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From: Leoplod PANDER
Sent: Tuesday, December 29, 2020 3:20 PM
To: '張勤瑩' <99595@mail.wzu.edu.tw>; weihsien@proximus.be
Subject: RE: Research interests on Weihsien Paintings

Dear Sylvia,

Many thanks for your message that I shall forward to our Weihsien Chat Group, hoping that you receive a backup message from any ex-Chefoo student or missionary child (now fully grown up) who might wish to give you more details and/or info about the subject.

As for the Weihsien paintings' website that has continuously amplified for now twenty years, you can dig out interesting information from The Topica and Yahoo messages that I have recently updated at this URL:

Also, in the "Peoples\Students\etc." chapters, you must read Christina Spink's dissertation that is based on WWII concentration camps in China ― generally ― and Chefoo more particularly after having interviewed several ex-Chefoo girl students.

In the "BOOKS" chapter, there is much to read. Most of the books written by ex-prisoners are entirely duplicated for the website with a few exceptions for which I have not received copyright permission. Books written by individuals of all horizons.

The "keystone" (in French, we would write: "La clef de voûte" … ) of the website was Mrs. Mary Previte née Taylor. Read her chapter.

Norman Cliff's Chapter is a big one. It is a copy paste of all his scrapbooks he loaned to me for a certain time. His chapter makes the Weihsien paintings' website historically credible thanks to the presence of many copy paste of declassified confidential reports written during WWII by important people.

Ron Bridge's important work done by classifying various listings of all the civilian prisoners interned during the war in China by the Japs.

All the other chapters of the Weihsien paintings' website have their importance since all the documents, paintings, photos, etc. have been virtually sent to me to be shown in one single layout that has become the present website of now ― more or less 3000 pages.

Every person had the liberty of expressing his or her vision of what the camp was like between 1942 and 1945 and what they remembered of it so many years later. Keep in mind that we were children, teenagers and babies … Many of the grownups are now ― no longer amongst us. The youngest ones of us are — now — at least over 75 years old.

- You ask me why I bothered to do all this.
Well, as I previously explained, it is just "un concours de circonstances" (in French) ― an infinite succession of small opportunities and a lot of curiosity as to the new website techniques of the moment. Remember that we were in the year 2000 when I started all this.

A long story.
In 1999, I was precociously retired and had a lot of time to spare. Bought a computer. Explored the Internet and found the Weihsien chat group on Topica.com. Lurked for a few months and finally joined the group. As I was a baby in 1943 and as my parents hardly ever talked about those years behind electrified barbed wires in a prison camp ― I had all to learn.

An opportunity arose when I randomly met Emmanuel Hanquet at an "Old China Hands" meeting organised by our national TV Company. He was a 90-year-old RC priest at the time and ― later on we met again and he told me a lot about the camp and its organisation. I borrowed his book: "Mémoires".

Another opportunity arose when I scheduled to share a few painting reproductions with the Topica Group. Not enough memory space available. So, I created a blog (as we call it nowadays). Not knowing how to do it, I simply asked the young generation and solved the problem.

From thereon, most of the members of the Topica Group wanted to share what they had too. So, I received "mountains" of painting reproductions, documents, photos, etc. ― from all over the world ― virtually, of course. Every donator has his own chapter on the website as it is now. The actual presentation of the Weihsien paintings website is the third edition. I restarted the whole thing three times already. Keeps me busy!

Why am I doing this?
Frankly, I don’t know. I don’t get a dime, not even a nickel out of it. The website is free access and nonprofit ― that was the primary condition of the whole enterprise.

This website is now historically credible as I have written above. So ― as long as you have access to it, it is our pleasure that you use it to learn, as I did, of what it was like, for a Westener (Enemy Nationals as the Japs called us), to be in China between 1943 and 1945 in a Concentration Camp guarded by Japanese troops behind tall brick walls surmounted by electrified barbed wires, searchlights and machine guns.

Best regards,

From: 張勤瑩 <99595@mail.wzu.edu.tw>
Sent: Monday, December 28, 2020 12:27 PM
To: pander.nl@skynet.be
Subject: Research interests on Weihsien Paintings

Dear Mr. Pander (If I may),

Sorry for bothering you, this is Sylvia, C.Y. Chang, assistant professor, Wenzao Ursuline University of Language in Taiwan.

