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My father fought in Chinese People's war against Japanese aggression

By Stoszek Magdalena, Han Mei and Gao Fan ( Xinhua )

Updated: 2015-09-06

Stanislaw Flato, a Polish doctor whose Chinese name was Fu Lato, was an example of foreign volunteers who extended helping hands to the Chinese people in their fighting against Japanese aggression during World War Two.

Flato the senior's son, Jurek Flato who currently lives in Stockholm, shared with Xinhua the memories of his father's life in China.

Stanislaw Flato was a Polish doctor. After graduated from a university in Paris in 1936, he left for Spain, where joined the International Brigades, which were dismissed few years later.

A group of around 20 doctors then organized themselves and decided to join the Chinese people's war against Japanese aggression. Flato was chosen as the head of this group.

According to Jurek Flato, the majority of these physicians were of Jewish origin, mostly from Poland and Germany.

Jurek Flato told Xinhua: "They left on an English vessel and headed for Hong Kong, where they were greeted by Song Qingling and Israel Epstein. Firstly, they were sent to Chongqing. When they arrived, they were accommodated together with the Chinese troops."

Flato humorously recalled: "During the first meal, before the newly arrived doctors managed to understand how to eat correctly, the food was already gone! By the second meal they have already learned to use chopsticks and eat from the common bowls".

Once the doctors realized the difficulties and lack of food, they decided to share their rates and eat the same food as those dedicated for the patients.

The main task of doctors was to cure and treat the wounds of soldiers, as well as diseases which were a result of poor sanitary and hygienic conditions - both within the army and within the civilians.

Jurek Flato said that many pictures of his father and his co-workers are currently placed in the archives of Beijing National Museum.

Afterwards, the group of doctors were relocated to Guizhou province, where a commemorative stele and a website dedicated to their contribution in Chinese anti-fascist war have been created later.

Jurek Flato said that three sons of those doctors, together with the authorities of Guiyang together, have made an effort to gather the families of the doctors, give them opportunity to visit this memorable place and renovate the site.

Flato said that many of the families' members, including Jurek Flato's sister, have been invited to take part in the commemorations of the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People's war against Japanese aggression and the world's anti-Fascist war, held in Beijing on Thursday. Jurek Flato himself couldn't go due to poor health.

Flato wondered whether the tragic experiences of the WWII and other inhuman wars can teach humanity not to use such extreme measures.

As the world is getting more and more informed and well-educated, many countries from different parts of the world cooperate with good results which might contribute to sustaining peace, Flato said.

"I wish it can be like that," Flato added, wishing that the mankind can learn from the past to value peace all the more.

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