arthur Hummel as a young man, to see if a pencil portrait done by my father, William A. Smith, is possibly him.  Would any of you have a photo of him, or is there one already posted that I have not found?  Ambassador Hummel became a friend of the family, and I may contact his widow, but I thought I'd appeal to y'all first...

Very best,

Kim Smith

 

From: Tapol

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Monday, April 26, 2010 5:39 PM

Subject: Fw: Arthur Hummel....

 

Dear Kim,

Hello :-)

have a look at this link on the weihsien-paintings' website

http://www.weihsien-paintings.org/rdjaegher/pages/page01.htm

I hope that someone will be able to help with a better picture !!

Best regards,

Leopold

 

From: Kim Smith

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Monday, April 26, 2010 5:45 PM

Subject: Re: Fw: Arthur Hummel....

 

Thank you, Leopold!  Now I remember I did see this many moons ago.  And it does verify that the drawing I have may be him.  I can only find pictures of him online as an older man.   Maybe someone will come up with something else as well!

Thanks again,

Kim

 

From: Tapol

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Monday, April 26, 2010 5:54 PM

Subject: Fw: Fw: Arthur Hummel....

 

 

 

Dear Kim,

I'd love to have a copy of that drawing for the Weihsien Paintings' website ---- if it is OK for you!?

I thought I had a portrait in Norman's chapter. There are 3 marvellous drawings (Mr Stewart, Mr Pryor & Mr Halton) but no Arthur Hummel! -----

Thanks in advance,

Leopold

 

From: Kim Smith

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Monday, April 26, 2010 6:42 PM

Subject: Re: Fw: Fw: Arthur Hummel....

 

I'm not seeing the drawing on the website; perhaps I did not send those drawings.  If I did, and it wasn't put on the site, there is a drawing of a beautiful young man, looking to his right, and wearing a mandarin style shirt (you can only see the neckline)

If this is not fgamiliar to you, i will forward you a scan!

Thanks,

Kim

 

From: Tapol

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, April 27, 2010 8:20 AM

Subject: Re: Fw: Fw: Arthur Hummel....

 

Yessssss --- I have it.  :-))

This portrait will come with the next page of The Children of Weihsien's album.

To be honest, I didn't find it on the website either --- I'll have to fix that asap !

Best regards,

Leopold

 

From: Kim Smith

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, April 27, 2010 3:23 PM

Subject: Re: Fw: Fw: Arthur Hummel....

 

Ohh, maybe!  Perhaps I can find photos of him (Wedemeyer) from the era.  Do you also think that drawing is of Arthur Hummel?  That was an educated guess by either my mother (who didn't meet him till several years later) or by Elizabeth McIntosh.  Another clue is that I only have a high-quality PHOTO of the drawing, done professionally, which usually means that Dad gave the original to the subject.  Since he became good friends with Arthur, this makes sense.  Also the fact that the subject is wearing a Chinese-style shirt. 

You all are such a wealth of information..

I am putting together a show of these drawings to be at
Dominican University here in California, in June.  I just ordered a couple of books of both Japanese and Chinese uniforms to identify which soldiers are in some of the drawings, though I believe the footwear to be a giveaway to the uninitiated.  The Japanese wore the split-toe whatever-they-weres, and the Chinese seemed to wear the Chinese-sryle shoes, no?  More intelligent research is needed.  :)

Thank you so much.

By the way, I don't know if you intended to make all the drawings available on the site, but I think there are others not visible.  I'm think of the drawings of the soldiers.  Perhaps I missed them. 

VERY best to you,

Kim

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, April 27, 2010 4:16 PM

Subject: Re: Fw: Fw: Arthur Hummel....

 

p007 doesn't look like Tad Nagaki as  I recognize him from 1945 snapshots Tad gave to me.

 

Mary Previte.

 

From: Kim Smith

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, April 27, 2010 4:20 PM

Subject: Re: Fw: Fw: Arthur Hummel....

 

Oh, right!  I tthink that was a temporary caption on the scans before you, Mary, and I communicated with Tad.  Leopold, coould you take that caption off the picture?  Thanks, Mary and Leopold!

Best to you....

 

From: Tapol

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, April 27, 2010 5:21 PM

Subject: Re: Fw: Fw: Arthur Hummel....

 

Dear Kim,

The caption of 007 is deleted.

By the way, many of your dad's photos taken in Weihsien include Chinese and Japanese soldiers. At first I wondered who was who! Finaly, I looked at the shoes. The Japs had boots and the Chinese wore Chinese sandals and a kind of a bandage up to the knee.

--- all the best,

Leopold

 

From: Kim Smith

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, April 27, 2010 6:11 PM

Subject: Re: Fw: Fw: Arthur Hummel....

 

Thank you, Leopold!

For some reason, many of the drawings I have of what I think are Japanese soldiers don't have boots on; I think they were relaxing, and often eating, cross-legged, with their tabi on.
I don't believe the Chinese ever wore anything resembling tabi, did they?

By the way, Mary pointed out to me that Dad had signed the autograph book, and when I saw it , it mage me cry.  This was an unexpected and unknown treasure for my family.

Best to all,

Kim

 

From: Pamela Masters

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Thursday, May 06, 2010 6:20 PM

Subject: Re: autographBook

 

(Somehow my earlier response got lost in cyber-space...)

 

Dearest Gay --

    It's so great to hear from you. Margo, my oldest sister, kept in touch with your darling mom, Ida, all through the years, and kept Ursula and me posted on "The Talbot Family." Margo and your mom are both gone from us now, but they are together again...as we will be some day.

    I can't get over your autograph album. Apart from all the fantastic signatures you got from our "Liberators", I just about fell off my chair when I saw my old entry of the two kids doing the lindy hop (at least my version of it), signed by Roberta Simmons, from whence the name "Bobby" came. And then Ursula's entry of the singing bird -- which I will be forwarding to her. What touched me most was the date: They were both done in the spring of '42 -- our last spring in darling old Chinwangtao. Ah, the memories........!

    Do keep in touch -- I send Ursula's love along with mine. --  "Bobby"

(aka Pamela Roberta Simmons Masters-Flynn)

 

From: Kim Smith

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Thursday, May 06, 2010 6:56 PM

Subject: Re: autographBook

 


I may have already written this, but I was ecstatic to find my Dad's autograph (William A. Smith), with a drawing of his hand, writing, in your autograph book.  Made me teary.  it will be printed out for an exhibition on Dad's drawings from his
OSS time in China, focussing quite a bit on his time with y'all.

Best regards,

Kim Smith

 

From: Gay Talbot Stratford

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Saturday, May 08, 2010 12:57 AM

Subject: Re: autographBook

 

 I am delighted that the entry in the album was important to you.Unfortunately I do not remember your Father but since Mother and your Father were involved in the Weihsien art scene, they may have known each other  quite well. Great friendships were forged there.

Best wishes to you and yours,

Gay T. Stratford 

 

From: Kim Smith

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Saturday, May 08, 2010 2:42 AM

Subject: Re: autographBook

 

He was one of the OSS group, but arrived at least a day later than the liberators.  His job was to record the process, amd you can find the results on the Weihsien site.  Leopold has so kindly mounted drawings, paintings and photographs that Dad did there.  I'm not sure how long he was at Weihsien, as his base of operations was Kunming.

Best to all of you; you are all heroes.

Kim

 

From: Tapol

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Monday, May 10, 2010 7:21 PM

Subject: "our" album,

 

Hello,

Here is the new short-cut to the first 160 pages all in "one" file. It is 81 Mo-big so --- give it a little time to download on your computer --- (± 3 and a half minutes on my computer)

http://www.weihsien-paintings.org/I_Remember/ALBUM/Album160.pdf

Enjoy !

 

Best regards,

Leopold

 

From: Kim Smith

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Monday, May 10, 2010 9:34 PM

Subject: Re: "our" album,

 

This is SSSOOO incredible.  What an amazing document.  I'm going to print it out in its' entirety and send a copy to my Mom and siblings, since this adds so much more
depth to the stories we heard from my Dad.

Thanks, Leopold!

Kim Smith

 

From: Tapol

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 11:11 AM

Subject: BackCoverPage

 

Hello,

http://www.weihsien-paintings.org/I_Remember/ALBUM/PDF/BackCover.pdf

click on THIS link

please, ---- could you help me?

I tried to make a back-cover-page with  the names of all the children (that is us!) who wrote on "topica" since the year 2000.

I must have missed a few names ????

I must have made a mistake in your age in 1945! ????

I also added the next generation:  Have I got it all correct ????

Please let me know ---

Thanks

Leopold

 

From: Donald Menzi

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 1:36 PM

Subject: Re: BackCoverPage

 

Leopold,

A truly great work.

 

In answer to your request, Gladys Swift is the daughter of Hugh Hubbard, who is mentioned several times as an expert on birds.  I don't know about your other attribution for her.

 

By the way, I found that I was able to add page numbers easily in Acrobat, which helps in referring to selections, or in letting my grandchildren, who visited Weihsien during the 2005 celebration, know where to look for paintings by their great-great grandmother, Gertrude Wilder.  Would you consider adding page numbers for such purposes?

Donald Menzi

From: Tapol

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 2:52 PM

Subject: Re: BackCoverPage

 

Thanks Donald, I corrected that. (for the next edition---)

In fact, no, I did not intend to add page numbers at first. All the "I remembers" are little stories by themselves and there is no specific order. Once all the pages are printed, you can put them in the odrer of your choice. Some longer stories have to be grouped however.

Leopold

 

From: Tapol

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Monday, May 24, 2010 9:52 AM

Subject: camp size

 

Hello,

Do you remember this debate we had about the size of the Weihsien Concentration Camp allocated to ± 1500 prisoners?

We had this debate in 2005 just before the 60th anniversary celebrations in Weifang ---

---

Nobody present at the celebrations measured the size of the hospital. !!

---

I remember (in 2005) writing to Google about having a "high definition" photo of Weifang and I explained why I wanted it. It was simply to superpose Father Verhoeven's map on the nowadays existing houses of the Camp. They answered that they could take photos specially for me by satellite and that it would cost me --- I don't remember how much, but it was a heluvalot of money !!

---

Well, today we have a high definition map of Weihsien (without asking anything) --- Thanks Google :-)

---

With this 'I remember' project "The Children of Weihsien" I stumbled on our 2005-messages about the size of the camp. (Very amusing)!!

I made a new superposition of the camp (Google Earth) and Father Verhoeven's map ---- :

go to:

http://www.weihsien-paintings.org/I_Remember/ALBUM/PDF/182.pdf

and go to:  page 4

It is extraordinary because Father Verhoeven's map coincides almost exactly with the reality:

- Jap house left = OK

- Jap house right = OK

- Block 50 = OK

- Jap house just in front = OK

- The Hospital = OK (Father Vehoeven's hospital is much longer in the N-S axis !!)

- Blocks 59 & 60 = OK

- Block 23 = almost OK --- but we know that Block 23 was recently demolished and replaced by a new building almost at the same place.

 

The Google Earth software allows me to measure distances, so I did:

295 * 112.8 = 33276 m²

128.8 * 26.3 = 3387.44 m²

142.5 * 83.7 = 11927.25 m²

--- all put together = ± 48591 m²

so, we can reasonably affirm that ±1500 prisoners lived for 2½ years in ± 49.000 m²

 

c.q.f.d.

