Faculty member introduces keynote at event at the Chinese American Museum
Dr. Xin Fan of the Department of History introduced the keynote speaker during an online conference at the Chinese American Museum DC in Washington on Dec. 10.
Dr. Fan is also the museum’s Scholar in Residence.
The special online event celebrated the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II in remembering the “Forgotten Stories from Le Dao Yuan: Weihsien Prison Camp, Shandong, China During WWII.”
When the United States entered the war, following the attacks on Pearl Harbor, western civilians living in China were rounded up and imprisoned by the Japanese until the end of the war; the prison camp at Weihsien in Shandong Province, being one of the largest. Though food was scarce, living conditions harsh, and rescue uncertain, the story of Weihsien prison camp embodies human resilience, creativity, and heroism in the face of opposition.
Dr. Stephen MacKinnon, who is professor emeritus at Arizona State University, was the keynote speaker. The event featured Leopold Pander (Brussels, Belgium), an ex-Weihsien prisoner and webmaster of weihsien-paintings.org, and other ex-Weihsien prisoners including Angela Elliott (Vancouver, Canada), Molly Soltay (Toronto, Canada) ,and Helen Leavey (Yorkshire, Great Britain), journalist, writer and podcaster. The event was moderated by Louisa Sorkness, the museum’s program coordinator.
“Forgotten Stories from Le Dao Yuan” is a new, special exhibit in the Chinese American Museum DC, curated by museum’s Senior Advisor, Rita Lewi. The new Chinese American Museum is dedicated to telling the underrepresented and unique stories that are related to the Chinese American experience.