From Mary Previte,

    Susan Strange is preparing a World War II display in the Smithsonian

Institute's National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.  She is

working on a display about Weihsien. ( The USA is about to unveil its monument in  Washington, D.C. to those who served in World War II.)   Would you please e-mail to her the proper access to your wonderful Weihsien website?  I'm so afraid I'll get it wrong. And I most certainly want her to have access to our very

best information.


From Susan,

Leopold:  This is a wonderful web site that you are putting together with lots of interesting information.  I was able to print out a camp map and locate Block/Building 18 where the Roches lived.  It is so useful to have a list of all the internees by block, so I can read the names of the Roches' neighbors.  I can hardly believe that three days ago I had never heard of Weihsien and now I know so much about it! 


I am especially interested in artwork done at the camp that shows the living situations and the people.  Perhaps Norman Cliff or Donald Menzi have watercolors or drawings showing "every day" life at Wiehsien.


I hope to give Mrs. Small a report on my findings next week, and I'm sure she will find your website very interesting (including its archives).  Your website is a wonderful resource; thank you for making it available to the world.   Susan


From Susan,

Dear Leopold:   Norman Cliff has some wonderful (and different) images on his section of your website.  Thank you for telling me to watch his section of the website for new material.  I printed several images and shared them with the exhibit designers, and they have selected two for use in the exhibit.  But of course, I have to contact Norman Cliff for permission!  Can you provide me with his email address or a way for me to contact him?  Incidentally, the images selected are a sketch entitled "The Gateway to Freedom" and the "Allied Prisoner" flier.  Again, Leopold, thank you for being so helpful.  Susan


From Leopold,

Dear Susan,

Indeed, the aquarelles are wonderful. If you need a better definition for your exhibit, I can send you a *.tif file on a CD --- with Norman Cliff's permission of course.

All the best,



From Susan,

Thank you, Leopold, for responding so quickly to my request.  We are hoping that Dr. Cliff may be kind enough to lend us the original of the "Gateway to Freedom" sketch for the period of about one year.  Of course, he may not wish to lend the drawing, in which case I will contact you for a high resolution scan.  Regarding the "Allied Prisoners" flier, we will use a reproduction, not the original, so you may be able to help us with a scan. 

But first, I will contact Dr. Cliff to see if he is willing to  lend the drawing.  I know how precious it is to  him, so I will understand if he prefers that we use a scan. 

Thank you for your offer, and I may be taking you up on your offer.  I will let you know what Dr. Cliff says.  Susan


From Susan,

Dear Dr. Cliff:  Leopold Pander has been kind enough to provide me with your email address.  As you may have read in the email that Leopold copied to you, I work at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History in Washington, DC.  The museum is working on a new military history exhibit, "Price of Freedom," which will open this fall.  There will be a "changing" exhibit case at the end of the World War II section which will feature, initially, two civilian internee camps, Los Banos in the Philippines and Weihsien in China.  We expect the materials in this case will be on display for about one year (until late 2005) before the case is changed to reflect a different topic. 

One of the objects that will be on display in this case is a baby bonnet worn by Sandra Roche, who was born in Weihsien in January 1945.  My task has been to search for materials that will complement the bonnet, and I was delighted when I found Leopold's web site.  While there are many interesting images on the website, our exhibit designers selected only two - both belonging to  you.  These images are "The Gateway to Freedom" sketch and the "Allied Prisoners" flier.  We plan to use a reproduction of the "Allied Prisoners" flier, and perhaps Leopold can provide us with the high-resolution scan we will require, if this is agreeable to you. 

I realize that "The Gateway to Freedom" is a one-of-a-kind piece of art which has tremendous sentimental value to you and others who were in Weihsien.  I, therefore, hesitate to ask, but might you be willing to lend the original to the Smithsonian until late 2005?  We expect tens of thousands of visitors to the exhibit during its first year, and it would be so nice to have the original on display.   I realize this request has "come out of the blue," so please feel free to think about it for a few days.   I, of course, would be happy to answer any questions you may have before you make your decision. 

Thank you so much for considering our requests.  Sincerely yours, Susan Strange
Reference Archivist, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution


From Norman Cliff

Dear Susan,
       I have just received your welcome e-mail.  Please feel free to do whatever you wish with the material in question.
       I have also written a book on Temple Hill & Weihsien camps entitled "Courtyard of the
Happy Way".  The title is a translation of the three Chinese characters which were at the gate of the camp, a name given to the large property by the American Presbyterians when they used the place as a Bible Training School.
       No doubt Leopold Pander will draw your attention to various letters and souvenirs which are in the scrap books which I have loaned to him.
                   With greetings,   Norman Cliff


From Susan,

This is very good news; THANK YOU! 

