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북녘 | [Reminiscences]Chapter 4 7. The Summer of 1930

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작성자 편집국 작성일20-06-02 13:51 댓글0건

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[Reminiscences]Chapter 4 7. The Summer of 1930

  

   


 

7. The Summer of 1930 

Before\and after August 1, 1930, international peace day, the factionalists of the M-L group again caused a reckless revolt in the areas along the Jilin-Dunhua railway, having failed to learn a lesson rom the failure of the May 30 Uprising.


The revolt placed a serious difficulty in the path of our revolution. A few\organizations which had gone deep underground after the May 30 Uprising were exposed to the enemy. The\organizations which we had gone to such pains to restore by touring different places after our release rom prison were again dealt a blow\and destroyed. Fine leading-core elements in different parts of Manchuria were arrested en masse\and executed. The enemy also got another good excuse for slandering communism\and suppressing the communist movement. No particular explanation is necessary as to what a great help the revolt was to the racial alienation policy of the Japanese imperialists. Because of the two revolts the Koreans completely lost credit with the Chinese people. It was only later, through the guerrilla war, that we were able to restore our credit.


The Koreans in east Manchuria gradually began to be awakened to the danger of Left adventurism through the August 1 Uprising\and to look on the factionalists\and flunkeyists who had driven the masses into such a reckless uprising with disfavour\and alarm.

We immediately dispatched political workers to the areas swept by the revolt in\order to prevent the revolutionary masses rom again being duped by the factionalists’ propaganda.


I decided to go to Dunhua via Jilin\and spend a short time restoring the\organizations there.

In Jilin I found the atmosphere to be as terrible as it had been immediately after the May 30 Uprising.

Several times a day I went in disguise to visit those who had been involved in the\organization.

Jilin station, the city gates\and the crossroads were all enemy checkpoints. The secret agents of the Japanese consulate wandered the streets searching for Korean revolutionaries. Because the nationalist movement was on a decline the enemy placed cordons in various places to arrest the young people engaged in the communist movement rather than chasing the heads of the Independence Army as they had done at the time of the An Chang Ho incident.


I was angry at the thought that it was difficult to see familiar faces in the streets of Jilin which had previously been astir with the struggle against the Jilin-Hoeryong railway project.


When parting rom me, my comrades had advised me not to stay for long in Jilin\and to hurry to Hailong, Qingyuan\or somewhere else. Nevertheless, it was not easy for me to leave Jilin. When I thought that I had worked hard day\and night to clear a new way for the revolution there for three years, it was not easy for me to turn towards another place. If I had not taken such pains to make the revolution, even being imprisoned, I might not have felt so much affection for the city. A man naturally likes a place\where he has worked heart\and soul.


Fortunately I met a comrade who had been engaged in the work of the Young Communist League\and he told me the whereabouts of several\organization members. I gathered them together\and told them not to expose any more\organization members\and, for the time being, bring underground such legitimate\organizations as the Association of Korean Children in Jilin\and the Ryugil Association of Korean Students in Jilin.


I discussed with them measures for implementing the line of the Kalun Meeting. I gave the most reliable comrades the assignment of restoring the revolutionary\organizations,\and I sent them to the areas assigned to them.


I decided to leave Jilin. I had too much work to do. While I was handling affairs in Jilin, I ardently desired to go to east Manchuria\and restore the wrecked\organizations there.


I decided to go to Qingyuan\or Hailong\and take refuge at the houses of some Chinese comrades for the time being\and then eliminate the aftereffects of the revolt by touring the areas that had been seriously ravaged by the enemy. If I were to go to Hailong\and Qingyuan I would be able to establish contact with Choe Chang Gol whom I had not met since the Kalun Meeting\and, together with him, explore the route to south Manchuria. The area around Liuhe was\where Choe Chang Gol was conducting his activities.


Choe Chang Gol had formed some basic party\organizations\and was extending the YCLK, AIYL\and other mass\organizations, touring the Liuhe, Hailong\and Qingyuan areas. The revolutionary movement in these areas was suffering greatly rom the antagonism between the pro-Kukmin-bu group\and the anti-Kukmin-bu group. With the influence of the August 1 Uprising reaching these areas at this time, revolutionary\organizations were being destroyed en masse.


