... Androcles and the Lion, my dad was the christian who was willing
to do anything to avoid being killed by the lion. I was so upset. Either getting
ready for my first communion, or just had it.
I remember: ... walking on the corrugated tin roofs of the Japanese compund
with (Leo? Leon?) older than I, and our feet were burning on the heat and we
caught two fledgling pigeons for food. he cooked them and I brought half back
to my family. I cannot remember who he was except that he was (Russian?).
I remember: ... that it was the counting. Three times a day, a.m. I also remeber meeting
with Japanese later on in 1973 who asked me how come I could use chopsticks
so well. When I told them I was in China and had been in a Concentration camp,
none would admit to being in the military. Ah well we did business anyway.
Peter Orlich, radio operator on Weihsien rescue mission. [click on the picture]
... I was the first to reach (American rescuer) Peter Orlich. He had a brush cut (flat
top!) when I first saw him. He did not have his cap and he had his glasses taped
with pink 'medical' as opposed to Scotch tape around his temples. I remember
this very clearly. He was standing (as I remember) in a field of stubble, (Kaoliang?
) I remember him assuming I was a Chinese, maybe I looked like one? when he
saw me, barefoot and only wearing shorts. Who knows, but he pointed to some
printing in Chinese on his shirt or jacket or vest. There was printing all over
in different languages. There was also the stars and stripes. I said to him
in my impeccable English ''Excuse me, sir, but I don't read Chinese.'' He then
asked me if I was from the camp, and how did I get out, so I told him the gates
were opened. Then he wanted to know where his fellow jumpers were. I walked
him back to the camp, and as we got closer I got pre-empted by some adults.
... stealing coal from the Japanese compound with my late brother
Mickey. We had our pockets full of coal and were walking just outside and he
threw an Acacia tree seed pod up into the air. Wouldn't you know it, it hit
a guard and he came around the trees and took Mickey into the guard house. I
ran like a scalded cat...with my coal. My Dad had to go and get Mickey and apologise
for him. It took all afternoon.
I also remember:
... going in the Japanese compound in summer walking on the
corrugated tin roofs with bare feet and it was so hot. I was with someone whose
name now escapes me. An older boy and we were after pigeons to eat. He caught
one and we cooked it later.
Carol Orlich, ... Peter Orlich's widow, phoned me today from New York -- bubbling
with delight at the printouts of these memories about Pete that I've been mailing
to her. She said that Pete wasn't supposed to be parachuting because he wore
glasses. But he wanted to be on the rescue team. So when he lined up to be tested
with other volunteers, he slipped his glasses into his pocket and listened carefully
to the men in front of him reading the letters from the eye chart. He memorized
the letters so he could pass the eye exam. On his first practice parachute drop,
his glasses flew over his forhead and he couldn't see. So for the drop into
Weihsien, he taped his glasses to his head.
I remember: ... flying from the camp back to Tientsin in C46 or C45. It had
steel seats along the fuselage with dimpled seats in it. I think the windows
were oval with a little hole cut out in the centre.
All the luggage was strapped down along the centre of the plane so that we could
not see the people on the other side. I remember watching the wall of luggage
looming overhead when the plane banked. What a thrill for a 10 year old.