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The Belgian Bank manager,
Mr. Pander's story

by Zhang Xiang






华比银行经理潘德尔的天津故事

Mr. Pander's Story: the Belgian Bank Manager in Tientsin

张翔

Xiang Zhang

十七年前,生活在比利时的利奥波德(Leopold Pander Jr.)创办了一个名为“潍县描绘”的网站,是为了收集在山东潍县集中营的往事。2018年网站改版升级,但他不知道“Weihsien”对应的汉字怎么写,利用谷歌翻译得到的是“魏賢”两个字。六个月后,一封来自天津的电子邮件,告知他“潍县”正确的中文写法。他终于有机会给天津朋友讲述他们一家的故事,这是因为利奥波德出生地就是天津。

Seventeen years ago, Leopold Pander Jr., who lives in Belgium, started a website called Weihsien-Paintings to collect memories of Weihsien Concentration Camp in Shantung Province, China. Due to a recent renovation of his website in 2018, he didn't know how to write the Chinese characters for Weihsien, so he got the word “魏賢” ― translated by Google. Six months later, an email from Tientsin (Tianjin) informed him of the correct Chinese ideograms for Weihsien: "濰縣". Leopold took the opportunity of telling to his new friend Xiang Zheng, a story about his family in Tientsin, the city of his birth.

图 1:1945年10月19日从潍县回天津的飞机上(Greg Leck 提供)
Fig 1: Flight back to Tientsin from Weihsien on Oct 19, 1945
(By Courtesy of Greg Leck)



利奥波德看着格雷(Greg Leck)提供的照片,一眼就认出了爸爸(潘德尔先生)、妈妈和自己。那是1945年10月19日,从潍县回天津的飞机上。

Leopold looked at the photos by courtesy of Greg Leck and recognized his father (Mr. Pander), his mother and himself. The photo was taken on October 19, 1945, when boarding the plane, an American C47 from Weihsien to Tientsin.

潘德尔先生

M. Pander

1945年,虽然潍县集中营已经被美军解放了2个月,但由于铁路和公路被破坏,潍县机场又无法起降大型飞机,所以只能改用小型飞机运送1400多名被日本人关押的欧美侨民。按照姓氏顺序,到10月19日才轮到潘德尔一家登上飞机。因为在飞机后部的颠簸,利奥波德晕机了。一位美军人员给他一个毛绒小狗安慰他,让他心情好了很多。他拿着照片回忆道(见图 1),“右侧是妈妈,抱着在集中营出生的妹妹坐在前面,我坐在她和爸爸之间,离爸爸稍远一点。爸爸的博尔萨利诺礼帽(Borsalino Hat)就放在他前面的一堆行李上。其他人都好奇地看着窗外,只有爸爸低着头,看上去非常焦虑,若有所思。”利奥波德猜对了!潘德尔先生真有一件极其重要的事情没有做完,那是发生在天津华比银行三年前的事情。

In 1945, the Weihsien Concentration Camp had been liberated by the US military for two months already. The railways and roads that were destroyed during the war had still not been repaired. It is the reason why more than 1,400 European and American who had been detained by the Japanese for over two and a half years had to be transported by planes. Finally, it was not until October 19 that the Pander family got on the plane to return home. Leopold remembers that he was airsick because of a quite bumpy voyage. A kind American military personnel gave him a little stuffed puppy to comfort him. Looking at the photo, he recalled (Fig. 1),

"This was the very last photo of our family in Weihsien. Mom was in the foreground holding our baby sister in her arms. I was sitting next to her and dad a little further, looking very thoughtful with his ’Borsalino’ hat on the pile of luggage just before him.” Leopold guessed right! Mr. Pander was really considering important matters that had not been finished yet. He was anxious because of the problems that lay ahead of him concerning the Belgian Bank.

潘德尔(Leopold Pander Sr.)1897年12月31日生于比利时。一战后来到中国,1924年作为银行职员在北京开启了他的职业生涯。在北京,他结识了后来的妻子克拉芙迪娅(Clavdia)。克拉芙迪娅1906年出生在哈尔滨,她的父母都是在中东铁路工作的俄罗斯人。不到30岁时,潘德尔即被委任为华比银行汉口分行经理。潘德尔对不同文化和习俗有着开放的态度,在银行工作中不仅有出色的专业性和卓越的判断力,而且针对复杂问题经常能够想出折中方案。1936年,潘德尔升任天津分行经理,相当于北方区负责人。1938年,他与克拉芙迪娅在天津结婚。同为比利时人的总会计师佩西奥(Lucien Pétiaux)也随同他从汉口来到天津(见图 2)。潘德尔一家住在天津华比银行二楼,佩西奥一家住在三楼。



图 2:1933年8月,潘德尔(左)和佩西奥(右)在汉口。
Fig 2: Mr. Pander Sr. (L) and Mr. Pétiaux (R) in Hankou in August 1933.