 

Best regards,

Leopold

 

From: Tapol

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Monday, May 24, 2010 4:57 PM

Subject: Re: camp size

 

Hello,

Had a look on Internet:

American football field = 91.4m * 48.8m =4460.32 m²

Camp size = 48591/4460.32 =  ±11 football fields

 

Does this seem to be correct ?

--- all the best,

Leopold

 

From: Pamela Masters

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Monday, May 24, 2010 5:42 PM

Subject: Re: camp size

 

Hi Everyone -- It's been along time since I dipped my oar into Weihsien Topica's friendly waters, but I don't know why everyone's trying to figure out the size of the camp. It was completely contained within the original mission school compound, which included faculty housing (used by our Japanese captors) and I understand there are copious architectural drawings on file. For the life of me, I can't remember the name of the mission right now, but believe it was Presbyterian. Anyhow, I recall seeing the drawings several years back and they were to scale, in sharp detail. Good luck looking them up.

Have a great day -- Pamela

 

From: Tapol

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Monday, May 24, 2010 9:04 PM

Subject: Re: camp size

 

Sorry, mea maxima culpa  --- I must have got some of you mixed up with the European metric system.

To make it short, let us say that the camp was 325 yards at it's widest and 238½ yards at its longest --- from the main gate to the Jap boundary wall.

All this, of course, measured with Google Earth. (tools/rule)

The camp surface is:

- 12 acres or

- 58309 square yards

 

Best regards,

Leopold

 

From: Ron Bright

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 5:59 AM

Subject: Re: camp size/Kamal

 

Pamela,
  Perhaps of interest is a new book "A Mosque in
Munich""by Ian Thompson, a pulitzer prize author discussing the influence of certain people in Islam in the West.
Not surprising is your old friend Ahamd Kamal, one of the internees at Weihsien.
If anyone is interested I could summarize a bit of the non fiction book.
Ron Bright

 

From: Pamela Masters

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 10:29 PM

Subject: Re: camp size/Kamal

 

Hi Ron -- that sounds intriguing. If no one else is interested in your kind offer, I'll go ahead and order Ian Thompson's book. I read an excellent book, Islamic Imperialism, several years back and it was an eye-opener. I can't find my copy of it right now (guess I lent it to someone),  so can't give you the name of the author.

Thanks for keeping us in the loop -- Pamela

 

From: Ron Bright

To: weihsien@topica.com

Cc: jknisely@paonline

Sent: Thursday, May 27, 2010 7:01 PM

Subject: Re: camp size/Kamal

 

Pamela,
Since Kamal was sort of a flashy guy at Weilhsein, I thought you would like to read the chapter on Kamal by Johnson. Kamal turns out later became a huge influence in the 6h0s and 70s in Islam in
Germany. When he was imprisoned, there was no doubt in my mind that he was working for some intelligence agency, as George Putnam tried to recruit him in 1938 to spy of the US. The FBI turned him down. We interviewd Kamals son Turan in Santa Barbara in 2003, but he is now deceased.
The book "Mosque in
Munich" is a fascinating account of the intellienge work after 9-11.
Ron

 

From: Mary Broughton

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Friday, May 28, 2010 1:54 AM

Subject: Re: camp size/Kamal

 

Ron,  I would very much like to read that chapter too and a summary of the book.  It is all so relevant now with the rise of Radical Islam.

Thanks, Mary

 

From: Ron Bright

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Friday, May 28, 2010 3:37 AM

Subject: Re: camp size/Kamal

 

Mary,

In view of the complexity of Kamals background, even prior to the Weihsein experience, his movements in
Germany, Switzerland in attempting to curry favor for the Muslim, Islam, community is fascinating. I suggest you buy the book. I am meeting with the author on June 11 in Seattle.
Ron B

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, June 01, 2010 5:20 PM

Subject: Weihsien children from Marjorie Harrison Jackson

 

  A MEMORY OF CHRISTMAS AT WEIHSIEN

                        by Marjorie Harrison Jackson
                of
Chefoo School's Lower School Dormitory  (LSD)

I remember the last Christmas at Weihsien -- 1944, I guess.

Our ever-inventive Chefoo teachers encouraged us daily with our Bible reading
and prayer and singing that the Lord was with us and we would be delivered.

Christmas could have been dismal that last year of the war.  There were no
Red Cross packages, no money,  and nothing to buy, so we all decided to get into
our trunks, yes, the very same ones we had put our clothes, books, treasures
into the night before the Japanese marched us off to concentration camp on
Temple Hill.

That Christmas, we looked into our trunks.  Each of us girls picked out a
gift to swap with one of our Lower School Dormitory roommates.  I had my teddy. 
Could I possibly part with it?  We had decided this was the only way we would
get a present at all.

So part with teddy I did, and I received a lovely necklace which was already
several years old, and, believe it or not, I still have that necklace and wear
it now and then -- loaded with memories.

My Sunday School class gave me a big, soft teddy in recent years when they
knew I would be needing lots of hugs.  I named him Agape  (Greek for
uncionditiional love), and I finally felt I had my teddy back.   Does anyone know what
happened to my teddy?  And who was the former owner of my silver necklace?

(Majorie Harison Jackson  lives in
Lancaster, Pennsylvania) #

 

From: Tapol

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Thursday, June 10, 2010 10:26 AM

Subject: autograph book

 

Dear Joyce,

Thanks very much for the three new pages from your 'Autograph Book'

go to:

http://www.weihsien-paintings.org/cooke/AutographBook/p_StewDents.htm

"Autographs" are very personal — so I quite understand — but I am grateful to have them for the website.

---

To all those who send me copies of their treasures I say "Thank you" and I would also like to add: ---- "Keep 'em coming"

 

all the best,

Leopold

 

From: Dwight W. Whipple

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Friday, June 25, 2010 4:47 PM

Subject: Re: the Children of Weihsien:

 

What a great compilation of pictures and stories!  Seems to be quite a bit of duplication but nevertheless a wonderful historical document.  And more to come?!

~Dwight W Whipple

 

From: Tapol

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Monday, July 05, 2010 5:13 PM

Subject: thechildrenofweihsien !

 

Hello all,

finished ---- so far !

283 pages for your pleasure :-)

is everybody OK?

anymore "I Remembers"?

----

here is the link to the complete file = 133 Mo (took me a little more than 4 minutes to download on my computer)

http://www.weihsien-paintings.org/I_Remember/ALBUM/TheChildrenOfWeiHsien.pdf

Towards the end of the album there are a few URLs on some pictures (i.e. boy scout photos etc.) you can click on them and see what happens.

---- enjoy ----

 

Best regards,

Leopold

 

From: Tapol

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Monday, July 05, 2010 5:30 PM

Subject: Re: the Children of Weihsien:

 

Hello Dwight :-)

--- it is true that some incidents come back quite often ---- and written in different words ----

A "psy" should be able to explain that ---- why do we remember things and forget others.

Why do I remember so well where I was when I got the news of JFK's assassination? How is it that we all remember so vividly August 17, 1945! ?? I was never told by anybody --- but my subconscience reminded me --- I too wrote the same story --- it appears two or three times in the 283 pages of the Album ----

Anyway, ---- it is quite amusing to read !   (for us! ---- ex-prisoners---)

---

I had a good time compiling the whole thing :-)

 

Best regards,

Leopold

 

From: kim smith

To Weihsien

Sent: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 3:53 PM

Subject: William A. Smith's exhibition....

 

The reception for my father's exhibition of drawings and memorabilia from his time in Kunming and Weihsien went fantastically well.   We had a great turnout; about 60 people starting to show up even before the reception was to start.  Though the work was very well explained by way of our carefully-written captions, I was urged by the gallery director to do a "talk", going from case to case of drawings to pick out a significant story.  Since there were two cases devoted to Weihsien, I was able to speak quite a bit about my admiration for the survivors and their tenacity in recording their collective history.  People were very interested in Dad's odyssey in China and especially the stories about Weihsien.  I got dozens of Emails the days after the reception saying that the whole show resonated with them on a number of levels, not the least of which that this was an homage to a beloved father who had passed away.

Thank all of you who participated in providing information, statements, and energy in the production of this exhibition.  I have attached a couple of photos for y'all.  They are of me in my mother's cheongsam (chi pao) with John, my blond partner, me with my former husband Peter, who knew my Dad, and my friend Webster, whose Grandfather, Clarence Moy, was with Dad in
Kunming, also in the OSS.

Thanks again to all of you.

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Monday, August 16, 2010 8:39 PM

Subject:

"Pandemonium...ecstasy!" - The day our American liberators came –

65 years ago

 

Liberation Day, 65 years ago.

 

Here' are excerpts of  what Langdon Gilkey wrote in his book, SHANTUNG COMPOUND.  On that day, Gilkey,  a college professor,  was a cook in one of the Weihsien kitchens.

 

    The boy who spread the word ran through the kitchen yard  screaming in an almost insane excitement, "an American place, and headed straight for us!"

 

    We all flung our stirring paddles down beside the cauldrons, left the carrots unchopped on the tables, and tore after the boy to the ballfield.

 

    This miracle was true;  there it was, now as big as a gull and heading for us from the western mountains.

 

    As it came steadily nearer, the elation of the assembled camp  -- 1,500 strong -- mounted.  This meant that the Allies were probing into our area, not a slow thousand miles away!  And people began to shout to themselves, to everyone around them, to the heavens above, their exhilaration:

    "Why it's a big plane, with four engines!  It's coming straight for the camp -- and look how low it is.!  Look, there's the American flag painted on the side!  Why it's almost touching the trees!...  It's turning around again....  It's coming back over the camp! ...Look, look, they're waving at us!    They know who we are.  They have come to get us!"

 

    At this point, the excitement was too great for any of us to contain.  It surged up within us, a flood of joyful feeling, sweeping aside all our restraints and making us its captives.  Suddenly I realized that for some seconds I had been running around in circles, waving my hands in the air and shouting at the top of my lungs.  I looked around briefly to see how others were behaving.

 

    It was pandemonium, the more so because everyone like myself was looking up and shouting at the plane, and was unconscious of what he or anyone else was doing.  Staid folk were embracing others to whom they had barely spoken  for two years; proper middle-aged Englishmen and women were cheering or swearing.  Others were laughing hysterically, or crying like babies.  All were moved to an ecstacy of feeling that carried them quite out of their normal selves as the great plane banked over and circled the camp three times....

 

    Then suddenly all this sound stopped dead.  A sharp gasp went up as fifteen hundred people stared in stark wonder.  I could feel the drop of my own jaw.  After flying very low back and forth about a half mile from the camp, the plane's underside opened.  Out of it, wonder of wonders, floated seven men in parachutes!  This was the height of the incredible!  Not only were they coming here some day,  they were here today, in our midst!  Rescue was here!

 

    For an instant this realization sank in silently, as a bomb might sink into water.  Then the explosion occurred.  Every last one of us started as with one mind for the gate.  Without pausing even a second to consider the danger involved, we poured like some gushing human torrent down the short road.  This avalanche hit the great front gate, burst it open, and streamed past the guards standing at bewildered and indecisive attention.

 

    As I rushed by, I caught a glimpse of our guard bringing his automatic rife sharply into shooting position.  But his bewilderment won out;  he slowly lowered his gun....

 

    Oblivious to all this danger, yelling and shouting,  jostling and pushing, we rushed through the narrow streets of the neighboring village and out into the fields.  So intent were we on finding our parachuted rescuers that we scarcely had time to savor the sweet feeling of freedom that colored so vividly those earliest moments....