Between Hailong\and Qingyuan lived a schoolmate of mine rom my Jilin days. He was a Chinese comrade who served in our unit in the early years of the guerrilla war\and returned home after the expedition to south Manchuria. I thought that if I stayed at his house for a while the white terrorist outrages would lessen\and I would survive the most dangerous period.


The day I left Jilin, several female comrades saw me off at the station. They were finely dressed, like the daughters of a rich family, so I boarded the train without causing suspicion. The warlords did not think that gentlemen could possibly be involved in the communist movement.


I caught my train at a station in the suburbs which was loosely guarded by the enemy instead of at Jilin station. On the train I unexpectedly met Zhang Wei-hua.


He said, “I am going to Shenyang to study. I went to Jilin to see you\and talk with you about a path for the revolution, but the city was empty. My Korean friends had all hidden themselves\and only soldiers, police\and cat’s paws of the Japanese could be seen. I went there to see you but I could not. Having no friends, I am going to Shenyang.” In spite of my protests, he took me to a first-class carriage. He seemed to have guessed that I was concealing my identity to avoid the terrorist outrages.


That day the police examined the passengers particularly closely. Shutting all the carriage doors, they checked the identity of each passenger as he boarded the train\and even examined the belongings of some passengers. The ticket inspectors, too, were unusually careful in checking the tickets of the passengers. The aftermath of the August 1 Uprising had reached not only the cities\and rural communities but also the trains. The police rudely examined the passengers but did not dare to approach Zhang Wei-hua who was wearing a good- quality Chinese robe. Because I was sitting beside him, I was not examined by the police either. The ticket inspector passed us by, without asking us to show our tickets. It was because of Zhang Wei-hua,\and thanks to him I arrived safely at Hailong station.


I had papers\and secret documents about me. If the police had searched me, I would have been in danger.

When I arrived at Hailong station, I saw an imposing array of policemen rom the Japanese consulate standing on the platform\and by the ticket gate. I sensed danger.


I became nervous when I saw that the police at the station were Japanese. Chinese police\and Japanese police were all alike, but if one was caught by the Japanese police, one could expect no mercy. When they arrested Korean revolutionaries in Manchuria, they escorted them to Korea\or tried them at the court of the Guandong government-general\and sent them to prison in Lushun, Dalian\or Jilin.


As I gazed steadily out of the window, at a loss what to do, Zhang Wei-hua invited me to go with him if I had no particularly urgent matter to attend to. He suggested that I meet his father\and talk with him about his future.


According to my initial plan I was to leave the train at Caoshi station\and continue to my destination. I should have gone through five\or six stations more to reach Caoshi station. If Zhang Wei-hua alighted rom the train at Hailong station, there would be no one to protect me\and I might be in danger.


So I decided to accept his invitation.


Zhang Wei- hua’s father was waiting for him at the station. On hearing that his son was coming to Hailong, he had come to meet him on his way back rom Yingkou\where he had been selling insam (ginseng), he said. A group of privately employed soldiers with Mausers in wooden cases stuck through their belts brought a luxury carriage for us to ride in. Their appearance was imposing.

 

Awe-struck, the police rom the consulate did not dare to approach us.


We rode proudly in the luxury carriage along the street in front of the station, escorted by the personal bodyguard. That day Zhang Wei-hua\and I stayed at a luxury hotel\where we rested well.


Zhang Wei-hua posted sentries of his personal bodyguard.


They threw a two\and three-deep cordon around the hotel.


His father said that he was glad to meet me again after such a long interval. He conducted me to a luxury room\and treated me to a good meal. Whenever he had met me since the Fusong days he had treated me kindly. When his guests asked who I was he, by way of a joke, introduced me as his adopted son.


At first he called me his adopted son as a joke, but later came to call me so in earnest.