Leopold Pander Sr. was born in Belgium on December 31, 1897. After surviving World War I ― as a voluntary soldier ― he started his career in Beijing as a young banker in 1924. He met his future wife, Clavdia, in Beijing. She was born in Harbin, Northeast China in 1906. Her Russian parents worked for the Chinese Eastern Railroad. At barely 30 years old, Mr. Pander Sr. was appointed manager of the Hankou Belgian Bank. He was very open to all different cultures and customs, and became an excellent expert in the art of compromise and discretion. In 1936, Mr. Pander Sr. was promoted as manager of the Tientsin Branch, the equivalent of the head of the North China Region. In 1938, he married Clavdia in Tientsin. Lucien Pétiaux, a Belgian who was the chief accountant, had come to Tientsin with him from Hankou(Fig 2). The Pander family lived on the first floor of the Belgian Bank in Tientsin, and the Pétiaux family on the second floor.

1941年12月珍珠港事件后,日军接管了天津华比银行。1942年下半年,潘德尔和佩西奥两家被赶出银行大楼公寓。日本人将这两个家庭转移到天津的另一个地方。利奥波德想不起来那个地方是哪里了,但绝对没有原来在银行大楼住的舒服。当时,日本人强迫所有敌国侨民都必须戴上红色袖标,用黑色字写上他们的国籍。因此,潘德尔每天带着袖标和通行证出门,袖标上的“白”代表“白义耳”(见图 3),这是日本人对比利时国名的早期翻译。到了宵禁期间,他们是被禁止离开所居住的租界。所有的汽车、钢琴、地毯、冰箱、家具等都被日本人征用。



图 3:潘德尔的袖标
Fig.3: Mr. Pander’s armband



After the Pearl Harbor attack, in December 1941, the Japanese took over the Tientsin Belgian Bank. In late 1942, the two families, Pander and Pétiaux, were evicted from their apartment in the Bank Building, and the Japanese moved them to another place. Leopold Jr. could not remember where the place was, but definitely it was not as comfortable as the apartment in the Bank Building. From then on, the Japanese forced all "enemy aliens" to wear a red armband with the black sign indicating their nationality. Therefore, Mr. Pander Sr. went out every day with his armband and pass, on which "White"(白, Pronunciation: Bai) stands for "Bai E Er" (Fig 3), an early Japanese translation for Belgium. They were even prohibited to leave the concession during the curfew. All the cars, pianos, rugs, refrigerators, furniture, etc. were requisitioned by the Japanese.

不久,佩西奥屈从于日本人的压力,被征招到天津电车公司工作。潘德尔也收到了同样的“邀请”,但他拒绝为日本人工作。1943年元旦刚过,潘德尔一家四口被转移到新加坡道(今大理道)195号,在这里等待被“转运”走。3月的某一天,料峭春寒,潘德尔一家,与其他一些欧美侨民被集中在维多利亚花园,然后随着大队的人群沿着维多利亚道一直向北走去,他们要去天津东站乘坐火车,然后到山东一个叫做“潍县”的地方。

Soon after, bowing to Japanese pressure, Mr. Pétiaux was requisitioned by the Japanese to work for the Tientsin Tramway Co. Mr. Pander Sr. had received the same kind of proposal but he refused to work for the Japanese. Just after New Year in 1943, the Pander family of four were transferred to No. 195 Singapore Road (now Dali Road), where they waited to be "transferred". On a cold day in March 1943, the Pander family, together with many other European and American expatriates, were concentrated in Victoria Park. Subsequently, they went to Tientsin East Railway Station and further on by train to a place called Weihsien in Shantung Province.

1945年8月17日上午,美国伞兵空降到潍县,欢呼的人群涌向大门。但对4岁的利奥波德来说,这个场景变成了他后来长期的噩梦。

On the morning of August 17, 1945, American soldiers parachuted into Weihsien and liberated the Concentration Camp, but four-year-old Leopold remembered the scene as a chronic nightmare.