 

    About a half mile farther on, we came to a field high with Chinese corn.  My first sight of an American soldier in World War II was that of a handsome major of about twenty-seven years, standing on a grave mound in the center of that corn field. Looking further, I saw internees dancing wildly about what appeared to be six more godlike figures:  how immense, how strong, how striking, how alive these American paratroopers looked in comparison to our shrunken shanks and drawn faces!  Above all, their faces were new!  After two and a half years, we had come to assume subconsciously that everyone in the world looked like the fifteen hundred of us --we were the world....

 

    The Japanese would no longer rule us!  With this word, our cup of ecstasy ran over.  The internees picked up their discomfited rescuers on their shoulders, and in a wild cheering procession reminiscent of a victorious high school student body bringing home the winning coach and team, the internees wound their way back to the camp.

                                                    ________________

 

 

Of this team of heroes, only Tad Nagaki is living.  If you'd like to phone him to say thank you or to tell him what you remember about Liberation Day here is his telephone number:

 

            Tad Nagaki:    308-762-2968

 

Mary Previte

    

From: Kim Smith

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Monday, August 16, 2010 10:55 PM

Subject: Re: "pandemonium...ecstasy!" - the day our American liberators came -- 65 years

 

I'd like you all to know that my sister has just unearthed my Dad's orders to go to Weihsien, and I will scan them and send them to Leopold.  i must be careful, because they are stapled and they are many pages.  The orders describe the Duck Mission.  I think this will be a good addition to your records.

Best to all of you on this auspicious day...

Kim Smith

 

From: Tapol

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Wednesday, August 18, 2010 10:13 AM

Subject: Re: "pandemonium...ecstasy!" - the day our American liberators came -- 65 years

 

Hello,

Thanks in advance, Kim. I'll gladly add that to your chapter.

---- 65 years already ! time sure does go fast ---

Topica is soooo quiet!

Is everybody OK?

Cheerio,

Leopold

 

From: Kim Smith

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Wednesday, August 18, 2010 3:50 PM

Subject: Re: "pandemonium...ecstasy!" - the day our American liberators came -- 65 years

 

I've noticed the same, Leopold!  Hellooooo out thereeeee.....

 

From: Donald Menzi

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Wednesday, August 18, 2010 9:04 PM

Subject: Re: "pandemonium...ecstasy!" - the day our American liberators came -- 65 years

 

We're here (I think).

 

Let me just say that having Kim Smith in the group is very exciting for me personally.  I developed a strongly positive feeling for your dad, Kim, first because of his painting of the watchtower guard, and the controversy it generated as to whether it could have been real (some former inmates insisting that Weihsien only had consular police with pistols, not actual soldiers as guards, and others with firm memories of bayonet practice, etc. supported by several of the camp drawings.) It make a perfect image for me to use in my slide show to represent the period of waiting for liberation.)

 

I remember the moment on the bus when I saw someone reading a coy of his illustrated article telling about how things were when he arrived, after the liberation, including a drawing of a young boy wearing an oversized GI jacket, whom I later found was a member of this group - Pearson, I believe.

 

Having even indrect contact with you, Kim, provides living link to your father, whose work was helpful to me in my small project.  It also symbolizes how so many things and people are interconnected, even when we don't realize it.  

 

So thanks, Kim, for being here and for bringing your father's presence to life for us.

 

Donald Menzi

 

From: Kim Smith

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Friday, August 20, 2010 7:22 PM

Subject: Re: "pandemonium...ecstasy!" - the day our American liberators came -- 65 years

 

Thank you so much for your kind words.  It has been very exciting for me as well, and has helped to spark some interest in a more extensive Asian program at the University where Dad's show hangs.  People are quite fascinated with this history of US and China, and of the stories from the internment camps.   In most cases, they had not a clue.

I'm looking forward to sending you all the brief about the liberation.

Best to all of you,

Kim

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Thursday, August 26, 2010 5:10 PM

Subject: Call from grandson of Lt. William Zimpleman

 

Miracle of miracles!  

This morning Ryan Zimpleman, grandson of   U. S. fighter pilot Lt. Willam Zimpleman phoned me from Indiana to say that he had just found on the Weihsien web site (www.weihsien-paintings.org)   and listened to the 1945 OSS  interview with Lt. Zimpleman, following his  being turned over to Lt. Jim Hannon of  the DUCK Mission at Weihsien. 

Lt. Zimpleman had been kept safe by friendly Chinese troops  for 6 1/2 months in 1945 after he had parachuted from his disabled fighter plane  in Shandong.  He was returning from a combat mission we his plane was hit by enemy fire.

Ryan Zimpleman told me that  he comes from a family with a long and distinguished career in   U. S. military forces and found  the account on the Weihsien web site  while he was doing  a Google search of his grandfather's name.   You may not recall that Leopold Pander's Weihsien web site includes both the sound recording of this interview, but also a transcript of the interview -- accessed from the U.S. National Archives.

How do you describe the excitement of  man who has just listened to the voice  of his grandfather telling of  life-threatening bailout from his fighter plane in China 65 years ago?   Ryan was beside himself. -- chatting and picking my brain  for over an hour -- digging for more information about Weihsien and  the OSS.   Ryan, now serving in the National Guard after serving in  U. S. Special Forces, said he has sent tidal waves of Internet excitement to his family members about this 1945 OSS recording of the interview of his grandfather.

I've included the transcript of this interview below.

Do  any of you remember Lt. Zimpleman's being brought into Weihsien and turned over to Lt. Jim Hannon, September 6, 1945? 

That was just 4 days before my brothers James and John, my sister Kathleen, and I were flown out of Weihsien in a cargo plane to be reunited with our parents. We had not seen them for 51/2 years!

Leopold Pander deserves our undying gratitude for preserving and making accessible this astonishing record of every phase of  our Weihsien experience.

Mary Previte

INTERVIEW with Lt. William Zimpleman,   September, 1945

 

                 Transcript taken from the U.S. NATIONAL ARCHIVES


 

ANNOUNCER:  At Weihsien, the DUCK team received word that a downed American flyer, Lt. William Zimpleman, was being hidden in the area by Chinese patriots.  Lt. Hannon immediately made effort to contact Lt. Zimperman, and on September 6,  Lt.  Zimpleman reached OSS headquarters.

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  I am William V.  Zimpleman.  On February the 20th of this year, I left on a fighter sweep from a base in Free China.  While over the target, I had the misfortune of getting… hhh

 

ANNOUNCER:  You came when you arrived at the target, Lieutenant … You came down in a dive to strafe the target.  Is that right? 

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  That’s right.  Uh.  Diving my last pass, I had steam come up in the cockpit, so I immediately knew that I had been hit and had only a few minutes to plan my escape.

 

ANNOUNCER:  That’s when you were pulling out of your last pass.

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  That’s right.  That’s right.

 

ANNOUNCER:  And what is that an indication of – steam coming out from the cockpit?

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  That I’d received a hit in my cooling system.

 

ANNOUNCER:  I see.  And that meant what?  What would happen with a bullet in the cooling system?

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  That my engine would soon be out of coolant and would be too hot to run.  It would freeze.

 

ANNOUNCER:  I see.  And about what altitude were you when you made this realization?

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  I was on the deck.

 

ANNOUNCER:  Uh, you were on the deck?

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  Yes, I was on the deck.  I was near the ground just a few feet. 

 

ANNOUNCER:  I see.  I see. 

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  I pulled up to about 2,500 feet and headed in the direction that I figured was the safest.  

 

ANNOUNCER:  I see.  And what did you see underneath you?  What was the condition of the terrain under you?

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  It was a bay.  All water.  

 

ANNOUNCER:  A bay.  All  water.   What did you do then?  

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  I prepared to bail out ‘cause I knew I had only a few minutes --  and headed for the nearest land, the nearest terrain that I figured the safest. 

 

ANNOUNCER:  That was across the bay?

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  That was across the bay.  

 

ANNOUNCER:  About how wide was the bay? 

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  About ten miles. 

 

ANNOUNCER: That must have seemed the widest ten miles you ever saw. 

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  It looked very bad.

 

ANNOUNCER: And you moved the hell out until you got across the bay. 

 

LT.  ZIMPLEMAN:  Just as I got to the edge of the land,  it started spitting and froze …right near the patch of land. 

 

ANNOUNCER:  I see.  And then what happened? 

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  I started losing altitude, but I still hadn’t reached the part I had intended to… started for. 

 

ANNOUNCER:  What is the sensation of a plane without adequate landing?  What’s the sensation of going down and out? 

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  Like a rock.  You go down very fast.  

 

ANNOUNCER:   You’re really conscious of falling.  

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  Yes, gliding, but a very steep glide down.

 

ANNOUNCER:  I see.  And what plan did you have in mind then? 

 

LT.  ZIMPLEMAN:  Well,  uh,  to bail out when I got to the least altitude to be safe.  

 

ANNOUNCER: You had to open up your hood… of the… 

 

LT.  ZIMPLEMAN:  I had released my canopy sooner… 

 

ANNOUNCER: Yes.  

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  Sooner. 

 

ANNOUNCER:  You released the canopy immediately. 

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  I released the canopy before my engine stopped.

 

ANNOUNCER:  I see. 

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  To be safe. 

 

ANNOUNCER:  I see.  And then you waited to what altitude before you jumped? 

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  About a thousand feet.  

 

ANNOUNCER:  You were watching the altimeter.  At a thousand feet you went out.  Did you fall clear of the plane? 

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  Yes, it was very … it worked out very fine.  The plane went straight down.  I missed the tail.  It went right over me.

 

ANNOUNCER:  And did you wait ‘til you had seen the tail passed before you pulled the rip cord? 

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  That’s right.  

 

ANNOUNCER:  Uh.  And then did you see the plane handing? 

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  No, I didn’t.  No, I didn’t.  I was watching… (laugh)…

 

ANNOUNCER:  You were busy.

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN: …other things. 

 

ANNOUNCER:  Uh, did you see the plane afterwards? 

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  Yes, I saw the plane afterwards.  It was burning. 

 

ANNOUNCER:  Yes.  And, uh, were you aware of an opening shock?

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  Uh, yes.  I… But not much…very slight.

 

ANNOUNCER:  I see.  And then you had only a few hundred feet to fall. 

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  That’s right. 

 

ANNOUNCER:  What was your sensation coming down as far as expecting trouble? 

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  I expected enemy troops – Japanese.  I could expect nothing else.  I was near water and everything.  

 

ANNOUNCER:  In that area there’s nothing but Japanese.  

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN: Right near the target.

 

ANNOUNCER:  And as you came down, did you notice anyone below?  Had anyone seen you? 

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  Yes, I could see many people.  Many people who had seen me were coming out of the village.  

 

ANNOUNCER:   Uh, these were villagers.

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  Yeh, that’s right.  

 

ANNOUNCER:  And, uh, when you landed, did you land safely?  Did you hurt yourself?  

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  Uh, I landed…when I landed, I pigeoned my ankle.  I started running, but it was impossible for me to get away.  

 

ANNOUNCER:  I see.  And people came crowding around and said, “Ding hao.”  And then you said, “Ding hao.” 

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  No, I… No, I…  Not long I was rescued by friendly troops. 

 

ANNOUNCER:  Oh,  Gol.  They came right on up!  

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  And kept the civilians away.  I had no contact with civilians.  They didn’t know where I went.  

 

ANNOUNCER:  That must have been a relief to you…to know what happened.   

