Date of letter:February 28, 1993
Address of author:Fuquan County, Fuquan City, Guizhou Province
Date of event:1940
Location of event:Yushan County, Shangrao City, Shanxi Province
Name of author:Chen Xianfu
Name(s) of victim(s):Chen Xianfu
Type of atrocity:Others, Air Bombing(AB, OT)
Other details:Chen Xinafu’s hometown is Yushan County, Shangrao City, Shanxi Province. In the summer of 1940, the whole family of 4 people left home to flee and the Japanese burnt all their houses.
I accidentally read an exciting report ‘Seek Justice against Japan’ published on the Issue dated February 3rd of Weekly Digest in Sichuan. The article briefly reported your efforts to claim reparations for the Chinese people harmed by Japan’s invasion. I would like to salute you with my highest respect for your righteous act.
I am from Yushan County, Shangrao District, Jiangxi Province, now 60 years old. In August of 1949, in response to Chairman Mao’s call for liberating the Southwest, I went to Guizhou with the Advancing-to-the- West Detachment of Corps 5 Field 2 of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. It has been 43 years till now, people tend to reminisce the past when they get old; reading the report on newspaper especially reminded me of what had happened 50 years ago. I lived on Henglu Street, Yushan County with my parents, two elder sisters (the eldest sister got married early) and I, totally 5 of us. My father ran a coffin store, living a middle-class life. I just started elementary school at that time (1937), and began to understand things. During my school year, the Japanese invaders occupied three northeast provinces of China and continued to expand the invasion. The aircrafts bombed wide-spread day and night, disturbing people’s ordinary life. Chiang Kai-shek of Kuo Min Tang did not fight against Japanese invadors and even killed the anti-Japanese comrades. So before long, the Japanese army eventually occupied the majority territory of the regions south of Yangtze River. In the summer of 1940, on one morning (can’t remember the definitive date) because of the dangerous situation, my parents brought my elder sister and me with a three-layer meal box to take refuge temporarily on a mountain nearby, planned to come back home at night. The Japanese invaders entered into Yushan when it got dark, and suddenly flames burnt in and out of the township of Yushan. The bandits started to carry out the policy of ‘burn all, kill all, loot all’. The refugees were standing on the mountain, seeing their beloved houses and properties being devoured by the raging flames, crying to the heaven and earth and outpouring their broken hearts. The fire had been burning for several days and nights
Since then, except that meal box, our family’s houses and properties had all been burnt to ashes. We had to escape to the countryside in the darkness of night and begged our relatives for help. We endured two month deplorable living with meager resources; thus my whole family suffered deprivation of health since then.
Later, through the brave fighting of the Eighth Route Army lead by the CCP and the courageous Chinese civilians, the Japanese invaders were driven out of Chinese territory. We came back to town and lived in an old and ruined wing room of a relative’s. My father started to manage a vendor business to support the household’s basic living. Less than two years later, due to poor living conditions, my parents suffered from a serious disease (dysentery) at the same time but had no money to receive proper treatment. The disease got worse; they died one after the other in one month. Since then, I was adopted by the eldest brother-in-law until the liberation in 1949.
Above I briefly described my tragic experience. There are tens of thousands of victims in China who have the similar experience as mine. We call on all the Chinese fellows who have been abused by the Japanese invaders to rise up and accuse of their crimes, participate in the large-scale signature campaign and persistently claim reparations for the losses against Japan.
The house burnt by the Japanese at that time was of old fashioned tile and board structure, with an area of 500 square meters, which would cost about 300,000 RMB at current construction expense. In addition, the burnt furniture, utensils, clothes and curtains shall be worth 5,000 RMB. I hope my claims would be supported by you, the related Departments and all the victims. Since I live far away from the capital, I’d like to know how this issue could be handled and how things are going in Beijin. Looking forward to your reply.
A retired cadre of Fuquan County Supply and Marketing Cooperative, Guizhou Province
Chen Xianfu (name seal)
February 28th, 1993