I had been on good terms with Zhang Wei -hua since we lived in Fusong, in the full knowledge that he was a rich man’s son. As a child I had the conception that landlords were exploiters, but this was no hindrance to my relations with Zhang Wei-hua. I was on close terms with him, since he was honest, conscientious\and had a strong anti-Japanese feeling. He had helped me at a critical moment, at which I was greatly moved. If, as I would normally have done, I had given him a wide berth on the plea that he was a landlord’s son, he would not have protected me in the critical situation.


Zhang Wei-hua, who could have lived in luxury all his life without taking part in the revolution\or supporting it, helped me out of danger together with his father. He did so because he valued our friendship.


Ever since I attended primary school in Fusong, Zhang Wei-hua had been on close terms with me, ignoring the fact that he was rich\and I poor\and that he was Chinese\and I Korean. He showed a deep understanding for the sorrow of our people who were deprived of their country, sympathized with us\and wholeheartedly supported our determination to liberate our country. He did so because he was a patriot who ardently loved his country\and his nation. He saw the misfortune of the Chinese people in the misfortune of the Korean people.


Though he was a rich man, Zhang Wei-hua’s father was a firm patriot who advocated national sovereignty\and driving out the foreign forces. His patriotic spirit is reflected in the names of his sons. When his eldest son was born, he named him Wei-zhong. The second character of his name was derived rom the first character of “Zhong Hua Min Guo” (Republic of China). He named his second son Wei-hua, his third son Wei-min\and would have named a fourth son Wei-guo, if one had been born. If these characters were added together, they made up the name of the Republic of China.


Then Zhang Wei-hua asked, “In spring\or autumn next year the Japanese are likely to invade. What are you going to do then?” “If the Japanese invade, I am going to fight to repulse them.


My idea is to wage an armed struggle,” I said.


Zhang Wei-hua said that he, too, would fight,\and wondered whether his parents would allow him to do so.

So I said, “What is a home without a country? If you want to fight against the old society, you should make a revolution. There is no other way. Otherwise, what is there to do except merely talk about communism as a public-spirited man\and read books? These are the only two ways. So, you should carry out the revolution without asking your parents. This is the way to serve China\and save the Chinese people. There is no other way for you. You should make the revolution with the Chinese people. If the Japanese invade, both the Chinese\and the Korean people will rise in the struggle.”


Thus I implanted the anti-Japanese idea in his mind while I stayed at the hotel for two\or three days. Having heard my advice he said that he, too, would make the revolution after leaving school.


I said to him, “When I am in trouble, I might need your help again. Please give me your address in Shenyang.” After he had given me his address I asked him whether he could help me to reach my destination safely.


He said he would do anything to help\and protect me. With this he took me in his carriage to the house of a Chinese comrade on the border between Hailong County\and Qingyuan County.


The family of the man I called on was rich like Zhang Wei-hua’s. Among the pioneers of the Chinese revolution there were many such people. That is why I always consider the Chinese revolution to be a special one. Many intellectuals\and rich people, together with the workers\and peasants, took part in the revolutionary movement, the communist movement.


When people rom rich families discover contradictions that suppress a man’s independence\and check social development, they may be ready to take part in the revolutionary movement to do away with those contradictions. That is why fighters\and pioneers defending the interests of the working people are also produced rom the propertied classes, I think.


What is important is not one’s class\origin but one’s world outlook.

If a man regards life as enjoyment he cannot make the revolution\and merely tries to live in clover. If a man prefers a life worthy of a man, he, even if he is rich, takes part in the revolution.

 

If such far-sighted people are given a wide berth in the class revolution, the revolution suffers a great loss.


I stayed at the house of the Chinese comrade for several days. He treated me well as Zhang Wei-hua had done. I am not sure now whether his surname was Wang\or Wei. I had him search for Choe Chang Gol for a few days, but of no avail. Choe Chang Gol was said to have gone deep underground after the August 1 Uprising.


I met a member of the Young Communist League in the neighbourhood of Caoshi\and requested him to convey to Choe Chang Gol a letter asking him to restore the ruined\organizations in the Hailong\and Qingyuan areas as soon as possible\and to push ahead with the preparations for an armed struggle.


