December 12, 2018

s0137

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Sequence number:s0137
Date of Letter:1993-02-26
Address of Author:Lanzhou City, Gansu Province
Date of Event:1943-03
Location of Event:Dingxing County, Baoding City, Hebei Province
Name of Author:Bao Fuchen
Name(s) of victim(s):Bao Fuchen
Type of atrocity:Slave Laborers (SL)
Other Details:In March 1943, when Bao Fuchen and other villagers were working at the field, they were caught by Japanese invaders and forced to work as slave laborers.

 

 

 

Comrade Tong,

I feel very emotional writing to you, a spokesman for the people who suffered from physical persecution and emotional traumatization during the Japanese War of Aggression against China. We are grateful for your righteous action to seek justice on our behalf.

I am originally from Zhangli Village, Dingxing County in Hebei Province. I am a retired worker at Hekou Track Maintenance Station, Lanzhou Railway Bureau, Gansu Province. My address is Track Maintenance Station, Hekou South Station, Lanzhou City, Post Code 730094, Bao Fuchen.

In March, 1943, while we were farming in the field, a group of Japanese soldiers showed up suddenly. They captured us without any reason and hit us with their weapons. We were then taken to Dingxing County and locked up in a big house. I had no idea what the Japanese devils intended to do, and I was very scared. Since I lived with my parents and I was the only able body in the family, what will happen to them if something goes wrong with me? So I thought about escaping. But I gave up the idea because we were closely watched.

A few days later, the Japanese soldiers tied us up and sent to the barrack in Tanggu, Tianjin by train. We stayed there for about 13 days and then were escorted by armed soldiers to a Japanese ship. After 7 or 8 days at sea, we arrived in Japan. We then were sent by train to a completely strange place, and started working as coolies. We had no idea when all of these would end! Later someone who could speak Japanese told us that we were in Palace Village in Fukushima Prefecture (福道县宫万村). Nearby was a city which is pronounced as “Agamachi” in Japanese. In the beginning, our task was to carry stones from the mountain. This work was both tiring and dangerous. We didn’t have enough food to eat. We ate one steamed bun made of rice chaff each day. We also wore ragged clothes and slept in sheds where we were bitten by bugs and mosquitoes in the summer, and suffered from freezing cold in winter. Moreover, we had to endure the Japanese supervisor’s mistreatment daily. We would be fiercely beaten if we showed any sign of inattentiveness. We suffered day and night, and worse when winter came. Our hands and feet because swollen from frostbites, yet we were still forced to work. Until now, there are still distinct frostbite scars on my hands and feet. Once, I was beaten so hard by the Japanese without reason that I had difficulty walking, eating and drinking. Yet, I still had to work. I endured all the torture and unbearable pain while in Japan.

This condition lasted for two years, and I was finally sent back to my motherland by a U.S. ship when Japan surrendered to the Allies unconditionally.

Recounting this miserable experience still makes me sad. I read from the February 3, 1993 Weekly Digest, Issue 644, published by Sichuan Daily, and was excited to learn about what you are doing. We must seek justice from Japan! Knowing that you are speaking out on our behalf, we are grateful to you from the bottom of our hearts! I am also eagerly waiting for your honest to goodness reply. Please write to me when you have a moment.

Demand for compensation from the Japanese government.

Best wishes on your work!
South Hekou Track Maintenance Station, Lanzhou Railways Bureau
Bao Fuchen
February 26, 1993.

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Slave Laborers(SL)
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