World / Europe

Plight of 'forgotten camp' POWs recalled

By Xinhua In London (China Daily) Updated: 2015-10-06 08:29

Plight of 'forgotten camp' POWs recalled

Visitors look at a giant puppet of a grandmother sleeping on a bed inside St George's Hall in Liverpool, northern England, July 23, 2014. The grandmother is one of two giant models as part of the "Memories of August 1914" World War I commemorative event happening over the weekend in Liverpool. [Photo/Agencies]

The underground catacombs of one of Britain's most iconic buildings are to offer a rare chance to relive the dark days of one of the most notorious Japanese prisoner of war camps in China. Liverpool's St. George's Hall is to host a photographic exhibition highlighting the Shenyang World War II Allied Prisoners Camp, originally known as Mukden POW Camp.

The camp, in northeastern China, is the best preserved of more than 200 prisoner of war camps established by Japan in the Asia-Pacific region.

Among the 2,000 prisoners of war incarcerated in the camp during World War II, were soldiers from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, France, some of them high-ranking.

The exhibition, which takes place between Nov 7 and 15, offers visitors a chance to relive the prisoners' dark days in the camp and illustrates their tenacious, relentless struggle against their Japanese captors through historic photographs as well as diaries, memoirs and caricatures.

"It will give visitors to Liverpool a rare insight into the sufferings and perseverance of the Allied prisoners," said a spokesman for Liverpool Civic Hall.

"The event is part of the 2015 China-UK Year of Cultural Exchanges, and is expected to bring closer the two nations which fought together in World War II and further explore the history of the Allied Forces war prisoners," added the spokesman.

Organized by the Shenyang World War II Allied Prisoners Camp Site Museum, the event in Liverpool is being supported by the cities of Shenyang and Liverpool, the Shenyang cultural administration, and the cultural office of the Chinese Embassy in the UK.

St. George's Hall was chosen to host the exhibition because of Liverpool's vital role as a port during World War II.

Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, told Xinhua: "As this is the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, it is right that we remember what happened to soldiers and civilians far from home all across the world during those dark years. This exhibition will help us do that."

Fan Lihong, curator of Shenyang World War II Allied Prisoners Camp Site Museum, said: "I hope that this exhibition allows more Britons to understand this relatively unknown history, and provides an opportunity to further strengthen the cultural exchanges between China and UK."

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