The few days I stayed at the house of the Chinese comrade, though I was treated as guest, were boring\and painful for me. I was eager to throw myself into free\and brisk activities, treading the earth as I liked even if my life was endangered. I had to disguise myself\and start my political activities, but rash action was likely to bring trouble. It was difficult for me to return to Jilin again\and it was not easy to take a train because the south Manchurian railways were managed by the Japanese. I wanted to go to Jiandao but I did not think that I would survive the wave of arrests of communists there. Nevertheless I thought I should go. I decided to go to east Manchuria by all means\and there to prepare for the armed struggle.


At Hailong I, together with a Chinese comrade, boarded a train bound for Jilin\where I changed trains\and headed for Jiaohe. In Jiaohe there were many\organizations under our influence. Han Yong Ae, who had been on close terms with me since our Jilin days,\and her uncle Han Kwang lived there.

 

I intended to prepare a hiding place with their help to avoid the pursuit of the warlords\and restore the\organizations. I had decided that, if I met Han Yong Ae, I would establish contact with Harbin’s higher\organizations under the International Young Communist League.


Han Yong Ae had returned to Jiaohe after leaving school in Jilin early owing to the family’s circumstances towards the beginning of 1929, but continued to maintain contact with us.


After thinking over whom I should visit, I called first on Jang Chol Ho who had been a company commander in the Independence Army.


Having broken away rom the upper echelons of the Independence Army after the formation of Kukmin-bu\and left the service, he came to Jiaohe\and became engrossed in running a rice mill. I called on him because he loved me dearly as my father’s friend\and was a reliable patriot. I needed a temporary hiding place until I could meet the\organization members.


He was delighted to see me but did not invite me to hide at his home. As he seemed to be overcome with fear, I did not tell him why I had called on him. I headed towards the house of Ri Jae Sun. When my father was alive, he had aided the independence champions well, while running an inn. He, too, welcomed me, but suggested that we part after treating me to a Chinese meal at a Chinese restaurant.


I needed a hiding place more than a meal\or two. He must have known why I had visited him but simply bade me goodbye without even inviting me to stay overnight at his home. He seemed to have considered the trouble that might befall him\and abandoned his sense of duty\and friendship as an old acquaintance.

 

From this I learned a serious lesson. Father’s friends, too, counted for nothing without ideological cohesion. I drew the bitter lesson that the revolutionary struggle cannot be shared only by relying on friendship\or sympathy.


If an ideological mood\and faith change, the sense of friendship\and of humanity changes. If one of two people who had been on intimate terms with each other in the past, sharing joy\and hardship, changes his mind, their friendship is impaired\and they part. Friendship which was supposed to be invariable\and eternal is impaired if one side degenerates ideologically. Later in the course of the protracted revolutionary struggle I learned the lesson that without holding fast to an idea it is impossible to maintain a sense of duty as a friend\and friendly relations. After parting rom Ri Jae Sun, I headed for Han Kwang’s house. I thought that Han Kwang might have hidden himself somewhere but that Han Yong Ae might be at home, being a woman,\and I entertained the hope that if she understood my situation she would help me, even at the risk of her life.


But neither Han Kwang nor Han Yong Ae was at home. When I asked their next-door neighbour\where they were, she told me that she did not know. As all the young Koreans who were supposed to be engaged in the movement had hidden, I had no one to call on.


In the meantime someone must have informed on me to the police. There were policemen on my heels. I thought I was caught\and despaired of my situation, but the woman living next door to Han Kwang saved me rom the danger. She said to me, “You seem to be in danger, though I don’t know who you are. Be quick\and go into the kitchen.” Quickly she put on my back the baby she was carrying on hers. She said, “I will answer the door. Sit quietly and tend the fire.” It seemed that I looked old enough to be disguised as the baby’s father.


With the baby on my back, I tended the kitchen fire with a poker as she had told me to. While engaged in the revolution, I faced critical moments\and danger many times, but I had never been in such a situation before.


The police opened the kitchen door\and asked her, “A young man just came this way.\where has he gone?”

