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Three Chinese awarded for helping US POWs in WWII
Updated: 2005-08-20 18:09

The Department of State of the United States awarded three Chinese citizens for the humanitarian help they offered to US prisoners of war (POWs) during the Second World War (WWII).

The Certificates of Appreciation were awarded to Li Lishui, Gao Dechun and Ge Qingyu for assistance rendered to the United States POWs held at the Camp Hoten, Shenyang in northeast China during the Pacific War, announced David A. Kornbluth, consul general of the US consulate general in Shenyang, capital of Liaoning Province, on Friday afternoon.

The humanity and courage displayed by Li Lishui, Gao Dechun and Ge Qingyu in risking their safety to help American prisoners will be remembered by the Government and people of the the United States as the actions of a brave and true friend, says the certificates of appreciation.

Among the three Chinese, Li Lishui, 81, is still in good health while the other two had passed away. Their offsprings received the certificate of appreciation on behalf of them.

Japanese troops locked up more than 2,000 POWs of the United States, Britain, Australia and the Netherlands in the Camp Hoten from November 11, 1942 to August 15, 1945. Most of the prisoners are of the United States. Prisoners were tortured by diseases, iciness, hunger and beating by Japanese soldiers and 244 of them died during the over two-year period.

Many Chinese people rendered self-giving help to prisoners.

Gao Dechun helped three American prisoners to escape, by providing a map. Gao was captured by Japanese troops later and put into prison for 10 years.

Ge Qingyu is the benefactor and friend of Roland Nenneth Towery, the sole winner of the Pulitzer Prize among the prisoners in the Camp Hoten.

Ge, then a conservator at a factory run by Japanese, and Towery worked together to steal axletrees and exchanged the axletrees for food.

Towery has always borne in mind Ge's help and funded Ge's granddaughter to continue studies at a university.

Li Lishui said that the food was in short supply at that time and because he was an apprentice, he was not allowed to talk with prisoners.

Li recalled that one time, after they bought vegetables back from the market, he secretly threw several cucumbers to the No. 266 prisoner.

The No. 266 prisoner later mailed to Li his photos and a letter of thanks, saying he would never forget those cucumbers.

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