潍县集中营

Weihsien Concentration Camp

山东潍县集中营,是二战时期日本人在中国建立的最大集中营,由美国长老会的乐道院改建而成。从1943年到1945年间,这里先后关押过2000多名欧美在华侨民,其中一半是英国人,还有200多名比利时人,潘德尔一家就在其中。

Weihsien Concentration Camp in Shantung Province, known as the Courtyard of the Happy Way, an American Presbyterian Compound. It was the largest concentration camp established by the Japanese in Northern China during World War II. From 1943 to 1945, there were about 2,000 Europeans and Americans imprisoned there, half of them British, about 200 Belgians, including the Pander family.

他们在这里度过了两年半的艰难岁月。虽然在天津电车公司为日本人工作的佩西奥以及其他在天津和上海的其他朋友,会时不时给潘德尔一家寄去食品,但这些食品经常被日本看守劫走大部分。在集中营里,“身无分文“已经不是一个贬义词,吃饱饭才是真正的问题。尽管来到潍县时,利奥波德还是一个不满2岁蹒跚学步的孩子,但这种囚禁生活以无数种方式影响了他。直到现在,他总是喜欢沉默,而且从不剩饭。

They lived in Camp for two and a half difficult years. Mr. Pétiaux and other friends in Tianjin and Shanghai sometimes sent food to the Pander family. Most of the food parcels were often looted by Japanese guards. In the Camp, "penniless" was no longer a derogatory term because eating enough was the real problem. Although Leopold was only a toddler during those years, his internment affected him in a myriad of ways. Until now, he prefers silence, never leaves a plate of food unfinished.

1945年8月17日上午,天气炎热而晴朗,看着有美军标识的B24飞机以及缓慢下降的红色降落伞,被监禁了2年多的人们,哭着、喊着、欢呼、跳跃,激动的心情难以言表。很多在集中营的人在“潍县描绘”网站上提供了很多回忆,但是利奥波德只能从照片中感受到“集中营“曾经的存在(见图 4),“在集中营出生的妹妹玛丽已经被特种兵抱上飞机,两名士兵正在帮妈妈爬上去。爸爸穿着厚厚的冬衣,戴着礼帽——等着轮到他上飞机——似乎在笑。他旁边那个穿着短裤,长着细腿的小男孩:就是我!”



图 4: 1945年10月19日,潘德尔一家正在登上飞机。(Greg Leck 提供)
Fig 4: The Pander family are boarding a plane on October 19, 1945.
(By Courtesy of Greg Leck)



Finally, on the morning of August 17, 1945, it was a hot and sunny day, the camp was liberated by a US OSS mission parachuted from a B24 plane with the US logo. While the parachutes were slowly descending, the people who had been imprisoned for more than two and a half years, cried, shouted, cheered and jumped. Many ex-prisoners have told their stories on the Weihsien-Paintings' website but Leopold's memory of the Weihsien days are rubbed out. He only remebered(Fig 4), “Weihsien-born baby sister, Mary-Lou, is already on the plane held by a gallant G. I. The two soldiers on the ground are helping my mother to climb into the same plane. Dad with his thick winter coat and ‘Borsalino’ hat -- waiting for his turn -- seems to be laughing. The little boy next to him with the skinny legs: is me!”

潘德尔一家在集中营里整整待了873天,大女儿珍妮特(Janette)患上厌食症。儿子利奥波德也有创伤性失忆症,对前几年发生的事一无所知。虽然保留了美国军人使用的红色降落伞作为纪念,但利奥波德对集中营的事情,仅仅是他经常重复同样的梦,“我看到自己赤着脚,几乎光着身子,站在浅棕色的肮脏的斜坡中间,周围是大块的深灰色石头。在没有云彩的蓝天下,阳光灿烂,人们跑来跑去,集体歇斯底里。我不明白发生了什么,我完全惊慌失措。就在我醒来的时候,有人来接我。”但是,能够活着走出集中营就算是一种幸运,因此回到天津的潘德尔,特意在当年离开天津时的维多利亚花园,为劫后余生的三个孩子拍了合影(见图 5)。



图 5:1945年10月,劫后余生的三个孩子在维多利亚花园的合影。左起:利奥波德(4岁)、玛丽(1岁,出生在集中营)、珍妮特(7岁)。
Fig 5: The three children in Victoria Garden on October, 1945. From left: Leopold, Mary-Lou and Janette.
(By Courtesy of Leopold Pander Jr.).