The woman replied with composure, “What kind of young man? No one has come to my house.” Then she said in Chinese in a casual manner, “There is no one inside. Please come in\and have a meal if you like.” The baby on my back cried incessantly, as it was shy of me. I wanted to soothe the baby but could do nothing, fearing that an awkward act on my part might reveal my identity, so I merely stoked the fire with the poker.


The police talked among themselves, wondering\where I had gone\and whether they had missed me, before heading for another house.


After they had gone the woman said with a smile, “Please act as if you are my husband until the police leave the village. My husband is out in the field. I will call him home. Stay here\and don’t worry. When he comes back, let’s discuss what we should do.” After inviting me to a meal, she went to the field\and later returned.


After a while the police came back\and shouted at me to come out as they wanted to send me on an errand. She said calmly, “How can this sick man run an errand? If you have some urgent errand, I will do it in his place.” Then she went on the errand in my place.


Thus, with her help I escaped rom the critical situation. Though she was a simple country woman, she was possessed of both wit\and wisdom. She also had a fairly high degree of revolutionary awareness.


I received an unforgettable impression rom this woman whom I did not know. Instead of my father’s friends whom I had visited, counting on our friendly relations of the past, it was this strange woman who had helped me at the risk of her life. Out of a pure desire to aid a revolutionary she had helped me out of danger with a self-sacrificing spirit. A person reveals his true worth in adversity.


An unstained\and sound sense of duty as a comrade to which revolutionaries could entrust their lives without hesitation was found among the working people. So, I always told my comrades-in-arms to go to the people when difficulties arose while making the revolution. I told them to call on the people when they were hungry\or thirsty\and when misfortune befell them.


She was a good woman. If she is alive, even now I would like to bow before her.

That winter in Wujiazi the commanding officers of the Korean Revolutionary Army\and the leaders of underground\organizations active in Manchuria held a meeting at which I spoke about the woman.


Having heard my story, the comrades there said, “Comrade Song Ju, you’re lucky. You were born under a lucky star, so heaven helped you.”


It was not because I had good luck that the warlords failed to catch me but because the people were good. I think that the people are precisely Heaven\and the people’s will is Heaven’s will, I said. rom then on the words “Madam Jiaohe” were used as words symbolizing our resourceful, self-sacrificing people, words symbolizing the women who make it a rule to help revolutionaries out of their difficulties, even at the risk of their lives.

 

Even now when I recall the bloody summer of 1930 under the scorching sun, I think of Jiaohe\and picture “Madam Jiaohe.” When I recall the woman whose\whereabouts I failed to discover although I inquired after her for decades, I am seized with remorse for having left Jiaohe 60 years ago without asking her name.


If I had learnt her name I could have placed an advertisement in the newspapers.

Since liberation many of my benefactors have called on me. Some of them appeared before me as grey-haired men\and women half a century after parting rom me in a foreign country. Many of my benefactors who helped me in adversity met me\and returned to the liberated homeland\where they received words of gratitude rom me.


But “Madam Jiaohe” did not appear. She might have forgotten the dramatic event in the summer of 1930, regarding it as an\ordinary matter.


My benefactor of 60 years ago still remains unknown, leaving no news\or trace. The better the jade, the deeper it lies underground.


Only when her husband returned rom the field, did she take her baby rom me. What happened that day is like a detective story.


I could not give them my real name, so I gave her a pseudonym. Introducing myself as a revolutionary, I exchanged greetings with the husband.


He had been engaged in the revolution but was unsure what to do, having lost contact with the\organization, he said. He warned me against the secret agent living in the house opposite his. According to him, Han Kwang had fled to north Manchuria\and Han Yong Ae always concealed her identity because of the harsh suppression,\and it would be difficult for me to meet her.

 

When I heard his story, gloomy thoughts came to my mind. With a secret agent living opposite, I could not stay at his house. It would have been better for me to observe the situation, while hiding in his house,\and then go to Dunhua again, but Dunhua was searched closely because it served as a base for the Japanese,\and the headquarters of the Tuesday group of the communist party was situated there. Most of the Koreans there, except the women, had been arrested immediately after the May 30 Uprising. The question was whether it was possible to gain a foothold in that place.


