WEIHSIEN©

March 1943 - October 1945

PICTURE GALLERY

This website could not have been created without the help of survivors -- most of whom were children during World War II -- of Weihsien Concentration Camp in Shantung Province, China.
These documents, paintings, sketches, texts and memories have been assembled here for a better understanding of what we endured for so many long days in 1943, 1944 and 1945.
Children are often the innocent victims of the various and incomprehensible conflicts originated by "grown-ups." This is as true today as it was then -- all over the world.

Leopold Pander, (ex-prisoner of Weihsien and 4 years old in 1945 ---)

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Located two miles east of Weihsien, the American Presbyterian Compound in Weihsien was known by the Chinese name of "Courtyard of the Happy Way." Its Shadyside Hospital, constructed in 1924, was considered one of the best constructed mission hospitals in North China. However, by the time internees arrived, all useable equipment had been looted or carried off. Student dormitories, consisting of rows and rows of rooms, as well as large buildings originally used as classrooms and libraries, housed the internees. One of the largest camps in China, Weihsien housed, at one time or another, almost 2,250 internees. Two internees who escaped provided information on the camp to OSS operatives in Chungking, while remaining in the vicinity of the camp with Nationalist guerillas. At the end of the war Weihsien was the scene of an exciting drama when a seven member OSS team parachuted near the camp and were welcomed by the overjoyed internees. Afterwards, Chinese Communist guerilla activity prevented the evacuation of the camp. After an initial group was removed by rail to Tsingtao, the railway line was blown up. Internees were finally airlifted out by Army Air Force planes.
© Captives of Empire, by Greg Leck


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