The Pander family stayed in the Camp for 873 days. Their eldest daughter, Janette, suffered from anorexia. Leopold suffered from amnesia and a complete blackout of what happened in the previous years. Although the family kept a red parachute used by the Americans as a souvenir, Leopold always repeated the same nightmare, “I saw myself bare footed, almost naked in the middle of a light brown dirty slope, surrounded by big dark grey stones, under a blue sky without clouds and the sun shining bright. People were running all over the place. Collective hysteria. I didn’t understand what was going on. I was completely panicked. Somebody picked me up — that is when I wake up.” However, everybody was lucky to escape from the camp alive. So, when they returned to Tientsin, Mr. Pander Sr. took photos of his three children in Victoria Park at the same place when they left Tientsin for Weihsien (Fig 5).

这种噩梦折磨了利奥波德几乎几十年,潍县集中营几乎从他的记忆中消失。然而,在退休后,“潍县“这个词又回到他的生活中。同样来自潍县集中营的汉克特神父(Father Hanquet)向他讲述了很多集中营的故事,此后利奥波德也陆续接触到了很多“集中营孩子”。于是利奥波德开始学习如何在互联网上发布信息,开始研究那段历史,并创办了一个网站----“潍县描绘”(www.weihsien-paintings.org)。没过多久,这个网站就收集到大量关于潍县集中营的绘画、照片和故事,已经成为研究集中营非常有价值的资料。

Leopold was tortured by the nightmare for almost a decade. As time went on, Weihsien and the Concentration Camp were slowly forgotten. Nevertheless, after retirement, the word Weihsien came back to him. He purchased a computer and learned how to use the Internet and began researching his family history in Camp. At first, he chatted pertaining to the Weihsien experience, slowly opening up after finding Father Hanquet, who told him countless stories of the Courtyard of the Happy Way. Not long after he started a website----www.weihsien-paintings.org, an amazing collection of information about Weihsien that became a valuable resource to research the Concentration Camp.

利奥波德回忆说,当他们乘坐卡车离开集中营去飞机场的时候,爸爸建议他们向后再看一眼,因为他们永远不会再回来了。但整整70年后,一群“集中营孩子“又回到当年被囚禁的地方。

When Leopold left Weihsien Concentration Camp on the back of a lorry, his father told him to have a good last look because he would never see the place again. However, exactly 70 years later, a group of "Concentration Camp Children" returned to the place where they had been imprisoned.

2015年8月15日,天津解放北路104号,两位从比利时远道而来的老人,凝视着大楼,思绪却回到了70年前。

On August 15, 2015, No. 104, Jie Fang Bei Road, Tianjin, two old people from Belgium stared at the building, but their thoughts were back to 70 years ago.

华比银行

Banque Sino-Belge(Belgian Bank)

姐姐珍妮特,1938年10月25日出生于天津,弟弟利奥波德,1941年4月22日也出生于天津。而1944年7月7日出生在潍县集中营的妹妹却不能来了,她2000年在布鲁塞尔过世。这次来中国,姐弟俩是来中国参加潍县集中营解放70周年的活动。因此两人有机会专程到天津,来看看他们儿时生活的地方。

Janette was born in Tientsin on October 25, 1938, and Leopold was also born in Tientsin on April 22, 1941. Their younger sister, Marylou was born in Weihsien on July 7, 1944, and died in Brussels in 2000. Janette and Leopold participated in the “70-year” celebrations of liberation by the Americans from the Japanese Concentration Camp of Weihsien. It was thus an opportunity to make a special trip to Tientsin so that they could see where they lived as children.

站在熟悉的大楼前,姐弟两人看到门口的牌子上写的是“原比利时领事馆”,其实这栋建筑应该算做天津华比银行旧址,而“比利时领事馆”只不过是40年代后期租用华比银行的房间办公(见图 6)。



图 6:原华比银行大楼(利奥波德 提供)。
Fig 6: Former Belgian Bank Building
(By Courtesy of Leopold Pander Jr.).



Standing in front of the familiar building, Janette and Leopold saw that the plaque showed "Former Belgian Consulate". In fact, the building should be regarded as Former Tientsin Belgian Bank, while the "Belgian Consulate" only rented rooms from Belgian Bank in the late 1940s (Fig 6).