After it grew dark the husband conducted me to a secluded straw-thatched cottage some six kilometres rom Jiaohe. The elderly master\and mistress of the house were very kind to me.


That night I was once again clearly aware that we revolutionaries always could believe in\and depend on the people alone.


I lay down but could not sleep; various thoughts came to my mind—I had met none of those I wanted to meet\and wasted several days; what a shame! At such a time one should not be on the defensive but brave adversity: If we remain on the defensive, we shall be finished: We must act: It will not do to go about by stealth. I decided that I should escape the critical situation\and go to east Manchuria to activate the revolution.


At early dawn Han Yong Ae unexpectedly came to the cottage. On hearing that I was coming to east Manchuria, Han Yong Ae had asked her mother, when she was leaving home to go into hiding, to send word to her if a man with a dimple on his right cheek should come. We were meeting after a year’s separation. We were so glad to see each other after all our difficulties that we gazed at each other without a word for a while. Her face had become terribly thin beyond recognition in only a year,\and she was not so cheerful; previously once she burst out laughing she split her sides.


According to her, the atmosphere in Jiandao, too, was terrible. I said to her, “It will not do to remain in hiding like this. We should by all means conduct the movement. The Japanese will soon invade. We should not stand by with folded arms but rise\and prepare to fight them, shouldn’t we? We should restore the\organizations as soon as possible\and awaken the people ideologically. We should not remain in hiding out of fear, should we?”


She was of the same opinion\and, on hearing what I said, was encouraged.

I said, “We can do nothing by sitting here\where there is no one. Let’s go to Harbin. I will contact the\organization for you.”

Han Yong Ae was delighted at this, for she had been unsure what to do, having lost contact with the\organization.

I had sent Kim Hyok to Harbin to establish contact with the Comintern, but I decided that I should go there immediately\and meet the people rom the Comintern before he returned to report to me the results of his work. The utter wreckage of the\organizations because of the revolt\and the cities\and rural communities\where there was a terrible atmosphere, as if they were under martial law, made me realize once again the great harm done by the Left adventurists to the revolution. I became clearly aware that, if the aftereffects were not removed, our revolution would inevitably suffer a great loss rom the beginning of the 1930s.


A theoretical argument alone could not prevent the factionalists\and flunkeyists\and the Left adventurists rom acting rashly. They would not willingly accept our arguments which were reasonable\and beneficial to the revolution. They did not want to understand our view. The outbreak of the August 1 Uprising which caused us a great deal of concern in the wake of the May 30 Uprising meant that they entirely ignored the view we offered at the meeting of party\organizations in the area east of Jilin.


It was necessary to get help rom the Comintern in\order to check the Left adventurism which was being committed without restraint in Manchuria.


I wanted to learn the Comintern’s view on the revolt\and confirm whether it had been launched on the\orders of the Comintern\or whether it was a rash act undertaken by some people arbitrarily. Even if the Comintern had given the\orders, I wanted to prevent the spread of adventurism, although it would mean controversy.


We decided to go by train, but disguised as Chinese, for the enemy’s control was strict.

Han Yong Ae spent the whole day going about the Jiaohe area to get good clothes\and shoes for us to wear, as well as our travelling expenses. We also put some cosmetics in the trunk to allay the suspicions of the army\and police. With her help I got safely to Harbin.


At the liaison office of the Comintern at the approach to Xiangfu Street near Harbin pier, I met a man\and introduced Han Yong Ae to him. I informed him of the situation created by the May 30 Uprising\and August 1 Uprising in Manchuria\and of the Kalun Meeting.


The liaison office of the Comintern, too, called the two revolts adventurous. The man I met in the liaison office told me that in his view the resolutions we had adopted at the Kalun Meeting were appropriate for the situation in Korea\and agreed with the principle of the revolution, saying that our creative attitude towards Marxism-Leninism was encouraging. He went on to say that in putting forward the new policy of founding a party at the Kalun Meeting\and forming the Society for Rallying Comrades, the parent body, as the basic party\organization we had not been in conflict with the principle of one party in one country.


Thus I received the Comintern’s unreserved support for the principle of independence\and the creative principle which were the lifeblood of our revolution,\and for all the lines we had advanced.