My research works focused on China Inland Mission and missionary children for some of the years. In recent years, I felt interested with the missionary children and their wartime experiences in China, mainly related to their daily life in Weihsien internment Camp. Many thanks for organizing this website: Weihsien Paintings. This is really a great help for researchers to know better about the surroundings about Weishien Camp.

Few years ago, Peter Bazire suggested to contact you, and this was the first time I found this useful website. After that, I also expected to pay more attention on this website for doing some research works.

Recently, I carried on a research project focused on the influence on media and collective memory, especially for those who experienced Weihsien Internment Camp during WW2. In this semester, my student assistants and I nearly have intensive meeting in every week to focus on Weihsien Paintings.

I wonder would it be possible for me to bothering you some time for asking the questions, which might relate to the main concern you start to create with this website, and the expectations you had with this website.

I knew you were one of the ex- internee during wartime. I agree that you described children were innocent victims in the conflicts of wartime situations. I wonder what’s your motivation to create this website and carried on this works for 20 years?

I guess these questions may not new or fresh for you, but your responses could be very important to me. Hope this email could be the start for making contact with you.

Wish you and your family have nice holidays in the coming New Year !
Best Wishes,

From: 乐道院·潍县集中营博物馆
Sent: Friday, December 25, 2020 7:10 AM
To: 潍县绘画
Subject: Re: Merry X'Mas & Happy New Year

Dear friends,

Merry Christmas and happy new year.

2020 is an unforgettable and difficult year. In this year, people all over the world have experienced many difficulties. Fortunately, we supported each other and spent the year together.
I wish you all a new year of 2021.
I hope you and your family can be happy.

The Courtyard Of The Happy Way & Weihsien Concentration Camp Museum

From: Mark Butcher
Sent: Friday, December 25, 2020 5:39 AM
To: Leoplod PANDER
Subject: Re: Merry X'Mas & Happy New Year

Thanks Leopald

Thanks so much for the work you do with the Weihsien website -- it is really remarkable

Mark Butcher
Salmon Arm, BC

From: Terri Stewart
Sent: Thursday, December 24, 2020 7:44 PM
To: weihsien@proximus.be
Subject: Re: Merry X'Mas & Happy New Year

Thank you Leopold! Wishing you a Happier New Year than what 2020 has been, and with less website issues too! Thanks for all your work and keeping this site going for the benefit of those who were in the camps and the descendants of those no longer with us but want to keep their stories alive.

Terri Stewart

From: Helen Leavey
Sent: Thursday, December 24, 2020 2:54 PM
To: Leoplod PANDER
Subject: Re: Merry X'Mas & Happy New Year

Merry Christmas! Xxxx

From: Leoplod PANDER
Sent: Thursday, December 24, 2020 10:11 AM
To: 'weihsien@proximus.be'
Subject: Merry X'Mas & Happy New Year

Dear Weihsien Folks,

The memorable year — 2020 will soon be behind us.
Let us hope that the new coming year will rid us of the “virus” to enable us to meet again in a normal way.

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.

Take care — keep safe — wear your masks — keep your distances …

Nicky's artistic arrangement ...


From: Louisa Sorkness
Sent: Tuesday, December 15, 2020 9:10 PM
To: Leopold PANDER ; Helen Leavey ; Molly & Leslie Soltay ; Angela
Cc: Rita Lewi
Subject: Re: Chinese American Museum Washington DC


I wanted to be sure to send the final edited recording of our Weihsien Prison Camp conference to you all. Please share with friends and family and know how grateful we are for each of your participation in our conference. I hope you were able to enjoy the discussion as much as I did.

Weihsien Prison Camp Conference link:
"Forgotten Stories of Le Dao Yuan" Discussion - YouTube

All my best wishes for your health and happiness over the holiday season and for the New Year.

Warm regards,
Louisa Sorkness

From: Audrey Horton
Sent: Saturday, December 12, 2020 8:40 PM
To: Leoplod PANDER
Subject: Re: new

Thank you so much for your monumental task you did for all of us.