1902年,为了发展比利时和中国之间的商务业务,在比利时国王利奥波德二世(King Leopold II)的倡议下,3月5日成立了华比银行(Banque Sino-Belge),总部设在比利时的布鲁塞尔。作为法国比利时兴业银行的子公司,华比银行曾经是在华的最大外资银行之一,也曾经是比利时海外银行系统中最重要的金融机构。华比银行中国总部设在上海的沙逊大厦,在天津、汉口、北京和香港均设有分行。1913年为扩大在东亚的影响力,改名为“比利时远东国际银行”(Banque Belge pour L'Étranger (Extrême Orient) S.A.),但中文名称一致沿用华比银行。

Under the initiative of King Leopold II, Banque Sino-Belge (Belgian Bank), headquartered in Brussels, was established on March 5,1902 for developing business between Belgium and China. As a subsidiary of Société Générale de Belgique, the Belgian Bank was one of the largest foreign banks in China and the most important financial institution in the Belgian overseas banking system. The Belgian Bank, headquartered in Shanghai, had several branches in Tientsin, Hankou, Beijing and Hong Kong. In 1913, to expand its influence in East Asia, it was renamed Banque Belge pour L'Étranger (Extrême Orient) S.A.

1910年华比银行在中国获得发行纸币权,发行5元、10元及50元三种纸币。1935年国民政府公布《法币政策实施办法》后,华比银行随即对之前发行的纸币予以收回。因回收比较彻底,故该行纸币只有极少量散落市场,目前均为钱币收藏界罕见的珍品。1949年后被批准为经营外汇的指定银行,1956年在中国大陆的华比银行停业清算。但华比银行香港分行一直营业,直到2004年被中国工商银行并购。

Taking advantage of the complete freedom of bearer note issuance in 1902, the Belgian Bank created its own local money, including 5 Yuan, 10 Yuan and 50 Yuan. It also engaged in foreign exchange and arbitration, financed import and export transactions, and provided loans on various guarantees. In 1935, after the China government promulgated the measures for the implementation of the legal money policy, the Belgian Bank immediately withdrew the paper money previously issued. Due to the thorough withdrawing of the paper money, a very small amount of it was left. Today, these rare banknotes are now sought by museums and collectors. After 1949, the bank was authorized as a designated bank dealing in foreign exchange. In 1956, Belgian Bank in mainland China was closed for liquidation. But the Hong Kong branch remained open until it was merged into Industrial and Commercial Bank of China in 2004.

华比银行在中国的第二家机构----天津分行----设立于1906年,行址在今天解放北路104号,原属于英租界范围。第一代天津华比银行建筑为二层砖木结构。到了1922年,华北银行购买邻侧原飞龙洋行,由义品公司的比利时设计师沃卡特(Gustave Volkaert)设计,拆除重建为三层带地下室的砖混结构楼房。珍妮特2015年再次见到这栋大楼时,与她记忆里70年前样子完全一致----石制的建筑立面,简洁而明快,典型的现代主义建筑风格。该楼虽然经历了1976年地震,但因建筑质量上乘而毫发无损。

The second branch of the Belgian Bank, Tientsin Branch, was established in 1906 at No. 104, Jie Fang Bei Road, and located in the former British concession. In 1922, the Belgian Bank bought the next building that belonged to former Blow & Co., then demolished it. Gustave Volkaert, a Belgian architect, redesigned a new building: a three-story building with a basement. When Janette saw the building again in 2015, it was same as when she remembered it 70 years ago ---- the stone facade, simple and crisp, the quintessential modernist style architecture. The building survived the 1976 earthquake because of its high construction quality.

1945年10月回到天津时,珍妮特7岁,利奥波德4岁。他们俩都在集中营里学会了说英语,珍妮特也正在学习写她自己的名字。她也能写利奥波德的名字:L-E-O-P-O-L-D。透过华比银行公寓的窗户,他们能够看到利华大楼(Leopold Building),“利奥波德”的字母拼写与利华大楼主人李亚溥(Marcel Leopold)的姓一致。因此,珍妮特很自豪能看到“利奥波德”在那座灰色大楼上闪闪发光。

When the Pander family returned to Tientsin in October 1945, Janette was seven years old and Leopold was four. Both of them had learnt to speak English in the Camp, and Janette was learning to write her name. She could also write Leopold's name: L-E-O-P-O-L-D. Through the windows of the Belgian Bank apartment, they could see the Leopold Building, spelled in the same letters as its owner Marcel Leopold. So she was very proud to be able to see Leopold’s name shining bright on that big grey building.

