Date of letter:1992-09-10
Address of author:Tongling City, Anhui Province
Date of event:1939
Location of event:Tongling County, Tongling City, Anhui Province
Name of author:Sheng Changming, He Qigang,
Name(s) of victim(s):He Bowu (He Qigang’s father), Wang Shijun, Xu Maofa, Xu Xiusheng, Wu Yongqing, Sheng Weisan (Sheng Changming’s father)
Type of atrocity:Murders, Others（MU, OT）
Other details:I got to read your report on Japanese on Weekly Digest by chance and we agree with the signature effort. When the Japanese invaded Tongling County, Tongling City, Anhui, He Qigang’s father He Bowu was arrested by Japanese on December 23rd 1939 on the lunar calendar, and then cut in half by the waist, stuffed into a sack and thrown into the Yangtze River; among the other victims were Wang Shijun, Xu Maofa, Xu Xiusheng, Wu Yongqing, etc. Sheng Changming’s father Sheng Weisan was forced to commit suicide because the Japanese tracked to arrest him. We consider it necessary to claim compensation from Japan.
Comrade Tong Zeng:
How have you been?
We read an article entitled “Issues about China’s Civilian Claims for Compensation Against Japan” from Weekly Digest (edited by Anhui Daily) of June 28, 1992. The article mentioned that you’ve submitted to the People’s Congress an opinion letter about civilian claims for compensation against Japan last spring. Over the past year, 10,000 people across the country have signed a petition to support this opinion letter. The article also mentioned that your goal was to get signatures from 100 million people and that you are planning to establish an organization responsible for filing civilian claims from Japan. We very much admire and support you for that and express our sincere gratitude to you because we are relatives of the victims of the Japanese Army.
The Japanese Army invaded China and brought a terrible disaster to our country and people. Tongling also suffered a lot without exception. We are from Dongtang, Tongling, Anhui. Our fathers were members of the Farmers’ Resistance Unit. They were killed after the Japanese Army invaded and occupied Tongling. He Qigang’s father He Baoyu was arrested on the 23rd of lunar December, 1939, then taken to Datong Town and brutally killed on the last day of lunar December. Instead of being directly executed by shooting, he was cut in half, stuffed into a bag and thrown into a river. Other victims included Wang Shijun, Xu Maofa, Xu Xiusheng, Wu Yongqing and Mr. Wang…(All of them were from Dongtang. We cannot remember those from other places). Sheng Changming’s father Sheng Weisan was forced to kill himself in lunar February 1940 due to the tracking and pursuing by Japanese soldiers and traitors Xu Chaogan and Wu Keren. Japanese soldiers killed the victims in the most cruel and inhumane ways. The relatives of the victims also suffered a lot. In that winter, it snowed heavily and the temperatures were extremely low. The broken families were living in sadness and fear. The victims died miserably, leaving their relatives to live in pain for many years. These memories are so heartbreaking. So we think it’s quite necessary and about time to demand compensation from Japan.
During 8 years of Japanese occupation, from 1938 to 1945, no less than 1,000 victims in Tongling died directly or indirectly, in the hands of the Japanese. So we think it’s feasible to get signature from 100 million people across the country. The problem is that many victims and their relatives don’t know about the news and it’s not easy to get their signatures.
After reading the above-mentioned article, we intended to write to you immediately to express our wishes, but then we thought maybe there is an organization responsible for our registration and signature. But we waited for nearly 2 months and didn’t hear any news, so we decided to write you a letter. We sincerely ask you to handle this matter and express the wishes of the national people nationwide, especially the victims and their relatives.
We have three wishes and requests:
1. stand firm in demanding compensation from Japan.
2. Establish an organization to register victims and collect signatures. Inform all victims and their relatives of the situation to facilitate demanding compensation from Japan, preferably through local government agencies.
3. What procedures are required for the victims to file claims seeking compensation from the Japanese government? Please tell us because we recently read an article entitled “China’s Comfort Women Claims for Compensation Against Japan” for the first time on Weekly Digest of August 30, 1992.
Decades have passed. We are already 60 years old, but this matter has always haunted us. We cannot explain it clearly to our children and grandchildren because both of us took the “blame” for it during the Cultural Revolution. (We should have been families of martyrs because our fathers as members of the Farmers’ Resistance Unit sacrificed their lives fighting the invading Japanese Army. But as we were young at that time and didn’t know about the policy and the matter was not settled.) If this matter can be addressed, it will be a comfort to both the dead and the living.
We are sending you this letter to register and looking forward to your reply. If you need us to do anything, please write to us or call us and we will do it.
Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of Tongling, Anhui
Xinhua Bookstore, Tongling, Anhui
September 10, 1992
Sheng Changming, Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of Tongling, Anhui, 240000