Audrey Nordmo Horton

On Sat, Dec 12, 2020 at 5:21 AM Leoplod PANDER wrote:

Hi !

All our messages from Topica, Yahoo and the most recent ones too, are now updated in one single file …
Go To:
and scroll downwards to reach the oldest messages …

Enjoy! (hundreds of pages !!! about Weihsien)

Take care ― keep safe
Best regards,

From: Leopold PANDER
Sent: Friday, December 11, 2020 2:24 PM
To: 'Louisa Sorkness' ; 'Helen Leavey' ; 'Molly & Leslie Soltay' ; 'Angela'
Cc: 'Rita Lewi' ; pierre.ley@pandora.be
Subject: RE: Chinese American Museum Washington DC

Dear Louisa and “the team” 😊

Many thanks for your kind message.
Thanks for letting me participate to your webinar and forgive me for including so many French words in my text ! I just couldn’t remember the right words. To speak in a microphone to a large public is a gift that I do not possess ― apparently!

I was also glad to have “virtually” met again with Angela and Molly and also to meet (virtually) for the first time Helen Leavy, so often mentioned by Mary in the past years.

Take care, keep safe, wear your masks !

Bien amicalement,

From: Louisa Sorkness
Sent: Thursday, December 10, 2020 9:44 PM
To: Leopold PANDER ; Helen Leavey ; Molly & Leslie Soltay ; Angela
Cc: Rita Lewi
Subject: Chinese American Museum Washington DC

Thank You!!!

Hi all. Great success this afternoon! I want to thank you all once again for making the time for our conference today. Each of your contributions, stories and shared memories were so special and it was a pleasure meeting you all through the process.

As I mentioned, we did record the full webinar so once we have that situated, I will email it to each of you for you to share as you please.

Thank you all again. You made me look good up there and I hope you all enjoyed the event as much as we all did at the Chinese American Museum DC

Warm regards,
Louisa Sorkness
& the Chinese American Museum DC Team

From: Edmund Pearson
Sent: Thursday, December 10, 2020 8:37 PM
To: Chinese American Museum DC ; leopold ; Angela
Subject: Re: Event Link - Forgotten Stories from Le Dao Yuan

You guys were great. Ted Pearson

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

From: Chinese American Museum DC
Date: December 10, 2020 at 9:09 AM
If you're having trouble viewing this email, you may see it online


We look forward to seeing you today at the " Forgotten Stories from Le Dao Yuan: Weihsien Prison Camp, Shandong, China during WWII" - Thursday, Dec. 10th at 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm ET (10 am PT), you can enter the webinar room as early as 12:45 pm ET. If you any questions during the event please use the online chat feature.

To join the webinar at showtime, Thursday at 1:00 pm ET, please click here:
See you then,

Chinese American Museum Foundation

1218 16th St. NW
Washington, DC 20036 https://www.chineseamericanmuseum.org

From: Carinne Cunningham
Sent: Saturday, December 5, 2020 5:44 PM
To: ldybgs@163.com
Cc: Leopold_Pander
Subject: Re: New Questions

Dear Mr Wu,

Hello, this is Carinne Binda Cunningham, daughter of Solange Jacqueline Binda MacLean (her maiden name is de Saint Hubert).

Yes, Mme Jacqueline de Saint Hubert is very much still alive.

Please forgive my long delay in responding back to you. She lost her husband on Veteran's Day. They first met in Tientsin (now Tianjin), after the Weihsien Camp's liberation in 1945.

Understandably, the last months have been difficult.

My mother was interned in the Weihsien Camp with her parents, George and Simone de Saint Hubert along with her younger brother, Christian, all Belgian nationals. She remembers they were among the earliest to be interned. She has very clear memories of the Japanese confiscating their Tienstin home, the arm bands, her parents scrambling to leave possessions with Russian and Chinese friends, her needing to leave her beloved dog behind and walking through the streets of Tientsin to the train station with the few possessions they could carry to a frightening and unknown future. She recalls how the local Chinese residents were cheering for them and wishing them good fortune.

