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From: 乐道院·潍县集中营博物馆 - Mr. Neal Wu,

Mr. Neal Wu is responsible for external liaison. He is a staff member of the museum office. His Chinese name is Wu Zongjun. Wu is his family name and Neal is his English name.

Sent: Monday, October 26, 2020 9:17 AM
To: weihsien@proximus.be
Subject: About Pearl S. Buck

Dear Mr. Leopold Pander,

Do you know a memoir written by Mary Taylor Previte is called A Song Of Salvation.
Is there a name mentioned in the book? Pearl S. Buck.
Did Pearl S. Buck live in the Courtyard in her childhood? Is there any basis?
Is there anything related in A Song Of Salvation?

Thank you for your help.
From,
Neal Wu

乐道院·潍县集中营博物馆
ldybgs@163.com




From : Leoplod PANDER
To : '乐道院·潍县集中营博物馆', weihsien@proximus.be Cc : leopoldpander@yahoo.com
Mon, 26 Oct at 14:37
RE: About Pearl S. Buck

Dear Mr. Neal Wu,

In this article about Eric Liddell:
https://medium.com/@penguinpress/even-on-the-edge-of-death-the-champion-ran-his-last-race-86d07f479994

… you can read that Pearl S. Buck ― who wrote a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel ― was born in Weihsien and that Henry Luce, founder of the TIME magazine ― lived within the compound as a boy.


Weihsien housed over 2,100 internees during a period of two and a half years. At its terrible zenith, between 1,600 and 1,800were shut into it at once. The place already had a past. It had previously been an American Presbyterian Mission. Born there was the Nobel laureate Pearl S Buck, who wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Good Earth, which made China less mysterious to the millions who read it in the 1930s. Henry Luce, founder of Time and father of its subsequent empire, lived within the compound as a boy.

I hope that somebody will be able to tell you more about them …

Best regards,
Leopold





From: Kim Smith
To: Leoplod PANDER
Cc: 乐道院·潍县集中营博物馆, leopoldpander@yahoo.com
Mon, 26 Oct at 15:36
Re: About Pearl S. Buck

This is interesting, but I think inaccurate. Pearl Buck, according to all bios I can find, was born in Hillsboro, West Virginia. [click on the bliking face]

When very young, the missionary family went to China living in several places but I see no reference to Wehsien. We were good family friends with Buck as later in life she lived in Bucks County PA a few miles from us and I visited her with my family and played with her many adopted children. In fact she had encouraged Dad and Mom to move from NYC to Bucks County. Dad and Mom were very involved in one of Pearl Buck's organizations, Welcome House, which placed mixed race children born from the Korean Conflict. James Michener and Oscar Hammerstein, other denizens of Bucks County, were also closely associated with this organization.

Pearl Buck's estate in Bucks County is a destination and very nostalgic for me to visit. One of Dad's drawings is on the wall.

Dad was in the OSS largely due to Pearl S. Buck.

He had done quite a bit of illustration for her children's books about children in China and his ability to reflect the flavor of China without ever having been out of the US made him a candidate for the job of Morale Operations for the OSS in China. Ms. Buck recommended Dad for service in China and thus he was recruited. I may have supplied some photos of illustrations he did for her in the photos I gave to Leopold. For those of you who don't know, Dad was sent east from Kunming to Weihsien somewhat after the original liberation, to record in drawing and photo and essay the transformation. The article he wrote is also available through the Weihsien site.

Best to all
Kim Smith





From : Leopold Pander
To: Kim Smith
Date : 27/10/2020 a.m.
Re: About Pearl S. Buck

Dear Kim,

Extraordinary !

I too was most certain that Pearl Buck and Henry Luce were born in Weihsien as affirmed in many of the books written about the subject:

I made a scan of the Weihsien-Paintings' Website and found that:

In Gordon Helsby's book:
http://www.weihsien-paintings.org/GordonHelsby/Helsby(WEB).pdf

[excerpt]
Within the walls of the six-acre enclosure were a Bible school, hospital, bakery, long rows of single-story dormitories, and western-style homes for American missionary doctors and teachers. In fact, two notable personalities, novelist Pearl Buck and Henry Luce, founder of Time and Life magazines, had both been born there.

In David Michell's book:
http://www.weihsien-paintings.org/books/aBoysWar/ABoysWar(LaTotale)-pages.pdf

[excerpt]
Weihsien had seen happier days. In the early years of the twentieth century, the American Presbyterian Mission had established a school, seminary, and hospital there, with a number of large, American-style homes for missionary doctors and teachers. In fact, two Americans, later to become famous, were born in Weihsien — Pearl Buck, the popular writer, and Henry Luce, the cofounder of TIME magazine. When the "Courtyard of the Happy Way" was under the Presbyterians' control, it was a very pleasant and well-planned campus.

In Norman Cliff's book:
http://www.weihsien-paintings.org/NormanCliff/Books/Courtyard/eDocPrintPro-BOOK-Courtyard-01-WEB-(pages).pdf

[excerpt]
In its very earliest days two now well-known American personalities had been born here ― Henry Luce, editor of Time and Life, and Pearl Buck, popular authoress of novels based on Chinese life and customs.

Mary Previte affirms in the "Inquirer"
http://weihsien-paintings.org/Mprevite/inquirer/MPrevite.htm

[excerpt]
THE WEIHSIEN CONCENTRATION camp had once been a well-equipped Presbyterian mission compound, complete with a school of four or five large buildings, a hospital, a church, three kitchens, a bakery and rows of endless rooms for resident students. Many years before, novelist Pearl Buck had been born there, and so had Time and Life publisher Henry Luce.

Also, Langdon Gilkey writes in his book: "Shantung Compound":

[excerpt]
We were told that, years before, Henry Luce had been born there.