I am a bit confused as to where the original artwork for the "Gateway for Freedom" is located.  Do you have it?  Is it included in the scrapbooks that you have loaned to Leopold?  If Leopold has the original artwork, may he send the artwork to me?  

Yes, I have heard of your book "Courtyard of the
Happy Way."  In fact, Sandra Roche Small (owner of the baby bonnet) was the one who first told me about it.  The information you provided on the three Chinese characters is very interesting.  I will make note of it for possible use in the label accompanying the sketch of the gate.

Again, thank you so much for your generosity, and I will look forward to hearing from you (and perhaps Leopold) about the whereabouts of the original artwork.  Susan


From Norman Cliff,

Dear Susan,
       As far as I can recall the sketch was done by Barbara Hulse, a teenage girl of the
Chefoo School.  I have never seen it other than as a small sketch in a book.
       None of the pictures which Leopold has is an original, just a copy of a copy.
       I hope that I have answered your question.
       All success in your collecting of archival material.
                         Yours,   Norman


From Leopold,

Dear Norman,
All this is fantastic.
Sixty years after, !!!
May I send the "original" of the "Gateway to freedom" to the Smithsonian by
post (by registered mail)?
All the best


From Norman,

Certainly,   Norman

Dear Susan,
       Perhaps I should mention that Weihsien is not the name used today.  It is WEIFANG.  Two villages were merged - Weihsien and Fangtze - and became Weifang.
       Some well known people were brought up in the Presbyterian mission in and around Weifang -   Pearl Buck and Henry Luce of Time magazine.
                               Yours,  Norman


From Janette,

also, John Hersey, who wrote "Hiroshima", "The Call" ..... was said to be born in Weihsien, but registered in Tientsin, in all probability due to new consulate regulations, can this be true? or somehow be checked? and by whom?!!...

je suppose que ceci est une question pour Norman!

well, bonne continuation!


From Susan,

Thank you for this information; I'll get in touch with Leopold once I know exactly what we'll need.  Incidentally, do you remember what book you saw the sketch in?  Perhaps it might include additional information about Barbara Hulse. Do you either of you, by chance, know whether Ms. Hulse is still alive or where I might locate her? 


I'm sorry for the never-ending series of questions; thank you for your patience.  Susan


From Norman,

Yes, I am sure that you are right about John Hersey.
       He must also have been interned in Weihsien briefly, for he describes the camp conditions in detail in his The Call.    Groete,  Norman


From Susan,

Greetings Norman and Leopold:  I have not heard from either of you in a couple of days and am wondering if you have been able to locate any information on the woman who drew "The Gateway to Freedom."   We are a bit hesitant to use the image without consent from the artist, someone from her family, or the current owner of the original sketch.


Do either of you know whether Barbara Hulse is still alive?  Or who might own the original?  Norman, you mentioned you had seen the sketch in a book:  Do you recall the name of the book?  The book's publisher might be able to help.


As always, thank you both for you assistance.  Susan


From Norman,

It was not Barbara Hulse but Mrs. Eileen Bazire.  The only member of the family still alive is her son:     Peter Bazire,

Susan,  I am sorry I did not mention that the picture is at the front of a small book
IN WHOSE HANDS - A STORY OF INTERNMENT IN CHINA by George A Scott, published by the China Inland Mission.  


From Susan,

Thank you, Norman, for this information.  I've noticed a lack of incoming email; your email is probably out there in the "ether" somewhere!  Perhaps Mr. Bazire has the original and/or could grant us permission to use the sketch.  This name and address is very useful information.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  And I'll let you know what I learn.  Susan


From Susan,

Hello Cliff and Leopold.  While I was at lunch today, Peter Bazire called and left a message that the sketch of "The Gateway to Freedom" was NOT drawn by his mother!  He said that he does have some of her original artwork and that he would send me copies (photocopies?) for me to look at.  Anyway, it seems we are looking for an original sketch whose whereabouts is unknown.


Leopold, it seems that it is now time to take you up on your kind offer of high resolution scans of two images:  the "Gateway to Freedom" drawing and the "Allied Prisoner" flier, both from Norman's section. Incidentally, Leopold, is there a reverse side of the flier?  The last line states:  "Bundle markings, contents and allowances per men are as follows" but nothing seems to follow!  If there is typing on the back of the flier, would you please scan that also? 