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN: For the full length of time I was with them – which was 6 ½ months – they kept me safe.  

 

ANNOUNCER:  And then Lt. Hannon, who had come with the Duck  Mission in Weihsien,  contacted you and you came back.

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  That’s right.  After this time, my first contact with my own people – with the Duck Mission at Weihsien. 

 

ANNOUNCER:  Lieutenant, nice having you back.  I hope you’ll be home.  

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  I’m very glad to be back. 

 

ANNOUNCER:  Thank you very much. 

                                                    #

 

From: Dwight W. Whipple

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Thursday, August 26, 2010 5:15 PM

Subject: Re: Call from grandson of Lt. William Zimpleman

 

Yes, Leopold does deserve a lot of credit for keeping the past so close to us all these years later!  Cheers, Leopold!

~Dwight W Whipple

 

From: Donald Menzi

To: weihsien@topica.com ; weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Friday, August 27, 2010 7:09 AM

Subject: Re: Call from grandson of Lt. William Zimpleman

 

What a wonderful story!  And yet another example of the fact that we never know or can even imagine the impact of our actions in this life.  Doing something good and doing it well, for its own sake, not for the expectation of any reward, is always the right thing to do - and sometimes is even rewarded with a story such as this.

 

Donald.

 

From: Tapol

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Friday, August 27, 2010 11:12 AM

Subject: Re: Call from grandson of Lt. William Zimpleman

 

Dear Mary,

Well ! that is great news :-)

To be 100% correct, it is you, Mary, who did all the work of getting these recordings from the National Archives for us. I just did the technical work of getting it available for all of us to see and hear.

However, I keep on hoping to be able to retranscript a new diary to the website with new findings about our captivity. It is true that we, the children of Weihsien are now getting old but we still have the children, the grand children and the great grand children who will want to know more!

Not later than yesterday, I had a conversation with one of my neighbours, about family affairs during WWII and about 3 of his aunts getting married to GIs and now living happily in America. I told him, that thanks to our WeiHsien website an abandoned child found her biological parents and that now, so many years later, everybody is happy about it. 

I think that we will still have surprises with our Weihsien website. Out of the more or less 300 Italians in camp, nobody has contacted us yet!

Anyway, as long as I can, I will always be there to add whatever.

--- all the best,

Leopold

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Monday, August 30, 2010 2:30 AM

Subject: Fwd: Seeking information about Sister Eustella

 

Can anyone help provide information for this inquiry?

 

Mary Previte

 


From: donaldsande@gmail.com
To:
MTPrevite@aol.com, gregleck@epix.net, gdavidbirch@yahoo.com, albertdezutter@worldnet.att.net
Sent: 8/29/2010 8:24:54 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Subj:
Seeking information about Sister Eustella

 

My father-in-law, now 94, was a US Marine pilot stationed in Shanghai at the end of WWII.  He has 2 carved chests which he was given by a Sister Eustella in appreciation for piloting a C46 to bring her and members of her convent to Shanghai from a Japanese internment camp.  His memory of these events is fading, and I would love to learn more about this event and what ultimately happened to the nuns.  Anyone who knows the details, please email me.
Thanks,
Donald Sanders 

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Monday, August 30, 2010 4:12 AM

Subject: Sister Eustella -- miracles still happen!

 

 

What miracles continue to burst from our Weihsien experience! 

 

In 1984 -- to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the ending of World War II,  The Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine used as its cover story my Weihsien story: SONG OF SALVATION AT WEIHSIEN PRISON CAMP.   A few days later, I heard from the President of Cardinal Stretch University in  Milwaukee, Wisconsin -- half a continent away from me.   After  "happening upon"  my story during a flight, she realized that several Roman Catholic Sisters still alive and living at Cardinal Stretch University had also been interned in Weihsien.  

 

She sent me a copy of this TYPED book -- a collection of memories and letters about these Franciscan Sisters who had served God in China.   Many of you will remember these Sisters in Weihsien.

 

How Donald Sanders got my e-mail address I do not know.   Maybe others of you can provide information for his father-in-law, aged 94.

 

Mary Previte

 

From: Donald Menzi

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Monday, August 30, 2010 7:27 AM

Subject: Re: Sister Eustella -- miracles still happen!

 

Mary,

 

All I can say is, Wow!  What incredible connections have been and will continue to be made through this labor of love.  All unplanned, unexpected and unpredictable and - yes - seemingly miraculous, yet so totally ordinary slices of real life .

 

Wonder what will be next?

 

Donald

 

From: "Ronald W. Bridge" <rwbridge@freeuk.com>

To: <weihsien@topica.com>

Sent: Monday, August 30, 2010 10:02 AM

Subject: Re: Sister Eustella -- miracles still happen!

 

Ø      Dear All,
> I think that you are talking about the book A Cross in
CHina the story of
> the mission of Sr M Servatia published by Cuchallain Publicatins Ft Wayne
> Indian in 1989 I got a copy through Cardinal Stretch Unviversity.
> This mentions them getting out of WEihsien and gettign to Shanghai where
> they started trying toi retrieve their goods
> Rgds
>
Ron Bridge

 

From: "Tapol" <tapol@skynet.be>

To: <weihsien@topica.com>

Sent: Monday, August 30, 2010 11:37 AM

Subject: Re: Sister Eustella -- miracles still happen!

 

Ø      Hello,
> try using the
http://www.weihsien-paintings.org search engine. Type:
> "eustella" ... and see what happens :-)
> The Weihsien "episode" is in the "books" chapter
>
www.weihsien-paintings.org/books/Servatia/txt_Servatia.htm
> enjoy.
> Sister Eustella is often mentionned in the "I remember" album
> Best regards,
> Leopold

 

From: Gay Talbot Stratford

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Monday, August 30, 2010 5:47 PM

Subject: Re: Seeking information about Sister Eustella

 

Mary,

I cannot help with the search for the two carved boxes, but Sister eustella I remember well.

 When we arrived at weihsien in early Mrch , after three days in an overcrowded train, we were taken to a two storey building and the first person to meet us at the door was Sister Eustella with a smile on her face and a cup of thin soup in her hand. She found a thin mat for the five of us , that is parents and three children My sister Christine was seven months old .

Throughout our stay , until Octber !945, the sisters were an inspiration.  What an example of faith in action they were.!

Thank you Mary, for your continuing thoughtfulness.

Gay  

 

From: Donald Menzi

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Monday, August 30, 2010 9:34 PM

Subject: Re: Seeking information about Sister Eustella

 

By the way, it was not only the sisters.  The Weihsien camp diary of my grandfather, George Wilder, expresses his great admiration for "those magnificent Fathers" - both for their selfless service and for their prowess on the baseball field.  

 

And this was from a Protestant missionary who was sometimes critical of things that the Catholic Church was doing in China.

 

Donald Menzi 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, August 31, 2010 12:42 AM

Subject: Sister Eustella, Weihsien

 

Thank you very much for this information.  I'm busy tracking down all these leads, and will share the results with my father-in-law - he will be delighted to learn what happened to the Weihsien contingent.
Donald Sanders
Durham, NC USA

 

From: Estelle Horne nee Cliff

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, August 31, 2010 11:20 AM

Subject: Re: Seeking information about Sister Eustella

 

Yes, we lost a lot of our prejudices in Weihsien! My old grandmother Alice Broomhall used to sit in the sun with the old Mother Superior.

 

Was Sister Eustella the one who used to play baseball with the kids? I remember her round smiling face. She was game for anything.

 

These broad horizons were the best lesson we learned.

 

Estelle Cliff Horne

 

From: Laura Hope-Gill

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, August 31, 2010 4:40 PM

Subject: Re: Seeking information about Sister Eustella

 

Hello,

 

My grandmother, Grace Hope-Gill, recalled the presence of Trappist monks. She told me they would pray near the fences while farmers from the surrounding area rolled eggs down under the fence. The monks gathered the eggs in their robes. In the story, the monks would break their vows of silence and pray out loud when guards came near so they wouldn't be disturbed. Does anyone else recollect this?

 

Sister Eustella is a lovely addition to the collective memory.

 

Sincerely, and best to all,

Laura Hope-Gill

 

From: Donald Menzi

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Wednesday, September 01, 2010 12:40 AM

Subject: Re: Seeking information about Sister Eustella

 

Yes, the black market was run by the Fathers, under the leadership of a priest, Father Scanlon, whom I actually met once in New York, before I knew anything about his role in Weihsien.  I have copied three different accounts of its activities below.  

 

Note that Langton Gilkey changes the names of the people in his account (his "Darby" is really Scanlon.  Please excuse the inserted symbols (@, =, A, etc,) which were substiuted for quotation marks and other special symbols when I copied them from Word Perfect to MS Word and I haven't yet edited them out.  Fr. Scanlon, too, wrote a biographical account that included Weihsien, but I haven't transcribed it yet.

 

Donald Menzi

 

===================================================================

 

Langdon Gilkey, Courtyard of the Happy Way [1][1]

With the advent of Spring, a marked change came over the face of the camp. Where there had been rubble and dirt, there were now bright patches of color in the gardens and neat patios. These were only the physical evidences of a change that also occurred on a deeper level. Within a few months this poorly prepared and, indeed, almost desperate group had transformed itself into a coherent civilization, able to cope with its basic material problems and day by day raising the level of its life on all fronts. The food was almost palatable, the baseball league enthralled everyone; and the evenings were now warm enough for a stroll with a girl friend. The camp was almost becoming a pleasant place in which to live.

Not the least among the elements contributing to this general state of well-being were the sources of Aextra@ supplies. Of course there was always the camp canteen: a small store supplied by the Japanese and manned by a Tientsin department store owner and an elderly importer. In it such necessities of our life could be purchased as cigarettes, soap, peanut oil, toilet paper, and mats C for which goods in great demand ration cards were issued. Also on rare occasions such items as dried fruits, spices, and ginger could be found there. There were never any fresh fruits or sweets available there or in the kitchens during the two and one-half years we were in camp.

It was, however, the black market that added the most to our life during the first six months. Although I enjoyed its fruits as much as the next man, I was never involved in the operation of this flourishing industry. Even the most ingenuous, however, could not long remain unaware of its existence. He had only to saunter past any row of rooms or dorm of a morning to smell eggs frying on a newly made brick stove, or to have a friend casually press upon him some succulent jam for his bread. When he stopped by a neighbor’s room, he was likely to be offered a little bacon or chocolate, By-gar (Chinese whisky) or wine.

It was no time at all until the members of our group, too, were buying eggs, jam, and sweets from Athose who knew.@ There were, as I found, a considerable number of the latter. When I inquired whom one might contact for some of this marvelous manna, friends suggested the following: some of the tough ex-army men at the end of our row; several businessmen over near the wall in Block 54; two bachelors in Dorm 49; and so on. But the majority replied: AIf you want to get eggs and jam cheap, and in great quantity, see the Catholic fathers.@  

During the middle of that first summer, at least two-thirds of the internees had an egg to fry each morning. At one point in fact, when the black market was at its height, we had so many that an extra hot plate in the Peking kitchen had to be constructed to handle the long line queued up for a stove. This meant that an average of about 1,300 eggs a day were coming over or through the wall; an equivalent amount of jam, peanuts, and sugar was there for the buying if one knew whom to see.  Wherever there was a sheltered spot in the wall, goods seemed to pour over. The Chinese farmers were eager for cash and in summer they had plenty of produce to sell....