与其他刚刚从潍县返回天津的人一样,潘德尔一家不得不重新开始他们的生活。华比银行二楼的公寓被日本人占用了两年多,里面的东西都不见了。在他们搬回华比银行大楼公寓之前,那些在战争期间一直住在天津的朋友帮助潘德尔一家走出困境。珍妮特回忆起从集中营回到天津的第一顿饭,“回到天津一点都不容易。下飞机后,坐着吉普车沿着维多利亚道行驶。回到天津,我们得到了自称“维希主义者”的法国朋友帮助。我们在他家吃了两年多以来第一顿真正的饭:盘子,刀子,叉子,勺子,餐巾。”潘德尔继续担任银行经理的工作。他的薪水还算不错,慢慢地,他们开始装修“新家”----新的家具,新的窗帘,新的地毯。然而,对于潘德尔,不由回想起那个惊心动魄的夜晚。

Like others who returned to Tientsin, the Pander family had to start their lives over again. The first-floor apartment of the Belgian Bank had been occupied by the Japanese for more than two years. Everything had been looted. The family remembers that friends who had stayed in Tientsin throughout the war helped them before they could relocate into their own Belgian Bank apartments. Janette remembers one of her first meals after returning to Tientsin. “Being back in Tientsin wasn’t easy at all, we were helped by French friends who had declared themselves ‘Vichyists’. I had my first real meal at their house: plates, knives, forks, spoons to the right, napkins.” Mr. Pander Sr. continued his job as bank manager. Gradually, they began to decorate their "new house" ---- new furniture, new curtains, new carpets. For Mr. Pander Sr., however, the memory of a thrilling night came back to him.

对于潘德尔和佩西奥以及中方买办魏采章来说,1941年12月8日是他们终生难忘的一天,三人冒着生命危险进行了一次大胆的行动。

To Pander and Pétiaux, as well as the Chinese comprador Wei Tsai-Chang, December 8, 1941, was a day they would never forget.

惊心动魄的夜晚

A Thrilling Night

1941年12月8日,星期一,早上还不到7点。一阵急促的敲门声和叫嚷声,惊醒了潘德尔和佩西奥,当他们衣着不整地下楼时,看到的是一队手持步枪且上着刺刀的日本兵。日本兵领头人宣布以天皇的名义接管整栋建筑。并命令他们将金库的钥匙以及所有备用钥匙交给日本人。利奥波德说,“事后很多年,爸爸才告诉我们,在此之前爸爸已经和相关人员口头达成一致,就说我们没有金库备用钥匙,这就是比利时银行的最大特色。日本人相信了,拿走了金库的钥匙,并贴上封条,留下卫兵在门口站岗。”

Near seven o 'clock on December 8, 1941, Monday morning, Mr. Pander Sr. and Mr. Pétiaux were awakened by a sharp knock on the door, and when they went downstairs, not yet fully dressed, they saw a line of Japanese soldiers with rifles and bayonets, who announced the takeover of the whole bank building in the name of their Emperor. The Japanese requested them to hand over the vault key and all the spare keys. Leopold said, “After many years, my father told us that he and the other members of the staff had previously agreed that no spare keys existed. They pretexted that it was a peculiarity of the Belgian Bank. The Japanese believed it, put a seal on the vault door, and left the guards out at the entrance.”

随后,潘德尔和佩西奥就知道了珍珠港事件的爆发,日本向英美等国家宣战。12月8日这一天,日本军队占据了英美等国在天津的重要机构,如工部局、银行以及洋行等。虽然当时的比利时国土已经被德国占领,但在伦敦的比利时流亡政府是日本和德国的坚决反对者,所以华比银行首当其冲被日军接管。

Quite rapidly, Mr. Pander Sr. and Mr. Pétiaux were informed regarding the tragedy of Pearl Harbor, and the state of war that existed between Japan and Britain, America and other countries. On December 8, the Japanese military occupied key institutions of Britain, America and other countries in Tientsin, such as administrations, banks, tramways, etc. Although Belgium was occupied by Germany at that time, the Belgian government-in-exile in London was a firm opponent of Japan and Germany, so the Belgian Bank bore the brunt of the Japanese takeover.