From Leopold,

Hello Susan,

I'll get the CD ready for you asap and send it by post.

--- all the best,



From Susan,


Now for another question (I always have another question!).  Do either of you know what percentage of the approximately 1,400 internees rescued from Weihsien were Americans?  I believe I got this 1,400 number from Norman's description of the rescue.  From the list on Ron Bridge's page I see there were 1,894 Allied internees (not counting the Italians) who had been in Weihsien, though many were "evacuated" or "transferred" in 1943.  I need to start thinking about writing the exhibit case labels and I certainly want to get my facts straight.


Gentlemen, as always thank you for being so responsive to my seemingly endless request!  Susan


From Leopold,

Dear Ron,


    Before answering to Susan's question --- I'd rather you check first ---

From the *.xls-listing you sent to me, ---

line 4:  escaped =1

line 5 to 89:  evacuated = 85

line 90 to 174: transfered = 85

line 175 to 178: died = 4

line 179 to 357 : were liberated 17th August 1945 = 179 happy folks!

All the best,



From Norman,

Dear Susan,
       Peter Bazire was on the phone today.  He says the picture with the soldier and bayonet was not his mother's work, and will try to find out who painted it.  He also says that any picture which you may have of his mother's feel free to use.


From Susan,

Thanks, Norman


From Ron,

I make it 178 from counting on the orginal lists

However there are the following 20 in addition who were married to Americans or were children of Americans who were classified as "Chinese"(2)

Polish 1

Finnish 1

Chinese 3

Tartar 1

Brtiish 3

Canaadian 1

French 1

Russian 9

Also total liberated from my records is 1384 which includes the "escapees" Hummel and Tipton  who were not allowed to leave by the US Army after they came back.




From Susan,

Wow, thank you.  I'm really surprised at how few Americans (less than 15%) were liberated by American forces that August day.  Please tell Ron Bridge how much I appreciate his putting this information together.  Susan


From Susan,

Hello Leopold:  The CD arrived late yesterday and the .tifs opened perfectly, so All Is Well.  Alleluia!!
You can cross this job of your to-do list.


From Susan,

Hello:  This is, I hope, my final request--the two of you granting permission for the Smithsonian to use the two images (sketch of gate and the "Allied Prisoners" leaflet) in the exhibit and possibly on the web site.  Attached is a PDF document with the standard permission language.  Please print out two copies, sign, and mail both to me; I'll sign and return one to you for your records.  If either of you has trouble opening the attached, please let me know and I'll mail you the form (Norman, I would need your address).


I thought the "credit line" would read "Courtesy of Norman Cliff and Leopold Pander."  Do you both agree with this wording?


The exhibit process moves slowly.  I was hoping to meet with former Weihsien internee Mary Taylor Previte this Friday when she was to be in Washington, but this Friday the government is closed because of the Reagan funeral.  Don't know when she and I will be able to get together now.  The security for the visiting dignitaries and all the street closings (including in front of the museum) will create quite a mess. 


Leopold, I hope you got my email saying that the CD arrived safely.  Hooray!


With a bit of luck, the signing of the form will be the Last Thing I ask of you two!  As always, I so appreciate your help.  Susan


From Leopold,

Hello from Belgium,

I did get your previous message and was happy that the CD arrived at the museum. In fact, all the images come from Norman Cliff alone. I am just the intermediary link doing the technical work of building up the Weihsien Picture Gallery web-site --- the best I can. 

When I ask Father Hanquet to tell me stories about Weihsien, I feel like the little boy of four (as I was in 1945) questioning his elder brother --- !

--- And now, thanks to Norman Cliff I am adding more and more info on "our" web-site.

It is just a little piece of our recent history and after seeing all the commemorations of the 60th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, I feel so small --- so very small ! --- and happy to be alive.

Best regards,



From Susan,

Hello Leopold: I just checked your website, and there is the photo of Sandra Roche! Wow, that was fast.

I have a couple of minor corrections. Sandra's bonnet that will be on display has signatures of two (not all seven) of the liberators. The two who signed were Major Stanley A. Staiger and Sgt. Tadash Nagaki. Incidentally, the bonnet in the photograph is NOT the bonnet that will be on display; we could tell because the shape of the brim in the photo is not the same as the one we have.


go to the Smithsonian - Washington D.C. go to the Smithsonian - Washington D.C. Click on either picture to enter the Exhibit