As it was apparent that the fathers were the major source, I decided to find out how they worked it.  The three hundred or so priests and monks lived under horribly crowded conditions in the upper floors of the hospital building and one or two adjacent small blocks. This was an area which was next to the wall, and at the beginning quite out of sight of the guardhouses. Each time I had been in their neighborhood, I had felt a slight shock, for I was not used to this monastic world. Early in the morning or late in the afternoon, I found that the yard around the hospital resembled a medieval courtyard. A hundred or so priests in black and monks in brown were there slowly pacing up and down near the wall saying their prayers. 

I learned from one Passionist father that the black market began at the hour of evening devotionals a couple of weeks after camp started. Quite without warning, a covey of cabbages flew over the wall into the midst of these praying priests.  Immediately, so my friend noted with great amusement, all purely religious concerns receded. The priests closed their prayer books, scooped up the cabbages, and hoisted one another up high enough to talk over the wall to the Chinese beyond it. Regular rendezvous spots and hours were fixed, and if one of them did not work, they tried another.

The most successful and certainly the most intriguing of the clerical egg runners was a small, bespectacled Trappist monk named Father Darby. The strict rules of his order against speak­ing at any time were temporarily lifted so that these monks could work with the rest of us. Thus Father Darby was able to tell us a good deal about his life as a Trappist. He explained to us that he had been in the same monastery for twenty-five years. For that quarter century prior to coming to camp, he had not spoken more than three or four words to any living soul. A charming, friendly little man, while he was with us he more than made up for lost time. He would talk by the hour with anyone who would listen to him. I am sure he was a devout Trappist, but one summer evening I came to realize he had many other facets to his personality. Passing by one of the camp’s more elegant patios, I saw a group sampling By-gar. In their midst was Father Darby, dressed in a Asecular@ white summer formal,Creplete with white jacket, black tie and black trousersCand regaling that fashion­able audience with his Irish stories!

Father Darby had a seemingly foolproof method of receiving eggs undetected. In an obscure corner of the wall about a foot above the ground, he had pried loose a few bricks. He would kneel down at this spot and pull the eggs through the hole as a Chinese farmer pushed them from the other side. If a guard happened along, two Trappist friends down the line would begin a Gregorian chant.

At this signal, Darby would quickly cover the eggs with his long monk’s robe and, already on his knees, be deep in prayer by the time the guard reached him. He kept up this practice for two or three months without being caught. Some of the guards were apparently more than a little afraid of these Aholy men@ with their massive beards and long robes. But finally one day a guard lifted Father Darby’s robe as he knelt by the wall. To his surprise and the monk’s embarrassment, he found one hundred and fifty eggs nestling there. Whatever the guards may have thought of the occult powers of Western holy men, they certainly never gave them credit for being able to lay eggs!

Father Darby was whisked off to the guardhouse. The first trial of camp life began. The camp awaited the outcome of the trial with bated breath; we were all fearful that the charming Trap­pist might be shot or at best tortured. For two days, the chief of police reviewed all the evidence on the charge of black market­eering, which was, to say the least, conclusive.

At the end of the elaborate trial, the chief announced his stern verdict. First, he said that because he was determined to stamp out the black market, he would have to make an example of Father DarbyCadding parenthetically that it pained him Ato punish a man of the cloth.@ The camp heard this pronouncement with a shudder. And so, said the chief, he was going to sentence Father Darby to one and one-half months of solitary confinement! The Japanese looked baffled when the camp greeted this news with a howl of delight, and shook their heads wonderingly as the little Trappist monk was led off to his new cell joyously singing.

From that time on, the black market had a strange and uneven history. During the fall of 1943, the Japanese reduced the flow of goods to a trickle. They managed to catch some more of the internee leaders and put them in Asolitary.@ Since they were not Trappists, that was bad enough. But then they caught two Chinese farmers. To the horror of the internees, they stood the Chinese up before a firing squad within earshot of the camp.

                                                  David Michell, A Boy=s War [2][2]

The black market really was a lifeline to survival for many in camp. From the accounts that circu­lated in camp, the peak time of the clandestine pur­chasing of food and other necessities was in the first months of Weihsien Camp’s history. The Roman Catholic fathers expand­ed their calling to include getting into the barter business. They acted as a conduit between people in the camp and collaborating Chinese outside, exchanging cash and valuables for eggs, bac­on, fruit, jam and even chocolate. One method of collecting or­ders was for a Chinese, with his body blackened and greased, to shinny over the wall at night and pick up the Ashopping list.@  While doing this he would also arrange the time and method of delivery. Since the Japanese guards patrolled the walls con­stantly, the system called for great ingenuity.

Five of the fathers were Trappist monks. They had been forced to forego their vows of silence, having been put by the Japanese into one of the tiny rooms. Their joviality and good Aworks@ became a byword in camp, and fortuitously their room was very close to the outside wall and made an excellent loca­tion for their food-smuggling enterprise.

One of these monks was Father Patrick Scanlan, an Australi­an of Irish ancestry. He became Chief Organizer of the under­ground food supply operation. He looked the perfect friarCin fact some called him Friar ATucker@ (Aussie slang for food). His long brown robes just seemed to match his red hair, rotund figure, and rosy complexion.

The chief egg supplier from the outside was a plucky little Chinese Christian lady called Mrs. Kang. At night, with the help of her little boys, she would funnel a steady flow of eggs into a drainage tunnel that came in underneath the wall near the priests’ shack. If ever an egg business got cracking, this one did. Scanlan recorded all his dealings in what he called AThe Book of Life.@ With his partners he carefully distributed the eggs and other food within the camp, making sure to escape detection by the guards.

Father Scanlan was very adroit in every aspect of the opera­tion. One time when he was sitting on a stool by the wall, as was his daily custom, he had given the all-clear to those over the wall for the egg delivery to begin. Just then a guard ap­proached. Quickly he had to stop putting the eggs into the bucket hidden under his robe and at the same time try to signal a halt to the flow coming under the wall. Unsuccessful in stop­ping the arrival of the eggs, he began to read his prayer book very loudly and then, in the form of a Latin chant, called his partners to come and help.

However, the guard was in an unusually talkative mood and decided to stop and engage him in conversation. In a few min­utes the cracking of egg shells and the telltale mess of raw eggs streaming out from beneath his gown gave him away. With an­gry shouts of abuse, the sentry hauled him off to the guard house, where he was given a sentence of fifteen days in soli­tary confinement. When news of Father Scanlan’s punishment got back to us, it was the joke of the camp. What was solitary confinement to one who had had twenty-five years of silence as a Trappist before internment?!

The priest was always one step ahead of the Japanese, and even in solitary, he put one over on them. After about a week, Scanlan was lonely for company. He decided to sing his prayers out loud in Latin, late at night. Since his cell was in one of the buildings housing the soldiers, his booming voice was keeping them from sleep. On hearing that these noisy activities were his obligatory religious exercises, they hesitated to inter­fere. They put up with the same routine one more night and then gladly sent him back to us. As Weihsien’s egg hero was marched back into camp under guard, the Salvation Army band fell in behind them, playing a march and soon a long train of grateful mothers and children were part of the joyful proces­sion. The Japanese appeared not to get the point as the camp feted its benefactor’s return.

The black-market business was never quite as successful thereafter as the Japanese took much greater precautions. After a new commandant was appointed, it became even more diffi­cult, and supplies were sorely missed. One Chinese was elec­trocuted while trying to smuggle in food; his body was left to hang on the wires as a gruesome warning to others.

Norman Cliff, Courtyard of the Happy Way [3][3]

White Elephant and Black Market

In addition to the limited resources of the official camp kitchens, there were other sources of supplies. There was the White Elephant where cigarettes, soap, peanut oil arid other provisions could be purchased. Internees without ready cash brought books and clothes which they bartered for food.  Cash for buying these commodities came from ACom­fort Money@, brought by the Swiss Red Cross represen­tative, Mr. Eggar, who took all kinds of risks to visit the camp regularly. Internees had to sign a promissory note, undertaking to repay the money after the war. In Chinese dollars the amounts received monthly sounded large, hut with the rapidly rising inflation they in fact bought less and less.

Another factor in the battle for survival was the black market. I watched this delicate operation in full swing. Going to chop wood for fuel in an out-of-the-way part of camp, I stumbled on it quite accidentally.

In between electrified wires were three Chinese, busy passing over the wall below the wires boxes of eggs and some crates of bigar (wine). On this side of the wires were some Tientsin business men receiving the provi­sions and piling them behind some loose bricks. The operation depended on the vigilance of another inter­nee a hundred yards away on Rocky Road, who was on the look out for any movement of Japanese guards either from their residences in one direction or from the sports field in the other.  Farther away another man was posted on the main road, watching for any move­ment at the guardroom just inside the main gate of the camp.  If one guard appeared on any front the man watching blew his nose ostentatiously.  The same gesture followed down the line, and within half a minute black market operations came to a standstill till the all clear was given once again.

Through this adventurous exercise families with small children were able to get eggs and other items not available at the White Elephant, while thirsty bachelors could drink the bigar to drown their sorrows.  Initially the goods were bought for hard cash, but as the war progressed I.O.U chits were signed undertaking settle­ment after the war.

Early one morning I walked past the sports field to see the corpse of a Chinese black marketeer hanging on the wires. The authorities left it there for a while as an object lesson. On another occasion a group of Chinese traders was caught and all were beaten up by the Japanese. On the whole the marketing was carried out without such repercussions.


Father Scanlan was an Australian Trappist priest among the four hundred Catholics who moved to Peking before my arrival. Though I never met him, stories about him abounded as we chatted in the evenings, reminiscing on the earlier years of the war. In some lonely caves outside Peking and under a vow of silence Scanlan had been living in solitary meditation before the outbreak of war. Herded by the Japanese after Pearl Harbor, with other priests of various religi­ous orders, he had come to Weihsien. Receiving from his bishop a special dispensation to speak, he was soon making up for fifteen years of silence with his story­telling, jokes and vivacious conversation.

Scanlan was one of the pioneers of the Weihsien black market.  He looked on the smuggling of food over the walls as a humanitarian mission, and being celibate he heroically preferred being arrested rather than the father of a small family to be.  He became a legendary camp personality.  On one occasion he was bringing a basket of eggs over the wall when a guard turned the corner. All the precautions I have previously described must have broken down. Keeping his pres­ence of mind, Scanlan quietly took down some laundry hanging out to dry on the line, spreading it over the basket. He continued pulling down vests, shirts and socks until the unsuspecting guard had gone again.

On another occasion he was standing just inside the electrified wires ready to receive some parcels of food when the Japanese guard arrived unexpectedly.  He crossed himself, let out some Latin chants which served to warn the Chinese peasant to keep out of sight, and then proceeded to count his rosary. The last thing the guard wanted was to he embroiled in his religious rituals.

One evening he was caught black marketeering, was arrested and taken towards the guardroom for ques­tioning. Realizing that he had a lot of money in his pocket from his nefarious activities, he staged a fall into the public toilet. Out of sight for a moment from his captors, he shed the white gown he had been wearing and with it his funds, and emerged from the W.C. in the black gown he had been wearing under his white one. What was more, he was now surrounded by other internees, also emerging from the toilet. The guards lost sight of him in the crowd with his sudden change of uniform.