Her parents first moved to China in 1920, where her father was employed as an engineer in developing the railroads. Later he worked with the Credit Froncier de l'Extreme Orient. Both my mother and her brother were born in China. My mother, known as Jacqueline to family and European friends, has used her name Solange since moving to America in 1948. I shall refer to my mother as Jacqueline throughout the rest of this email.

Jacqueline was born in Chenchow in Honan province in 1922. At the time, their home was so remote that she was delivered by a horse veterinarian. Her family later moved to Shanghai, then Tientsin, where her brother was born, then Beijing and back to Tientsin. Jacqueline's wonderful memories from these years include summers in Peitaho and Shanhaiguan, picnics at the Great Wall, and many friendships with young women from local Chinese families as well as other expatriots. She grew up learning five languages (Mandarin being her first, with her Amah). Beginning at a young age she designed most of her clothes and selected fine silks that were then hand sewn by one of the Chinese domestic workers living in their home. While Jacqueinle was gifted in painting (some of the paintings on the Weihsien website are hers) and seriously trained in voice, it was dance where she exceIled. In Tientsin, she studied with the famous White Russian teacher, Mme Voitenco. Several other Camp internees also studied with Mme Voitenco including the Lambert and Marshall children.

These recollections are in stark contrast to the Camp years, which were a difficult, dark chapter. Her parents wanted to provide for her as best they could and she wanted to provide for them. She has an incredible story about the time she climbed through a window where the Japanese soldiers resided and stole a chair for her father. An act of courage and defiance for a young woman wanting to comfort her parents. Jacqueline has another story of a very close Italian friend who entered the Camp with her infant son months later. The Italians occupied a separate area of the Camp that was out-of-bounds for the other internees to enter. Jacqueline and her friend would communicate to each other through singing a special musical note. One day Jacqueline snuck into the Italian Compound to visit her friend when the Japanese realized someone was missing at the twice daily roll calls. The Japanese began to search every room of the Italian Compound. Quickly, Jacqueline hid behind logs under her friend's bed as her friend pinched her infant so that his crying would distract the guards inspecting the room. Meanwhile she sang a lullaby in French which the guards could not understand, urging Jacqueline to keep quiet and reassuring her all would be well. Fortunately, Jacqueline was not caught and safely returned to her Compound hours later. Jacqueline also remembers the rare festive occasions of Camp life such as being part of the Dramatic group that would put on variety shows. For those evenings of entertainment, she often designed and made the posters for the various performing groups.

After liberation from the Camp, Jacqueline and her parents returned to Tientsin where her father continued to work for the Credit Froncier. In those months right after liberation, Jacqueline met both her first husband, Jeffrey Binda, a USMC Lieutenant, and also Captain William MacLean, USMC, whom she would eventually marry in 1966.

Jacqueline retained her Belgian citizenship though she never lived in Belgium for any extended time. She spent her first 24 years in China and the last 74 years in America, living in Northern Virginia for most of that period. She started her first ballet school in 1949. Shortly after she established the Ballet Academy of Northern Virginia which flourished for over 6 decades. Even now, she continues to teach a weekly zoom ballet class. Her indelible influence on the lives of generations of young girls is remarkable and continues to this day. She has thousands of former ballet students who currently range in age from 75 to 18 who visit, write, and telephone her. To all of them she is still fondly referred to as "Madame Binda". Her flair for fashion that she acquired as a young girl growing up in Shanghai and Tientsin served her well as she has designed and sewn many thousands of costumes for her young dance students over the years.

Jacqueline is a most extraordinary, charismatic and elegant 98 year old woman that was shaped by her parents' generation, her experiences growing up in China and her years in the Camp. She has tremendous inner strength and resilience, incomparable vitality and joie de vivre, resourcefulness and an ability to make extraordinary things from minimal materials.

Jacqueline still has personal family heirlooms from her 24 years living in China, including vases, dishes, linens, wood carvings, wood screens, some furnishings, curios, clothing including silk embroidered robes, paintings, personal family photos dating before before the Camp, postcards of China dating between 1920-1040, a few books, and reviews of Mme Voitenco's performances (in Russian and English).

