The US Department of State awarded three Chinese citizens for the humanitarian help they offered to US POWs during World War II.
The certificates of appreciation were awarded to Li Lishui, Gao Dechun and Ge Qingyu for assistance rendered to the US POWs held at the Camp Hoten in Shenyang during the Pacific War, announced David A. Kornbluth, consul-general of the US Consulate General in Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning Province, on Friday afternoon.
The humanity and courage displayed by the three Chinese in risking their safety to help American prisoners will be remembered by the US government and people, says the certificates of appreciation.
Japanese troops locked up more than 2,000 POWs of the US, the UK, Australia and the Netherlands in the Camp Hoten from November 11, 1942 to August 15, 1945. Prisoners were tortured by diseases, iciness, hunger and beating and 244 of them died.
Many Chinese people rendered self-giving help to the prisoners.
Li, 81, is still in good health while the other two had passed away.
Li said food was in short supply at that time and because he was an apprentice in the camp, he was not allowed to talk with prisoners.
He recalled that one time, after buying vegetables back from the market, he secretly threw several cucumbers to the No. 266 prisoner.
That prisoner later mailed to Li his photos and a letter of thanks, saying he would never forget those cucumbers.
Gao helped three American prisoners to escape by providing a map. He was captured by Japanese troops later and put into prison for 10 years.
Ge, then a conservator at a factory run by Japanese, was the benefactor and friend of Roland Nenneth Towery, a later Pulitzer Prize winner. They worked together to steal axletrees and exchanged for food.
Towery has always borne in mind Ge's help and funded his granddaughter to continue studies at a university.
(Xinhua News Agency August 20, 2005)