But on a subsequent occasion that elusive character was well and truly arrested. At the guardroom, sur­rounded by angry guards, his Trappist vows suddenly came into operation again, and all questionings brought no replies. Sentencing him to six months solitary con­finement, they put him in a room in the Japanese officers’ quarters at the opposite end of the camp.

The vows of silence were strangely waived once again.

As tired Japanese policemen tried to sleep after long hours of vigil in the camp, during the early hours of Scanlan’s first night he began chanting loudly in Latin. By daybreak he had been reluctantly released.



 

From: Gay Talbot Stratford

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, August 31, 2010 6:44 PM

Subject: Re: Seeking information about Sister Eustella

 

Donald ,

Just to say that I appreciated your inclusion of the priest and agree that they were outstanding, but  because I was taught by the nuns and spent time with them, I knew them better...Many others, with and without faith, helped to make the camp  the remarkable place it was. I salute them all. 

Gay

 

From: Jonathan Henshaw

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Thursday, September 02, 2010 12:00 AM

Subject: Father Genechten

 

Hello Weihsieners!

Interesting to see Father Genechten's name come up on the list; he taught Katy Talati, also in camp, about Chinese painting, I think.

From what I have read, Father Genechten produced many works, but the only ones that remain from Weihsien days are entitled Blind Musician and Beggar Women, neither of which were of internees, if memory serves...

When I get the chance I will see if I can find copies.

Best wishes,
Jonathan

 

From: "Dusty Knisely" <jknisely@paonline.com>

To: <weihsien@topica.com>

Sent: Friday, September 03, 2010 5:18 PM

Subject: Re: Tsingtao

 

Ø      Dwight,
> IF you are talking about the big Presbyterian home up on the hill?  It is
> not too far below that.  BUT that whole section which is on the coast out
> past the horse racing, and lots of other places that are no more - I found
> our Swedish friends home in Iltus Huk, but not many other houses remain
> there, nor the Hotel.  If you lived and I think you did, on Presbyterian
> hill around from
Lutheran Hospital, where I lived, if you give me your
> address I can send you a map that will show you where that is.  The center
> of town or downtown has not changed street much.  But
Tsingtao is now a
> modern chrome and glass big Chinese resort.The houses are stil there today.
> Front on our hospital and home are all changed, but you recognize them.
> Your homes still their, just many families living in them some with another
> house built in the compound.
> Lao Shan was way out of town.  Now
Tsingtao is dressed up and built all the
> way out there.  It is really abeautiful city, just mostly not the city we
> grew up in.  I cried the first time I went there after 1980, but it is
> really beautiful and the beaches are crowded with bathers and there are two
> places - where we lived and the other near the castle on the water that
> still have the famous red roofs and they sell rugs made there with red
> roofed houses on them and they still sell Tsingtao beer, even some places in
> the States.
> Let me hear and I will send you a map with notes.  Have you been there since
> the war.
> It is now Haier city, and Haier has factories in the
US and sells fridges,
> washers and other appliances.
> Georgie Reinbrecht
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Dwight W. Whipple" <
thewhipples@comcast.net>
> To: <
weihsien@topica.com>
> Sent:
Saturday, April 24, 2010 11:34 AM
> Subject:
Tsingtao
>
>
>> Does anyone remember where the Iltis Hydro Hotel was in
Tsingtao?  What
>> beach was it near?  And which direction from the downtown area?  We will
>> be in
Qingdao this year and hope to find our old house!  It was walking
>> distance from the hotel where we were first interned after our house
>> arrest on
Dec 8, 1941.
>> ~Dwight W. Whipple
>>

 

From: Tapol

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Sunday, September 19, 2010 10:12 AM

Subject: Duck Mission

 

Dear Kim,

Many thanks for your CD that arrived  in my letter box  --- as scheduled :-)

I transferred the documents into your chapter --- hope it is OK?

http://www.weihsien-paintings.org/KimSmith/DuckMission/p_ChronologicalReport.htm

--- all the best,

Leopold

 

From: Kim Smith

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Sunday, September 19, 2010 4:02 PM

Subject: Re: Duck Mission

 

Thank you, Leopold!  Hope there's something enlightening in this account.  I'll write Mary and tell her; I think she'll be interested.  Hope she's Okay; she's been a bit unresponsive, for her.  Makes me think there's something up.

Best to you, and thank you for all your hard work and helpfulness.

By the way, are you francophone or german-speaking, or both?  I'm always curious about language.  I speak French fairly fluently because my Mom's family is Parisian.

Kim

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 2010 12:16 AM

Subject: Re: Duck Mission

 

Hello, Kim:

 

I've been vacationing in England for the last 10 days -- arriving home just  last night to a very long list of e-mail messages.

 

I thought this DUCK MISSION report had long ago been added to the Weihsien web site.  I believe it has been passed around for quite a few years. Did you only recently get a copy,  KIm?

 

Hope all goes well with you.

 

Mary

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 2010 12:30 AM

Subject: Re: Duck Mission

 

Hello, Leopold,

 

My daughter and I arrived home last night  from 10 days in U.K. at the Jane Austen Festival in Bath.  Yes, I visited Peter Bazire and his wife.

 

Peter showed me several notebooks he made for his classes in Weihsien -- remarkable records of the dedication of our teachers.  I was dumbfounded at the detail in these books.

So now I'll have to nag Peter again about passing along to you some of this information.   He tells me he delays getting these things our because he likes having me nag him.  You may be sure I vowed to "speak roughly" to him until he shares more of these treasures.

 

Peter doctors for continuing problems with his health -- serious enough hat he has given up his playing for the orchestra in Bath, something he has loved to do for may years.   So you understand how I keep pressing him to share these treasures NOW. 

 

Do you have his brother's account of the Japanese authorities allowing him outside of the camp to the stream to get frogs for the school science experiments?  Amazing story!  One of the guards let his brother hold  the guard's  gun!

 

Peter speaks of you with GREAT appreciation, Leopold.

 

I've had the attached DUCK MISSION report for many years.  Has it not been on your web site?

 

Mary

 

From: Tapol

To: weihsien@topica.com

Cc: Peter Bazire

Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 2010 10:25 AM

Subject: Fw: Duck Mission

 

 

Subject: Re: Duck Mission

 

Dear Mary,

In fact, yes! the full report of the Duck mission is already in Norman's documents (a long time ago). It was a bad photocopy http://www.weihsien-paintings.org/NormanCliff/liberationDay/DuckMission/p_DuckMission.htm and I remember having much difficulties recopying it for the website. Kim's copy was much more neat and that is why I included all the pages in her chapter with an extra link to the text in Norman's chapter that took me so long to type ---

Glad you had a great vacation in England :-). Glad to read that Peter is OK and so are you. It is up to him to decide about what to share with us and I will gladly add any new text to his chapter.

If I remember well, the "frog" episode and the "gun" episode are mentioned in the I remember album. Try making a search with the search engine.

---

I read the book about the Muslims in Munich and found mention of a "Kamal" who was in camp. I found a Kamal-Haller on facebook -- must be his grand son or great grand son (?) -- I tried to contact him but never got an answer ! Must be interesting to have the Muslim's vision of our life in Weihsien. I didn't know that we had Muslims in camp!

---

--- all the best,

Leopold

 

From: Jonathan Henshaw

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Thursday, September 30, 2010 5:07 AM

Subject: WB Prentice

 

Hello Weihsieners,

I have recently come across a few references to the Weihsien Camp's dentist, Dr Wentworth Baldwin Prentice, and wanted to ask if anyone remembered anything about him, either his work in the camp or past reputation. I have one source that mentions a dentist of the same name from the
United States who was active in Peking at the same time, and am wondering if they are one and the same.


With thanks,
Jonathan

 

From: Kathleen Foster

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Thursday, September 30, 2010 10:02 AM

Subject: RE: WB Prentice

 

Hello  Jonathan,

 

Was there only one dentist?  I certainly remember a dentist who had a surgery in part of the hospital.  He took out one of my teeth and gave me some brandy when I fainted at the door.  Not having asked permission, I arrived back at the girl’s school smelling of brandy and minus a tooth.  I  was in trouble, since he and his partner (Dutch?) had a bad reputation.  I thought they were from Indonesia.

 

Kathleen Foster (Strange)

 

From: Ron Bridge

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Thursday, September 30, 2010 12:26 PM

Subject: RE: WB Prentice

 

Wentworth Baldwin PRENTICE b 1894 was in Weishien Block 23 Room 10 his nok was RK Prentice 69 Mills St Morristown NJ USA.

Quote Prior to internment in mid March 1943 he had practised in Peking ( Beijing) and to quote Internatiomnal Red CRoss Report.

All dental equipment is the personal property of WB Prentice and was brought by him from Peking Sufficient equipment was available for fillings and extractions but equipmnet for Crown, Bridge and prosthetic work are lacking. Unquote.

from this I would suspect that he had been in priavte practice in Peking.

Rgds
Ron

 

From: Estelle Horne nee Cliff

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Thursday, September 30, 2010 12:42 PM

Subject: Re: Fw: Duck Mission

 

The story of Theo Bazire and the guard's gun was told in a speech to the Weifang authorities, when a small group of us went there to celebrate the 1995 50 years of liberation. He printed an A4 account afterwards.

 

Estelle

 

From: Tapol

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Thursday, September 30, 2010 3:04 PM

Subject: Re: Fw: Duck Mission

 

Dear Estelle,

Quite right !

I made a search with the words "guard" and "gun" but came to no result.

I should have used the word "rifle"

here is the link:

http://www.weihsien-paintings.org/NormanCliff/50_years/Weifang50/txt_bazire.htm

Go to Norman's chapter

- click on "Weifang" 50th anniversary

 

--- all the best,

Leopold

 

From: Jonathan Henshaw

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Thursday, September 30, 2010 4:49 PM

Subject: WB Prentice

 

Thank you both to Mr Bridge and Ms Foster...it sounds quite possible that these are one and the same individual. Prentice's partner could well have been Dutch Indonesian, but I don't yet have information on that (still looking, though!).

Ms Foster, could you be any more specific about what he had a bad reputation for or how the staff at the Girls' School reacted? I would like to be a bit more certain it is the same individual before posting what I have found here on Topica. My email is jonathan.mylastname@ualberta.ca  --I have written it that way to avoid spam.

Jonathan Henshaw

 

From: Ron Bridge

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Friday, October 01, 2010 10:56 AM

Subject: RE: WB Prentice

 

I would say that it is certainly the same person dentists at that time in North China were about as plentiful as Hen's teeth. Also as the reprot says it his his own kit suggests that he was in private practice and not at one of the big medical centres.

Rgds

Ron Bridge

 

From: Jonathan Henshaw

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Friday, October 01, 2010 7:39 PM

Subject: Re: WB Prentice

 

Hello Weihsieners,

I happened onto this issue with Dr Prentice while reading the memoirs of
ETC Werner. There was very little, only a few sentences, that described Weihsien, but a very large report on his investigations about the murder of his daughter, Pamela Werner. After googling, I found the information below:

*****

From vagabond to journalist: Edgar Snow in Asia, 1928-1941
During the months that Snow was writing Red Star over China he not only had to wrestle with a rush of significant historical events in China and in Europe, but also endured a host of personal distractions. Perhaps the most bizarre was a macabre murder that took place too close to the Snows' home for comfort. On January 8 the mutilated body of nineteen-year-old Pamela Werner was found in a deep ditch along the road that ran by the ancient Tartar City Wall. Foster Snow frequently road her bicycle along this road on her way home at night.
Pamela was the daughter of the deceased wife of E.T.C. Werner, seventy-two-year-old former member of the British Consular Service and now reclusive writer, and another man. Pamela's heart and lungs had been removed through a surgically neat circle cut in her diaphragm. There was evidence of recent sexual intercourse. She reportedly had an appointment with a dentist, Dr. Prentice, was was rumoured to belong to a love cult, and whom the elder Werner accused of the murder. Others suspected Werner himself. Still others noted the body carried the hallmarks of a ritual Chinese murder. The crime was never solved. It did, however, generate a potent mix of gossip and speculation that made the Snows question their earlier decision to take advantage of the were-fox legend in moving into their home on Kuei Chia Chang and lose a little faith in the sense of secruity and privilege that Westerners characteristically enjoyed living in
Peking. --pg 275.