华比银行的地下室金库存放的都是金条,大小不一,放在靠着水泥墙的架子上,有一些金条原则上属于客户的。这些金条如果落入日本人之手,就是有去无回,客户财产损失巨大。

The vaults in the basement of the Belgian Bank were filled with gold ingots of varying sizes, placed on shelves against concrete walls, some of which belonged to clients. If these gold ingots fell into the hands of the Japanese, there would be no possibility of return, so the clients would lose their possessions.

潘德尔、佩西奥以及中方买办魏采章,三人经过一番激烈的思想斗争,决定实施一个大胆的行动。中方买办魏采章,字允楼,辽宁营口人。他有着丰富的商务经验和灵活的头脑,与其他世袭买办或外方合伙人成为买办不同,他受过良好的教育。1919年从北京大学经济系毕业后,魏采章进入东三省官银号,九一八事变后来到天津,在河北省银行任职。从1935年至1941年,魏采章任华比银行中方买办。因魏采章有广泛的东北人脉,所以很多奉系军阀和政客将黄金都存在华比银行。在1941年地址簿的华比银行条目上,可以看到三人的名字(见图 7)。



图 7: 1941年地址簿上的华比银行信息。包括了潘德尔、佩西奥以及魏采章的名字。
Fig 7: Belgian Bank information in a directory of 1941, including the names of Pander, Pétiaux and Wei.



After a fierce ideological struggle, Mr. Pander Sr., Mr. Pétiaux and Chinese comprador Wei Tsai-chang decided to implement a bold action. Mr. Wei, who was born in Yingkou, Liaoning Province, had extensive business experience and a flexible mind. Unlike other hereditary compradors or foreign partner compradors, Mr. Wei was well educated. After graduating from the Economics Department of Peking University in 1919, he entered the Bank of the Northeastern of China. From 1935 to 1941, he was appointed comprador of Tientsin Belgian Bank. Because Mr. Wei had extensive connections in the Northeast of China, many northeast warlords and politicians kept gold in the Tientsin Belgian Bank. The Belgian Bank item in the directory of 1941 shows the names of all three of them (Fig 7).

在银行关门很久后的寂静的深夜,三人蹑手蹑脚地进入地下室金库。魏采章用了特殊技术揭下日本兵粘贴的封条。接着,三人用备用钥匙打开的金库大门。为了避免发出声响,他们将一块厚厚的帆布铺在地下室过道上,将属于客户的金条全部取出。行动必须尽可能地快、尽可能地轻。然后,帆布被费力地拖到了一楼,魏采章又将封条恢复为原来的状态。他们三人不敢停顿,连夜把东西分散藏起来。潘德尔后来告知家人,金条大都被藏在厕所的水箱中。

Long after the closing time and in the silence of the night, the three men crept down into the basement. Mr. Wei used a special skill to remove the seal pasted by the Japanese. Next, the spare key was used to open the vault door. To avoid making a noise, a strong tarpaulin was spread on the vault’s pavement, and all the gold ingots belonging to the clients were taken out. The action went as fast as possible and in silence. Then, the tarpaulin was dragged out of the vault, and the chamber was closed. Mr. Wei replaced the seal to its previous state. The tarpaulin was painfully hauled to the upper floors and the contents were hidden all over the place in the bank building. Many years later, Mr. Pander Sr. told his children that most of the gold ingots were hidden in the toilet's flush tank.

到这里,故事还没有结束。

All was not over yet.

这些大量的金条不能留在银行的公寓内,否则早晚会被日本人发现。于是,他们暗地里谨慎地通知金条的所有者。这些金条的主人听到这个消息时,都不相信自己的耳朵。他们原本认为自己在华比银行的东西早已落入日本人之手。没过多久,客户们逐渐地拿到了属于他们的东西。考虑到当时的特殊情况,双方不能留下确认收据,否则就会被日本人抓到把柄,但银行和客户都明白诚信的意义。

The great deal of gold ingots couldn’t stay in the bank's apartments, or they would be discovered by the Japanese sooner or later. So, they discreetly informed the gold’s owners. When being told, the owners did not believe their ears, considering their gold to have been lost and already in the hands of the Japanese. Before long, slowly and surely, each client recovered their due. Given the exceptional situation at that time, neither party required a confirmation receipt, or the Japanese would seize it, but both the bank and the clients understood the importance of integrity.