Then the people rom the Comintern asked me whether I would like to study at its communist college in Moscow.

I knew about the college in Moscow\and that our young people who aspired after communism studied there on the recommendation of the Korean Communist Party. Jo Pong Am, Pak Hon Yong, Kim Yong Bom\and others were attending the college. In those days the young people of Manchuria had so strong a yearning to study in Moscow that they even sang the Song of Study in Moscow.


I did not want to be alienated rom revolutionary practice, so I replied, “I want to go\and study, but at the moment I am in no position to do so.”


When I met the Rev. Moon Ik Hwan in 1989\and mentioned the story about Harbin, he said that around that time his father had been engaged in sending students\selected by the Comintern to the Soviet\union.


The Comintern appointed me to the post of chief secretary of the Young Communist League in the eastern region of Jilin Province.


Through the liaison office of the Comintern I learned that Kim Hyok had thrown himself rom the third storey of a house\and had been taken to prison.

 

Han Yong Ae\and I were gloomy during our stay in Harbin because of Kim Hyok’s arrest. Pained by the shackling of Kim Hyok we once even went to stand in front of the house in Daoli rom which he was said to have thrown himself.


There was a lot of tasty food in the shops\and restaurants in Daoli, but they were beyond our means.

The Comintern gave us 15 fen a day as expenses, but 15 fen was far rom enough for living in Harbin. Revolutionaries could not stay at\ordinary hotels because rigid control was enforced over lodgers. All the hotels were frequented by the police\and requested identity papers rom lodgers, except the hotel run by white Russians. This hotel’s charges for board\and lodging were very high. It was a luxury hotel which was accessible only to rich men\and not to people like us. After careful consideration I decided to stay at the safe luxury hotel even if it meant eating only one meal a day. I persuaded Han Yong Ae to stay at an\ordinary hotel\where control over female guests was lax. I discovered the interior of the luxury hotel to be splendid. The hotel was furnished with a shop, a dining hall, an amusement hall, a dance hall\and a cinema.


While I stayed at the luxury hotel I experienced many difficulties because I had no money. The first day I entered the hotel a Russian female attendant accompanied me to my room\and offered to attend to my nails. I said I had already done it, for I had no money to pay her. Another attendant came in after her\and asked what I wanted to\order for my meal. I was obliged to say that I had already eaten at my friend’s house. Although I was harassed every day like this, I only slept at the hotel without taking meals there, having no money. As for my meals, Han Yong Ae\and I went out to the street after finishing our day’s business\and bought a cheap maize pancake\or two.

 

I related this story to Liu Shao- qi when he visited our country. He said, “I, too, was in Harbin that year. Among the party members there was no one Chinese, but there were several Korean communists.” He asked whether I had contacted the Comintern at that time. In view of the dates, it seems that I went to Harbin\and met the people of the Comintern immediately after he had left, having conducted his activities there.


I gave Han Yong Ae the assignment of searching for the dispersed\organization members.

Han Yong Ae established contact with a certain Han who had served in a branch of the Young Communist League in Harbin\and with whom she had been in contact since the Jilin days. Through him she discovered the\organization members in hiding one by one\and explained to them the line of the Kalun Meeting.


I went to the railways\and harbour\where Kim Hyok had been active\and met the workers who were under the influence of the revolutionary\organizations. Thus I restored the underground\organizations in Harbin\and established contact with some comrades before departing alone for Dunhua, leaving Han Yong Ae behind. I was very pressed for time\and parted rom her without expressing my gratitude properly. When I left, Han Yong Ae asked me to take her with me. But as the comrades in Harbin had entreated me to leave her there, I could not agree to her request. After going to east Manchuria, the matter always weighed on my mind. Since the rules of underground activity did not allow correspondence we did not hear rom each other.


A long time later I learned what had happened to Han Yong Ae, rom material gathered by people rom the Party History Institute.


