Date of letter:1993-07-01
Address of author:Nan County, Yiyang City, Hunan Province
Date of event:1943-11
Location of event:Taoyuan County, Changde City, Hunan Province
Name of author:Yu Zhenzhong
Name(s) of victim(s):Liu Zhongwu, HuangMeisheng, etc.
Type of atrocity:Murders, Rapes, Others(MU, RA, OT)
Other details:In November 1943, the Japanese invaded my hometown, burning houses and killing people, including Liu Zhongwu and Huang Meisheng’s 12-year-old girl, who got killed after being raped. The families returned a few days later after fleeing, and saw dead people everywhere, as well as smoke.
Mr. Tong Zeng:
You initiated the Chinese civilian compensation claim toward Japan for its crimes committed in its invasion war against non military personnel——Chinese commoners, including burning, killing and looting which aroused great indignation among the population, this is reasonable and natural, I am among the tens of millions of victims, and has the right to make the complaint.
The details of my story are as follows. One day in November 1943, the exact date was unclear since it was half a century ago, the Japanese Army swooped on Taoyuan from Wangjiachang, Dayandang in Li County of Western Hunan, Jiuxi Town was not spared, my home was in the rural area 8 li away from Jiuxi Xiaoji Town. Back then the KMT troops had evacuated, the Japanese army adopted “Burn All, Kill All, Loot All” policy toward unarmed common people. Back then I was still studying in school in Jishou, Hunan, and didn’t follow my family of seven persons to flee from calamity, later according to description of my family members, the Japanese Army committed heinous crimes in the vicinity of only less than half li away from our home, they burned the house of my home and Yu Xianglin’s house on both ends (my home was in the west, rooms of Xianglin’s home was in the east), there were also rooms of Yu Yizhong, Yu Daan, Huang Xiangting, Sha Doucheng were also burned, they also killed Liu Zhongwu, raped a 12 year old girl surnamed Huang before killing her, all these people were my relatives.
The house of my home was about 600 sqm in area, including 18 rooms (including two storied buildings; toilet, pigsty, cattle ring, and faggot room were not included), the whole house was pine wood structure, complete with furniture and farming tools, with three barns, which stored about 45000 catties of grains, plus some quantity of coarse cereals, cotton, and edible oil. Our clothing included the then precious leather robe, Russian blanket etc. Cultural relics included one ancient Song Dynasty stone ink slab, one bamboo nave painting by Zheng Banqiao of the Qing Dynasty, one couplet calligraphy written by Luo Chengxiang, the Sichuan Zhaungyuan (principal graduate, title given to the scholar who achieved the highest score on highest level of the Chinese imperial examinations) in the late Qing Dynasty, all of them were burned to ashes. Several days later when my family members retuned after fleeing from war disaster, on the way they witnessed dead human bodies and dead animals everywhere, accompanied by stinking smell, crumbled walls and fallen tiles, lingering smoke, it was a desolate scene too horrible to look at. When they nearly reached the house gate, feeling anxious, they saw the bullock coming forward to meet the master with tears brimming in the eyes, seeing the remaining half-burned grains, which were no longer fit for eating. Excluding the clothing everyone was wearing, there was nothing left, it looked as if they were chased away from home, and they were forced to stay in tenant farmers’ home. Based on the current value, the loss amounted to over 70000 yuan, which does not include the loss of cultural relics, for they were incalculable, It can be argued that in the local area my household suffered the biggest loss as a result of house burning, which is widely known by everybody.
Mr. Tong, we demand compensation from the Japanese government, this is righteous action, and it also complies with international law. I hereby write down the above details, please summarize it and forward it to related parties for sending it to the Japanese government. We will give you full support to accomplish this heroic deed.
Former victim of Weiping Village, Jiuxi Town, Taoyuan County, Hunan Province
(Current residence and correspondence address:
21 Fuxing Street, Nanzhou Town, Nan County, Hunan Province Post code 413200)