*****


From the Wall Street Journal (plugging a book that will be published next year):

On a freezing Beijing morning in early January 1937, with the Japanese Imperial Army poised to invade China, American journalist Helen Foster Snow stumbled across a horrible find under the city's ancient walls—the murdered, eviscerated body of 16-year-old English schoolgirl Pamela Werner. Down the street, Ms. Snow's husband, Edgar Snow, was writing his classic book, "Red Star Over China," a sympathetic account of Mao Zedong's guerilla army. Of similar height and build, Ms. Snow wondered: Had an anti-Communist killer meant to strike her?

Scotland Yard's suspects included an unknown psychopath; Ms. Werner's dentist, the American Dr. Prentice, who ran a swingers' club (a "love cult" in 1930s parlance) to which the schoolgirl belonged; and the victim's own father. The killer was never found.
 

*****

From the publisher's website:
 

  • A Peking Murder: Or Murder at Fox Tower by Paul French: On a winter's night in 1930's Peking, as Japanese troops waited on the edges of the city, set to invade, the body of a 16 year old English girl, Pamela Werner was discovered. Dumped underneath the ancient Fox Tower, she had been brutally murdered and disemboweled. The crime shocked and terrified an already nervous international community, who were anxiously living out a privileged colonial-era existence that was soon to come to an end.

British Embassy officials were keen to pin the blame on the local Triad mafia. Edgar Snow, the American writer with unique access to Mao's inner circle, believed anti-Communist elements may have in fact mistaken Pamela for his wife, Helen, as the body was found not far from his own courtyard house.

Joint investigations between dogged Chinese and British detectives soon uncovered the shady secrets of Peking's international society. By week, Pamela was a high school border in nearby Tiantsin and player on the hockey team; at weekends, however, she posed for glamour photographs and frequented a swingers club of older men and young women, run by an American dentist.

 

*****


Looking at the camp roster, I noticed that there was an American dentist by the name of Prentice at Weihsien, and he was sent there from
Peking. Werner doesn't mention a specific name in his memoir, although he claims that the identity of the killers was an open secret, but it is hard to imagine that both he and the man he believed killed his daughter were in the camp without a certain amount of tension being generated. Does anyone else recall anything further on Prentice or his partner? or about Werner?

With thanks,
Jonathan


 Yard's suspects included an unknown psychopath; Ms. Werner's dentist, the American Dr. Prentice, who ran a swingers' club (a "love cult" in 1930s parlance) to which the schoolgirl belonged; and the victim's own father.
The killer was never found.

 

From: Pamela Masters

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Monday, October 04, 2010 12:32 AM

Subject: Re: WB Prentice

 

 

This is in response to the several queries about Dr. Prentice...

There is a very macabre story wrapped around Dr. Prentice, but you have to remember I was possibly eight when I heard it – all in bits and pieces. At that time, 1934-35, my sister Margo was attending TGS and was an avid field hockey player. I recall being in awe of her and her friends when they came to our house, all hot and musty after a strenuous game. Among the girls was one I particularly liked because she was named Pamela (my first name, but one which my family refused to call me by) and if memory serves me right, she was a cute red-head with lots of freckles.

When the tragedy occurred, involving Prentice, I believe Pamela Werner was living in Peking with her father, and staying in Tientsin with friends while attending TGS. Dr Werner was an anthropologist involved in the famous Peking-Man digs and was away from home a lot of the time.  Pamela’s mother, a beautiful Russian woman, was brutally murdered several years earlier, and everyone was convinced that her father had killed her in a jealous rage. He was much older that she was, and every man who looked her way drove him into a fit of jealousy. The murder was horribly brutal: she was stabbed umpteen times, and filthy names were cut into her torso. That murder has never been solved.

Christmas 34-35, Pamela asked if she could stay with us as she didn’t want to go home to Peking. Mother asked her why, and Pamela said she was scared, but she didn’t elaborate. The decision was taken out of Mother’s hands when Dr. Werner insisted Pamela go home, and reluctantly Mother and Margo took her to the train station. That was the last time they saw her alive.

It appears a day or so later, while she was walking home with her Russian boyfriend from an ice-skating date, she stopped to tie her shoe laces. She called to her friend to keep on going and that she’d catch up. A minute or so passed and her friend turned to see where she was, but she was nowhere to be seen. She had just vanished. He called and searched as best he could, and then in a panic ran to the police station and reported what had happened.

A massive manhunt ensued and ended with her body being found atop one of the inner city walls, hacked to death, just as her mother’s had been. Her boyfriend was never a suspect as he’d done everything he could to help. But during the search, the chief of police had occasion to go up to Dr. Prentice’s office (a tip-off, no doubt) and he found the place covered in blood. It was everywhere. When Prentice was interrogated, he insisted he’d worked on a Chinese laborer who needed an extraction, and that the man had panicked in the middle of the procedure, jumped up and ran, hemorrhaging all over the place looking for a way to escape.  The police chief insisted there was much too much blood involved to have come from a tooth extraction, but they were never able to pin anything on the dentist. Another brutal murder was left unsolved…

Whatever his involvement, Prentice was one very frightened man when he came to WeiHsien, and rumor has it that there was at least one attempt on his life in the camp.

So there you have it, a real cold-case murder mystery waiting to be solved…

Pamela Masters-Flynn

 

From: Natasha Petersen

To: weihsien

Sent: Wednesday, October 20, 2010 3:52 PM

Subject: website of interest

 

 

 

The following website should be of great interest to most of us who were born/and or raised in China -

 

 

http://wason.library.cornell.edu/Tianjin/maps.html

 

Natasha Petersen

 

From: Donald Menzi

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Thursday, October 21, 2010 7:16 PM

Subject: Re: website of interest

 

Natasha,

 

The Tianjin maps were also of interest to me, even though I wasn't born there.  My great-grandparents, Charles and Ursula Stanley, were the second American missionary family in North China, and lived in Tianjin from 1862 until their retirement.  I look forward to linking the maps with their letters back to the American Board, which I have transcribed from the Board's microfilm archives.

 

Thanks again.

 

Don

From: Tapol

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Wednesday, October 27, 2010 10:15 AM

Subject: Re: Ahmed Kamal

 

Dear Jonathan,

Thanks very much for the copy of this newspaper article. I shall add that to your chapter on the Weihsien-Paintings' website. I did read the book: A Mosque in Munich http://www.amazon.com/Mosque-Munich-Nazis-Muslim-Brotherhood/dp/0151014183 . It is an intersting book and several pages are about Kamal. I tried to find a "Kamal-Haller" on the Internet & found one on facebook. Must be his grand son or great grand son. I tried to contact him but got no answer! :-(

It would be interesting to have a "muslim's" vision of life in Weihsien during our captivity.

Do you have any suggestions as to contacting the Kamal-Haller family? --- I guess they live in America?

---

Best regards,

Leopold

 

From: Jonathan Henshaw

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Monday, December 06, 2010 9:07 PM

Subject: Lope Sarreal

 

Hi Weihsieners,

I recently got in touch with the grandson of Lope Sarreal. Mr Sarreal was from the
Philippines and worked in the kitchens at Weihsien. After 1945, he became very involved in the world of boxing and is now listed in the International Boxing Hall of Fame for his contributions (more info here: http://www.ibhof.com/pages/about/inductees/nonparticipant/sarreal.html).

Sarreal's grandson, Junjun Sarreal, after talking with some of his extended family, was able to share some anecdotes from his grandfather's time in the camp which I include below. I noticed on the weihsien-paintings website that the Sarreal name comes up once in the context of playing for Weihsien's musical performances, but I wonder if anyone remembers anything else about Lope Sarreal that I could share with the family.

With regards,
Jonathan

*****

From Junjun Sarreal:

One of the stories that he told was an incident in the kitchen when some of the boys who where helping out suddenly dumped a sack of potatoes into boiling water without sorting these out first. Unfortunately, the sack was also filled with rats who were then boiled along with the potatoes. The camp doctor then advised them just to throw the rats and the water away and to re-boil the potatoes using another kettle of water.

Another incident also occurred in the kitchen which involved horse meat. Part of the meat was already rotten but since food was scarce, the doctor just ordered my grandfather to slice away the rotten part and just to make sure that the rest of the meat is boiled thoroughly.

There was also an incident inside the camp that involved the water tanks. My grandfather told one of the doctors that some of the boys took a swim in one of the water tanks. Again, the doctor advised him to make sure that the drinking water is thoroughly boiled to make it safe.

Another story that was recalled by my aunt was those of the Trappist monks. These were the monks who supposed to have vows of silence, but according to the story, these monks were the ones "negotiating" with the people on the other side of the fence for black market items.

Another story that my aunt told me was that my grandfather also attempted to escape along with 2 Caucasians. However, on the day of the escape, the Caucasians did not bring my grandfather along. After the war, the two escapees again met with my grandfather. They said that they eventually realized that if they brought my grandfather along, they would have been caught because while my grandfather has Chinese features, he does not speak any Chinese dialect and that would have been a giveaway.

After the war, my aunt said that my grandfather had been given an "A1" pass because of his association to General Courtney Whitney before the war. I am not sure what the A1 pass exactly means but according to my aunt, it gave him priority in any American transportation to and from the
Philippines. This also gave him priority to leave China and return to the Philippines after their internment. To make the connection between my grandfather and the general, both of them were associated with the Lyric Music House.

****

 

From: Dwight W. Whipple

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, December 07, 2010 3:30 AM

Subject: Re: Lope Sarreal

 

Thanks for the interesting information.

 

Another story:  In September/October my wife, Judy, and I together with my two sisters, Lorna and Julie, (our brother, Elden, did not go with us) traveled to China by ship and had a day long stop in Qingdao (Tsingtao).  We had quite an adventure in looking for, and finding, the house we lived in when the war started December 8, 1941.  We were immediately put under house arrest and then eventually put into a local hotel (Iltis Hydro) with others, then on to Weihsein where we were among the first to arrive on March 20, 1943.  We were repatriated six months later in the now famous exchange of government nationals.  On October 2nd this year we had the adventure of finding the house in Tsingtao, the beach where we played and swam (now referred to as Beach Number Three), and the pagoda up the hill from the house through the piney woods.  It was an exciting day for the four of us and even some of our Chinese language came back to us as we tried to communicate with the taxi driver!  A great memory from sixty-seven years ago!

~Dwight W Whipple

 

From: Estelle Horne nee Cliff

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, December 07, 2010 2:49 PM

Subject: Re: Chinese language recalls

 

Yes, I had the same experience of Chinese words popping out of my subconscious on visits to China. The first one was in Taiwan when a little boy followed me into the ladies toilet waving a piece of toilet paper! Not knowing that his family had a contract to supply this, I said: Zoba! Go away! We learned to say this when little urchins used to stare at us when we ate our sandwiches at a picnic in the hills or islands of Chefoo.