He makes no mention of Pearl Buck !

... and, finally, in Joyce Bradbury's book: "Forgiven but not Forgotten" the writer mentions the correct information but - nobody seems to have noticed !
http://weihsien-paintings.org/books/ForgivenForgotten/Book/ForgivenNotForgotten(WEB).pdf

[excerpt]
It was quickly claimed soon after our arrival that the US novelist Pearl Buck (The Good Earth, interalia) and US publisher Henry Luce (Time, Life, Fortune) were born in the Wei-Hsien training centre. Buck (nee Sydenstricker) was born 1892 in West Virginia USA and Luce was born 1892 in Tengchow, Shantung province. Both sets of parents were American missionaries who served in China. Buck's first husband, John Buck, who she divorced in 1934, was also a missionary in China. Consequently it is possible the parents of Buck, Luce, or Buck's first husband may have used the Wei-Hsien facility. The assertions that Buck (1892-1973) and Luce (1892-1967) were born there are not correct.

I also made a search on Wikipedia which - has the reputation of publishing "reliable" information - ... there is no mention of either of the two being born in Weihsien.

And so goes the legend !!!
bien amicalement,
Leopold





From: Kim Smith
Sent: Tuesday, October 27, 2020 2:18 PM
To: Leoplod PANDER
Cc: ldybgs@163.com
Subject: Re: Re: About Pearl S. Buck

For those interested, this, as far as I know, is the most recent comprehensive biography of Pearl Buck:

Pearl Buck in China: "Journey to The Good Earth"

I did know Henry Luce was born there.

Bien amicalement, aussi, a tous et toutes.
Kim





From: Kim Smith
Sent: Wednesday, October 28, 2020 2:28 PM
To: Leoplod PANDER
Cc: 乐道院·潍县集中营博物馆
Subject: Re: Re: About Pearl S. Buck

Well, I guess I was wrong about Henry Luce...he wasn't born at Weihsien either!
I guess he was born in Penglai. -

Best,
Kim





From: 乐道院·潍县集中营博物馆 - Neal Wu,
To: Kim Smith,

Dear Kim Smith,

Hello!
I'm Neal Wu. I'm a staff member of the Courtyard of the Happy Way & Weihsien Concentration Camp Museum in Weifang, Shandong Province, China. At present, I am in charge of communicating with Mr. Leopold Pander.

With regard to the fact that Ms. Buck once lived in the Courtyard of the Happy Way, the Museum is now in dispute, hoping to find evidence to support this historical statement.

Are Pearl Buck’s family members still alive? Can some evidence be provided? For example, books, letters, etc.

In addition, I learned about your father, Mr. William A. Smith, through the weihsien painting website. He is a very great artist. Many pictures of his paintings are on the website.

Is the original of your father's paintings in your hands? There are some paintings about Weihsien Concentration Camp. Because the museum is now collecting all the historical relics of the camp.

Best wishes.
From,
Neal Wu

乐道院·潍县集中营博物馆
ldybgs@163.com


From : Kim Smith
To : 乐道院·潍县集中营博物馆
CC : Leopold Pander , Kathlin Smith , Kathlin Smith , Kathlin Smith
Date : 29/10/2020 15:17
Sujet : Re: Re: About Pearl S. Buck

Dear Mr. Wu,

Thank you for writing to me!

Though I knew Pearl Buck my entire young life when she and her husband, Richard Walsh, lived in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, I do not know very much about  her time in China, though I do know she was not born there.  Her missionary parents had come back to the US because some of Pearl's older siblings had died of tropical disease.  I have  a copy of the book Pearl Buck in China by Hilary Spurling, the last comprehensive biography, makes no mention of Weifang or Weihsien.  I cannot find any mention of time spent at Weihsien or Weifang on any other biographical source for her. 

I cannot say if Ms. Buck has any living relatives at this point.  She had one mentally disabled child of her own and adopted several children.  Though I played with them at the annual celebration she held at her estate, I did not see them otherwise. Writing to Hilary Spurling may be a good route to find out more about surviving relatives, or writing to the the following may give you some insight:

https://pearlsbuck.org/
https://pearlsbuck.org/pearlsbuckhouse/

The Weihsien paintings are in my hands, but as a part of a larger exhibition of work of his time in China during WWII.  If sometime in the future I can get high-quality reproductions of them for the museum, I shall do so, as my family would love to have him represented in the museum.  Right now we are in a COVID Shelter In Place and I do not see that happening for several months minimum.  The pictures are also in storage.  I do not have any other memorabilia from Dad's time in Weihsien, but the article he wrote and illustrated for "Asia and the Americas" (a periodical that was published by Pearl Buck's second husband) is available on the weihsien-paintings site, as well as the photos Dad took at Weihsien.  There are many photos of internees departing the camp, in the order of need for medical help and other reasons.  Leopold knows far more about this than I do.

I'm sorry I can't give you more concrete help.  If I find out more, I will let you know.  Someday I hope to visit China and visit both Weifang and Kunming.  I've copied my sister to this message as we try to keep each other informed as to inquiries to our family history.

Best to you,
Kim Smith



On Wed, Oct 28, 2020 at 7:20 PM 乐道院·潍县集中营博物馆 wrote:





From: Kim Smith
Sent: Friday, October 30, 2020 3:14 PM
To: Leoplod PANDER ; 乐道院·潍县集中营博物馆 ; leopoldpander@yahoo.com
Subject: Re: FW: About Pearl S. Buck

This will be of interest to Mr. Wu and possibly others in the group:

http://www.canadiandragonfly.net/new-pearl-buck-museum-in-zhenjiang/

This is the notable place where the Sydenstricker family lived. Mr Wu may be able to get some information he is seeking from this museum.

Best to all,
Kim Smith