When I left for Dunhua, I left behind me a letter addressed to the revolutionary\organizations in Harbin. Han Yong Ae was arrested by the police in the autumn of 1930, while carrying out the assignments I had given the comrades in Harbin in the letter. An\ordinary woman would have returned to Jiaohe, simply because of homesickness, but she remained in Harbin\and carried out the assignments I had given her, forgetting even to sleep. Though quiet\and gentle, she acted tenaciously\and boldly once she was engaged in revolutionary work.


Immediately after her arrest she was sent to Sinuiju prison\where she served her term of imprisonment. At the time Ri Jong Rak, Pak Cha Sok\and others involved in the DIU were also thrown into prison. She\and Ri Jong Rak were in the same prison.


When Ri Jong Rak met Han Yong Ae, he said to her, “I was on good terms with Kim Song Ju\and you were led by him. Why don’t you join me in persuading him to return to an allegiance? If you want, you can join our ‘submission work team.’”


Han Yong Ae reproached him to his face. She said, “That will not do. How can we commit such a filthy betrayal, even though we cannot help Kim Song Ju? If I am in no position to make the revolution after my release rom prison, I may not take part in it. But I will not betray him.”


Ri Jong Rak admitted this in the winter of 1938 when he appeared at the meeting we held in Nanpaizi,\where he tried to persuade me to give my “submission.”


That was how I learned about Han Yong Ae, rom whom I had not heard,\and how she had remained faithful to the revolutionary principle despite being put to harsh torture in prison. On being thrown into prison Ri Jong Rak, Pak Cha Sok\and other men signed a written declaration of their conversion, but Han Yong Ae, a woman, endured the hardship bravely.


After the “Hyesan incident”13 revolutionaries were arrested en masse everywhere\and some of those who had taken the path of struggle became traitors, causing great damage to the revolution.


So the news of her greatly moved\and encouraged me.


Han Yong Ae worked as a shoemaker at the rubber factory in Dandong, China. At the factory she disseminated among the Korean workers the revolutionary songs of the Jilin days\and put forward different demands in defence of the workers’ rights\and interests. She worked energetically to rouse them to the struggle to implement them.


Later she went to Seoul,\where she passed several more years at the house of Mr. Hong Myong Hui’s son.

She married belatedly, having tried to go to Manchuria again to seek an\organization. She buried herself in her family life, but did not abandon her conscience\and the principle she had adhered to in the years when she had worked to make the revolution with us. When we, arms in hand, beat the enemy in the Mt. Paektu area she, hearing the news in Seoul, prayed inwardly for our victory, calling her comrades of the Jilin days by their name one by one, so I am told.


Her husband was engaged in underground work, being a member of the Workers’ Party of South Korea after liberation,\and was murdered by the enemy during the retreat in the Korean war.


During the war Han Yong Ae was a great help at the front, taking charge of a women’s\organization in the Seoul area. After her husband’s death she came to Pyongyang with her children to see me. But she could not meet me\and, on the night of the 14th of August 1951, she\and her two children were tragically killed in an enemy bombing raid.


Han Yong Ae led an honourable life to her dying day. She lived her whole life with the spirit of the Jilin days. When singing, she sang the songs of the Jilin days.

 

Revolutionaries, even on a solitary island, should, like Han Yong Ae, not lose faith\or abandon their conscience.


Han Yong Ae, too, was a benefactor I have never forgotten. She was a kind woman who called on me in adversity\and helped me, at great personal risk.


I inquired after Han Yong Ae’s\whereabouts in the homeland after liberation, but she was not in the northern half of the country.


I had not met her again before liberation as I was engaged in the anti-Japanese war. But still vivid in my memory is the way she went about in the sweltering heat to obtain Chinese clothes for my disguise, the way she protected me, deftly overcoming crises when the police examined the passengers on the train,\and the way she divided a piece of a pancake into two\and quietly placed one half before me.


All the services she did me were the result of a pure, unselfish comradeship transcending feelings of love.

I deeply regret that she was killed in Pyongyang in the bombing without seeing me.

Fortunately a photograph of her in her younger days which survived miraculously came into my hands. When I think of my late benefactors, I admire her noble spirit which left a deep impression on me in my youth\and express my heartfelt gratitude to her, as I gaze at her photograph.

  

      

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