三年时间过去了,到了1945年10月,华比银行在抗战胜利后重新营业。让潘德尔一直很忐忑的问题,就是客户能确认他们3年前收到了东西吗?空口无凭,客户回来索要怎么办?这也正是潘德尔在回津的飞机上“低头不语,若有所思”的原因。但是他的担心多余了。几乎所有接到通知的原客户,均到华比银行来确认他们收到了东西,同时对银行表达了最高的赞誉。三年后,竟然没有一件失败……潘德尔和同僚们这次大胆的冒险才算完全成功!

Three years later, in October 1945, the Belgian Bank reopened after the war. What Mr. Pander Sr. worried about was whether the clients would confirm their reception of their gold three years ago. As a mere verbal statement was no guarantee, perhaps the clients could come back and ask for what belonged to them? That was why Mr. Pander Sr. was "looking very thoughtful" on the plane. But his fear was unnecessary, each of the Chinese clients gave his word of honour to confirm that they had received the contents. Three years later, none failed … Mr. Pander Sr and his colleagues had succeeded!

二战结束后,由于佩西奥曾为日本人工作,因此难以回到欧洲,只能像德、意、日等轴心国人员那样,远赴南美洲。他先后在乌拉圭和阿根廷工作,最后在巴西的意比银行(Banque Italo Belge),结束了他的职业生涯,1969年在圣保罗过世,享年64岁。魏采章又回到华比银行工作,直到50年代后调任中国银行,1973年过世,享年79岁。潘德尔回到天津后不久,即调任上海华比银行经理,1946年5月他们一家离开天津,利奥波德却抱怨父母没有带上他的毛绒小狗。1949年,潘德尔再转任香港华比银行经理。1952年5月,潘德尔回到比利时继续在银行工作。退休后,银行也为潘德尔保留了一间办公室,作为私人银行顾问,他一直工作到生命的最后时刻。

After World War II, it was difficult for Mr. Pétiaux to return to Europe because he had worked for the Japanese. He went to South America. He worked in Uruguay and Argentina before ending his career at the Banque Italo Belge in Brazil, passing away in Sao Paulo in 1969 at the age of 64. Mr. Wei returned to the Belgian Bank until he was transferred to the Bank of China in the 1950s, and passed away in 1973 at the age of 79. Soon after he returned to Tientsin, Mr. Pander Sr. was promoted to be the manager of the Belgian Bank in Shanghai, so the Pander family left Tientsin in May 1946. However, Leopold kept complaining that his parents had forgotten to bring his little stuffed puppy. In 1949, Mr. Pander was appointed manager of the Hong Kong Belgian Bank. He returned to Belgium in May 1952. Back in Belgium, Mr. Pander Sr. resumed his job as Bank Manager. When retired, he kept an office as Private Banker and worked till almost the last days of his life.

利奥波德总是回忆起,在离开集中营之前妈妈经常告诉他们的一件事,而且这件事在妈妈生命的最后时光更经常被提及,“一个日本警卫面对面地告诉妈妈,日本人确实输了战争,但……他们会回来的。这个日本人说,当那一天到来的时候,他们会抓住我们所有人,把我们关进监狱,他们会拿走我们所有的财产,他们会杀了我们!”潘德尔回到比利时后,一直拒绝与日本人一起工作,甚至拒绝与日本人做生意。1977年,潘德尔在布鲁塞尔去世,享年80岁。生前,他的家人多次建议他写出在中国的回忆录,但潘德尔却每每拒绝,他说:“我知道的秘密太多了!”。

Leopold remembered that his mother used to tell them before leaving the Camp, and more often towards the end of her life. "A Japanese guard told her, face to face, that it was true that the Japanese had lost the war, but ... that they would come back again. And he said that when that time came … that they would catch all of us and put us into prison and that they would take all our possessions and that they would kill us!" Returning to Belgium, Mr. Pander always refused to work or make business with or for the Japanese. He died in Brussels in 1977 at the age of 80. During his lifetime, his family hoped that he would write a memoir of his personal experiences in China, but He refused to do so, pretexting that he knew too many secrets.



图 8:潘德尔一家五口人在潍县集中营的编号
Fig 8: The five Pander family badges in Weihsien Concentration Camp



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