Siege of Changchun: Memories From a Communist Famine in Homare Endo's "Japanese Girl at the Siege
Epoch Times just wrote an important article on the disturbingly inhuman tactics used by the Chinese Communist Party during the 1948 Siege of Changchun, who encircled the city, cut off all supplies, and forced thousands upon thousands of civilians to starve to death.
This article draws from Homare Endo's childhood experiences in the chaos of the siege to give a brief summary of the historical backdrop of her new memoir, Japanese Girl at the Siege of Changchun. Here's an excerpt:
Homare Endo, the child of Japanese colonists, was born in Changchun in 1941. And when she was 7 years old, she experienced the siege herself, during which her older and younger brothers died because of hunger. Later, she witnessed the madness of different political movements in the early years after CCP took power. In 1953, Endo and her family went back to Japan. In 1984, Endo published her book, “Qiazi [the name for the no-man’s land around Changchun]: No Escape from the Great Earth,” in Japan.
In August 2016, in an interview with Voice of America, Endo recalled what she had experienced back then, saying “Hunger forced my family to start eating distillation grain, and then we consumed wild vegetables, elm tree leafs and tree bark. There were dead bodies everywhere on the street and dogs eating the bodies.”
One passage in the book describes how Endo took the remaining 90 Japanese in Changchun to arrive in the “qiazi” zone, which was cordoned off by double layers of barbed wire. Because the area was littered with rotten and dried corpses, they tried to find a clean space to sleep. However when they woke, up they discovered they were actually sleeping on top of dead bodies, and everywhere around them were dead bodies and refugees.