Date of letter:March 15, 1993
Address of author:Shenze County, Shijiazhuang City, Hebei Province
Date of event:1941
Location of event:Shenze County, Shijiazhuang City, Hebei Province
Name of author:An Qijia
Name(s) of victim(s):An Qijia
Type of atrocity:Slave laborers (SL)
Other details:In 1941, An Qijia was caught by Japanese invaders due to his participation in revolution. He was tortured and sent to work as slave laborers to dig coal with other over 200 people. He requested Japan to compensate 6 million yuan.
I am a victim who was captured and sent to Japan in 1942.
My name is An Qijia, from Nanguan Village, Shenze County, Hebei Province, and now 84 years old.
I joined in the revolution in 1941, being a correspondent for the county government, and was transferred to work at enemy department later. I lived in Xiaoliyuan Village at that time. I was unfortunately arrested to Nangaodeng (the Japanese headquarter) when executing a task in the county. I had been interrogated for 3 times successively with tortures by pressure stick and pouring icy water, but I did not say anything. I had no idea how many people were killed at that time.
On the third day, I was escorted to Xinji Japanese military police corps and questioned once a day, being beat to half dead. They asked me to kneel on iron chains, burnt me with burning iron and let me sit on the ‘tiger bench’ (torture-rack). After all the tortures, I was sent to Shijiazhuang laborer reformatory. Half a month later, we, more than 200 people were inspected by the Japanese doctors and were then sent to Tanggu by train, where we got on a ship there. It took us four days and four nights to arrive at the seaport of Fukuoka and Shimonoseki , Japan. I got disinfected the day when we arrived. Then we were taken to Fukuoka Central Coal Mine to be laborers (dig coal) and less than 3 months later, we were taken to Takao Coal Mine to dig coal.
We were not treated as human at all. We did not have enough food to eat and enough clothes to wear all day long, living a life worse than cattle and horse. We lived in straw sheds, ate steamed corn-bread and drank water with bean dregs: two meals each day and 2 pieces of bread each meal. Sometimes we were so hungry that we ate bamboo and grass to survive. We had to wear one pair of underpants, a shirt with half sleeves and a pair of rubber socks (no shoes) for two years. Besides a small black quilt of five feet long, we had nothing else.
At last, I request Japan to compensate for all the losses of our victims, RMB 6 million yuan each person. Please pass my request to the Japanese embassy.
May everything go well with your work!
Victim: An Qijia
March 15th, 1993