She doesn't have artifacts from the Camp years except some of her drawings, which are on the Weihsien website already, and she remembers somewhere she had a section of one of the parachutes from the Americans who liberated the Camp. She never returned to the Camp.

I believe you have already seen the video we recently made in August of Jacqueline's recollections of the Camp in honor of the 75th anniversary of liberation and the opening of the new museum in the old Camp Hospital. Leopold Pander graciously put it up on the Weihsien website for us.

For your possible interest, in 2007, my husband and I and our two children visited the Camp. We were in China as the Artistic Directors of the Sacramento Ballet, which was engaged to perform in both Shanghai and Beijing. After our tour, we were graciously welcomed to Weihsien by Sui Shude and Miss Lucy of the Weifang People's Government and given a wonderful reception, personal tour of the Camp and invited to several banquets in my mother's honor.

Incidentally, my husband and I were also in China in June of 1980 as dancers with the Boston Ballet on their historic tour as the first American ballet company invited to perform in China since 1949. Our opening performance in Beijing was my husband's production of Cinderella.

It was aired on Chinese television to 30 million viewers, the largest audience in ballet history at the time.

Best Regards,
Carinne Binda Cunningham

From: Angela
Sent: Friday, December 4, 2020 8:45 AM
To: Leopold_Pander
Subject: Fw: Wang Cheng-Han*** wonderful to see photos of Eddie

Hi Leopold,

Truly Eddie looks so well for his age - glad Neal Wu has provided us with the details of his visit to Eddie Wang

cheers angela

From: 乐道院·潍县集中营博物馆
Sent: Friday, December 4, 2020 3:04 AM
To: 潍县绘画
Subject: Re: Wang Cheng-Han

Dear Mr. Leopold Pander,

There are many things about the museum recently, so I didn't send you a message in time.
Recently, we are applying for the international city of peace and have done a lot of work.
I have sent you the relevant documents of Mr. Wang Chenghan. Please have a look.

Best wishes.
Neal Wu

On November 15, a delegation of eight people, including Tian Suying, director of Weifang Municipal Bureau of culture and tourism, Ge Xiaodong, Deputy Secretary General of Weifang, and Ji Shuchun, director of Weifang Museum, arrived in Guiyang, Guizhou Province, and met with Wang Chenghan, a member of the "duck team" of Weihsien concentration camp. Wang Chenghan and his son warmly received the delegation.

Although Mr. Wang Chenghan is 96 years old this year. However, he was not blind and deaf. He had a three hour oral historical interview with curator Ji Shuchun, telling about his experience after he participated in the liberation operation of Weihsien concentration camp and his successful liberation of Weihsien concentration camp.

Wang Chenghan listened to the work report of The Courtyard of the Happy Way&Weihisen Concentration Camp Museum, highly praised the recent work of our museum, and gave the visiting group a piece of historical articles (parachute rope) and 240 Pages of text materials, including 17 letters of thanks from survivors, translation of thank you letters, translation directory 1, translation directory 2, translation directory 3, and U disk directory And electronic materials two U-disk content, and personally write two pieces of blessing to ledaoyuan · Weixian concentration camp Museum.

On the evening of November 15, the delegation held a work summary meeting to sum up the visit to Chengdu and Guiyang. It was found that the interview with Wang Chenghan was not comprehensive. In the morning of 16, Weifang TV station Yu Tao, Sun Li and Wu zongjun of ledaoyuan Weixian concentration camp Museum visited Wang Chenghan again to collect oral history.

On the morning of November 16, Yu Tao, Sun Li and Wu zongjun went to Wang Chenghan's home for a second interview with Wang Chenghan. During the conversation, they filmed, recorded and collected 7 books.


From: Leoplod PANDER
Sent: Wednesday, December 2, 2020 9:15 AM

To: ldybgs@163.com; weihsien@proximus.be
Subject: FW: Wang Cheng-Han

Dear Mr. Wu,

Your last message to us is now two weeks old !
How was your interview with Eddy Wang?
Have you met him?
Is he in good health?
Are you now back in Weifang?
In Belgium, I am still updating all the old Yahoo-messages … and also the old Topica messages … not quite finished yet but I will let you know.

Best regards,