remember ringing the hand bell from time to time to wake the camp for
morning roll call. I remember the roll calls..ichi, ni san, chi, etc.
remember my Dad, Frank dancing a pas de deux with Betty Lambert. I remember
my Mom, Ruby, playing soft ball complete with chatter.
remember my Dad acting in Androcles and the Lion. And Fr. de jaeger (was
it?) being the lions roar.
remember bed bugs and pouring boiling water on the beds, and getting
scalded and being painted blue. Oh the embarassment in the showers.
remember being hungry.
remember the horror of eating powdered egg shells and how they didn't
get wet in your mouth.
remember the B29s flying over and the crates and drums falling from the
bombays and the 'chutes never opening. I remember when the 7 jumped from the
B24 and we ran out of the gates.
remember my dad with the swarming of bees in the hospital.
Gosh the bed bugs. I
remember being sent to get the boiling water, carrying it and spilling
it all over...yes! Then getting myself painted blue with Gentian Violet.
remember 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.
remember, Sister Eustella(?) was that her name? She played softball,
was an American, and was a nun.
remember having my first communion and getting a little lacy paper card
and an armlet hand painted. (my ex has these and will not give them to me.)
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?).
remember 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.
I was the first to reach (American rescuer) Peter Orlich [click here]
. 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.
remember 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.
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.
remember the ''Swat the flies'' campaign. Wasn't the first prize a rat's
skull with curved fangs?
also remember raising a dove in our room. I kept it on a shelf in the
corner and it would eat from my mouth. Ended up eating it.
remember Mrs Howard as being always dressed in black but who made donuts
outside her room which was next to ours.
remember Mrs De Jong, mother of the lovely Henrietta, lol., who also
fried cheese sandwiches when the Red Cross parcels came in.
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.
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. [click