 

The second one was in Shanghai and I was trying to cross the Bund early in the morning. There was a rank of oldies doing tai chi. I waited until their arms were down and darted past the edge of the group, but just at that moment the lady next to me flung out her arms again. I heard myself saying: Dui bu qi (chi), Sorry. I realised I had upset her whole quest for serenity. Her answer was: Dui bu qi ni!  - something like: you did do the wrong thing.

 

Then in a hotel, a handyman was trying to fix something under the wash-basin. I didn't know of any problem; he was taking a long time, and we had to go out. Eventually I said: Bu yao jin, It doesn't matter (don't want trouble). He apologised profusely and left.

 

Each time I wondered where the words had come from: I hadn't used them for 50 years. Then my cousin Arthur Broomhall told me his experience in Vancouver. He was sitting in a bus next to a Chinese lady who was muttering to herself that she didn't know where to get off. He told her in Shanghai dialect, she got off, and only then did he realise he had been talking the language of his youth. The three brothers, Arthur, Norman and Peter spent their boyhood in Shanghai, and went home with their mother to Canada before the war. Maybe someone remembers them.

 

Greetings to all

 

Estelle Cliff Horne

 

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, December 07, 2010 5:28 PM

Subject: What happened to YOU after Pearl Harbor?

 

Today,  Americans are remembering Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor -- December 7, 1941. President Roosevellt called it "a day that will live in infamy." 

 

It is also a day that changed the world.

 

How did your world change after Pearl Harbor?  Were you immediately interned?  How?  Where?  What was it like?

 

O, how my world changed in Chefoo!  

 

 On the morning of December 8, we awoke to find Japanese soldiers stationed at every entry gate of our  Chefoo School.  They posted notices on the entrances:  Under the control of the Naval forces of Great Japan.   Their Shinto priests took over our ball field and performed some kind of rite -- just like that -- the whole school belonged to the Emperor.  The breakfast radio reported the American fleet in flames at Pearl Harbor and two British battleships sunk off the coast of Malaya.  When we opened the school doors, Japanese soldiers with fixed bayonets blocked the entrance.  "PA" Bruce, our head master,  was locked in solitary confinement.

 

(In recent years, a Chefoo teacher reported that one of the first Japanese demands was that teenage girl students were to be available as "comfort women" to the soldiers.   No matter what, "PA"  Bruce would never, ever, EVERY give in on that! )

 

Throughout the month,  Mr. Martin, the Latin master, had been preparing a puppet show for the school Christmas program, and as far as he was concerned the war was not going to stop Christmas.   Mr. Martin was like that.  With his puppets dancing from strings, he went walking about the compound, in and among us children and the Japanese sentries. 

 

And the Japanese laughed  They were human!  The tension among the children eased some after that, for who could be truly terrified of a sentry who could laugh at a puppet?

 

But with the anarchy of war,  the Chinese beyond our gates were starving.  Thieves often invaded our school compound at night, and, to our teachers' horror, one morning we came downstairs to find that all the girls' best overcoats had been stolen.  After that,  the school masters took turns patrolling the grounds after dark and our Prep School principal,  Miss Ailsa Carr,  and another teacher, Miss Beatrice Stark, started sleeping with hockey sticks next to their beds.

 

I  remember so well when the Japanese came and marched us away from our school.  By then the war  had made us enemy aliens.  Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaya had fallen to Japan  Burma had collapsed.  The Philppines had toppled.

 

It was November 1942.  I was 10 years old.  Uniformed  Japanese soldiers led us off to our first concentration camp, three miles across town.  A straggling line of perhaps 200 children, proper Victorian teachers and God-fearing missionaries, we went marching into the unknown, singing from the Psalms.  "God is our refuge and strength ... therefore we will not fear."

 

We had become prisoners of war.

 

We had to wear arm bands in those early days of the war:  "A" for American,  "B" for British.  When our teachers and the Japanese weren't looking, the American children turned the "A" upside down and chalked out the crossbar and proudly wore a "V."

 

We were crammed into this camp like sardines.  There were four family-size houses each one bulging with 60 to 70 people.  For 10 months it was like this.  We always sang to keep our spirits up.

 

    We might have been shipped to Timbuktu.

    We might have been shipped to Kalamazoo.

    It's not repatriation

    Nor is it yet stagnation,

    It's only concentration in Chefoo.

 

We would hit the high note at the end and giggle.   More than 65 years later, I  can sing it still.

 

To supplement the dwindling food supply, one of the servants from the Chefoo School smuggled two piglets and some chicks over the wall for us to raise.  For the first few nights, we hid the piglets under the veranda and fed them aspirin to keep them quiet.  When the Japanese finally discovered them, they accepted them rather affectionately as our pets.

 

In the daytime, propped up on our steamer trunks, we practiced our English lessons, writing iambic quatrains about life in concentration camp:

    Augustus was a pig we had;

    Our garbage he did eat.

    At Chistmas time we all felt sad;

    He was our Christmas treat.

 

After 10 months,   they stacked us like cords of wood in the hold of a ship and brought us to the Weihsien Civilian Assembly Center.  You know the Weihsien story.

 

Yes, Pearl Harbor changed our lives. 

 

For those of you who read this story, unfamiliar with the Chefoo School, let me add that it was a school -- significantly a boarding school --  to educate the children of Christian missionaries while their parents were serving God in the far-flung reaches of China.  Through the years of this story,  most of us students were separated from our parents by warring armies and hundreds of miles.  As students in this school, my sister, Kathleen;  my brothers, Jamie and Johnny; and I did not see our parents for 5 1/2 years.  Thanks to American heroes, we were reunited, September 7, 1945.

 

I write this as a tribute to  our missionary teachers whose extraordinary courage preserved our childhood in the midst of a bloody war.

 

Mary Taylor Previte

 

From: "Mitch Krayton" <mitch@digital-res.com>

To: <weihsien@topica.com>

Sent: Tuesday, December 07, 2010 7:37 PM

Subject: Re: What happened to YOU after Pearl Harbor?

 

Ø      Thank you Mary. I have forwarded this to people I know and who do know
> have knowledge of Chinese camps. Great writing and a perspective that
> should get wider understanding.
>
> Mitch Krayton

 

From: R. E. Stannard Jr.

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, December 07, 2010 7:26 PM

Subject: Re: Lope Sarreal

 

I'm only a "lurker" on the Weihsien listserv (we were Shanghai internees at Chapei), but note with interest your revisit to childhood haunts in Tsingtao. My family spent the summer of 1940, when I was not quite nine, in a beachfront house on Iltis Hook. 

 

At the time our East China town of Shaoxing was still in "free China," so we (my mother and we three youngest siblings) had to run the Japanese coastal blockade to get to Shanghai, collect a brother and sister from Shanghai American School, and continue north by coastal steamer. My physician father and oldest sister remained in Shaoxing.

 

My memories of that summer are warm but fragmented and dim. They include spending a lot of time down near the hook and its famous "blowhole"   with a small summer gang of boys whose names and faces have long since faded ... daring leaps down from a rock ledge onto a safely sandy slope .... exploring the rocky hook (I elected myself the gang's "chief explorer") ...  stand-off encounters with a couple of summer girls (Marguerite Nelson?) ... lone pony rides around the nearby woods ... a memorable sunburn and spectacular blisters after spending my entire first day on the beach ....  

Would you be of an age to have run with that little summer gang? I've been back to
China a couple of times, but never to Tsingtao.

 

   Ted Stannard

 

From: "claude giguere" <cgiguere@chezashton.ca>

To: <weihsien@topica.com>

Sent: Wednesday, December 08, 2010 6:28 PM

Subject: father raymond de jaegher

 

Hello everyone.

My name is Claude, a french Canadian from
Quebec, Canada and I am a new
recruit in your list.  I found your list by searching about Father
Jaegher.  A couple of years ago I found a chinese silk painting in a
Bazar, a kind of "flea market" where used objects are found and resold..
 at the bottom of the painting, there is an inscription in french saying
that it is a gift to Cardinal Paul Émile Léger from Father de Jaegher
the painting is a Our Lady of China with child and 2 doves in clouds.
the painting is also callighraphed on both vertical sides. i discovered
that the calligraphy was from Father Jaegher because i was able to
compare it with a dedicace he made in 76 in one of his book "the ennemy
within" that i had a super luck to found on ebay. you never know... I
also was able to compare the his chop or seal and it matches.

what i am searching now is any information about the fact that if he was
or was not able to paint that painting. i never found any drawing or
painting that he could have made to compare.

my theory is that he met a christian chinese painter that gave him the
painting as a gift to thank him for something he did and he gave it back
to cardinal léger.

by the way, cardinal léger hometown is the same as mine, thats the
probable link here with my finding.

also, i can not find any recolection of a meeting between father jaegher
and cardinal léger.

so, if by any change someone has any possible interesting info on my
subject, he can send it, it will be super appreciated.

if someone has the ability to read chinese, espacially hand written
style, i can send some pictures of the painting and the dedicace of the
book.

thanks everyone

 

From: Jonathan Henshaw

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Thursday, December 09, 2010 12:28 AM

Subject: Florence Knight

 

Hello Weihsieners,

A recent article appeared online about Florence Knight, an internee at Weihsien. I am including the text of the article below, but there are two photos of Ms Knight, one in
Tianjin, that are available on the website the story was published with (http://www.theprow.org.nz/florence-knight/). Does anyone remember Florence?

With thanks,
Jonathan

****

True Nelsonian

Florence Knight died in Nelson in 1973. In this affectionate tribute her great nephew Robin Knight, an international journalist for more than 30 years, describes her life.

In Marsden Valley cemetery there is a plain headstone, one of a number laid out in parallel lines in the ground on a grassy hillside flanked by trees overlooking countryside in the distance. A few words are carved on the marble grey slab: “In Memory Of Florence Minnie Knight, Died 20th January 1973. Aged 90 years.”

What a remarkable life is concealed by these unremarkable words! Florence was actually 91 when she died and in the previous nine decades she had travelled the world, experienced natural disasters and man-made hells, witnessed the best and worst of humanity, supported others and always paid her own way. She never married, worked for 60 years, spoke four languages, was feisty and resilient and never stopped thinking that the glass was half full. She deserves to be remembered.

Florence was born in 1881 in Acton, west London, the eldest of nine children. Her father, Thomas Crosby Knight, was a successful barrister’s clerk in a leading London chambers. In 1899, at the age of 54, he drowned in a ferry accident on the river Thames. Florence was 18 at the time and her life changed for ever.

Educated privately at a large girls’ school in Acton she had learned “excellent French” (her words) and now resolved to stand on her own two feet – quite a decision for a young woman to take in the early 1900s. By 1903 she was a governess employed by “families of good standing,” first in Buckinghamshire and later in Yorkshire. Then, in 1911, she branched out, taking a similar job in Paris. “At the end of  two years, smartly dressed with the deportment and witty conversation, I hope, of a Frenchwoman, and speaking the language fluently and grammatically,  I was sometimes taken for a Parisienne,” she informed her great niece years later. “This was indeed a high compliment.”

 Paris proved to be the start of an adventure that would take her all over the world. Her next stop may have been Canada but by 1915 she was living in Japan. Later that year she returned to England and saw her mother Mary Ann for the last time; she was fatally injured by a b