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Home >> Life
UPDATED: 16:34, August 03, 2005
Qiu Fazu, savior of 40 Jewish prisoners from Nazis
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Sixty years ago, Qiu Fazu was a young doctor in a German hospital with black hair and fiery eyes. Six decades on, he is an old man with sparse white hair. As the world is commemorating the 60th anniversary of the world's anti-fascist war, he lives a calm life in a faded dormitory building of Tongji Hospital in Wuhan, Central China's Hubei Province.

Saving prisoners from Nazis' hands

In 1945, the Allied Forces aggravated their bombings and attacks against Germany. There was a concentration camp known as Dachau in a triangle area formed by the three cities of Dachau, Munich and Landsberg. The crimes happened in the camp once convulsed the attacking US troops. When learning that the US troops were in movement around Munich, the Nazi SS ordered more than 6,000 prisoners in the Dahau concentration camp to leave the area and go to south. In the advance, many of them died due to Nazis' beating and shooting.

The Bad Tolz city where Qiu Fazu lived is a spring health resort in south Germany. With a doctorate degree from German Munich Medical University, Qiu Fazu worked in a health resort's hospital. He remembers clearly a day in April of 1945. When he was getting ready for a patient's operation, a nurse ran towards him and shouted that there were many prisoners from a concentration camp lying outside. Qiu Fazu ran out of his room with his operation cap on, as he had already learned what happened in the camp. There were more than 40 shackled and ragged prisoners in the corner of a street. Sick and weak, they could not move any further and squatted down on the ground. The SS troops standing there shouted at them and ordered them to stand up.

"I was shocked that they were not able to move any further", Qiu recalled. He summoned up his courage and said to the troops, "These prisoners had typhoid fever. Let me bring them away". "New-born calves do not fear wolves", he explained his courage at that time.

He got the prisoners released from the Nazi SS troops. He and his colleagues led them to the basement. Under their careful nursing, the prisoners' lives were saved and they were luckier than being killed due to sickness.

In 1985, on the occasion of marking the 40th anniversary of the victory of the anti-fascist war, the West German ambassador to China conferred him a national grand cross medal on behalf of then President Richard von Weizsacker of the Federal Republic of Germany, making him the first Asian with the honor since Germany awarded the medal.

Learning medicine out of his mother

In medical circles, Qiu is known for his precise surgical skills and his learning of medicine is due to his mother's death. In 1933, his mother died of sudden stomachache. "Actually, my mother died of appendicitis. At that time, it was impossible for her to have the operation. She had pain in the bowels until her death. It was simple to cure the disease. But there was no good doctor. I thought it was better for me to study medicine", he recollected.

And so, the special rules about Qiu Fazu's way of operation were running rife in medical circles. To ensure safe operation, he would check every operation appliance and tool including gauze. Such a strict working style comes from his training to a great extent when he studied in Germany.

After he got his medical doctorate degree in German Munich University in 1940, he worked in the hospital attached to the university and started his surgeon career. Eight months later, he met with his first patient, a mother with the same appendicitis of his mother. However, the patient passed away on the fifth day of her operation. No operation problem was found after dissection. "The wound easily festered with bad medical conditions at that time", he said. Distinctly, it is very difficult for him to forget the matter. What impressed him deeply was that his tutor did not blame him, instead he only said, "Qiu, she is a mother of four children".

"I am very sad. Mother died, and how about her children's living?" Qiu has mentioned the matter for many times since that day and wrote down his languor feelings in his "German Recollections".

Rare love

Now, Qiu is living with another "mother", his German wife Qiu Luoyi. She was a nurse who took part in the rescue of concentration camp prisoners. They have lived together for 60 years. Qiu frankly told people their pet names. "I call her "mama" while she calls me "little old man" as I am a young man in her eyes".

She has never left her husband since they married at Qiu Luoyi's home in 1945. His wife has always taken care of him regardless of Qiu's returning home the next year after marriage and his toilet-cleaning punishment during the "cultural revolution".

Mentioning of his wife, Qiu is all smiles. His neighbors living with him in the same building witness their love. In the past when Qiu Fazu was back home, he always whistled in front of the building so that his wife could run up to the window and threw him fruit or something else. Their endearment has lasted to the present day: "Each time I go out, she will stand in front of the window, waiting for me with obsession".

Biography of Qiu Fazu

Born in 1914, Qiu Fazu is a native of Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province. In 1936, he went to German Munich University for study, after completing his courses in the medical institute attached to Shanghai Tongji University. In November of 1946, he returned home and worked as a surgeon and dean of surgery section of the Sino-US hospital attached to the medical institute under Shanghai Tongji University. In 1978, he became deputy president of Wuhan Medical Institute and director with Organ Transplantation Research Institute. In 1981, he was appointed as president of Wuhan Medical Institute. From 1984 to the present, he is the honorary president of Tongji Medical Institute. He is an academician of China Academy of Sciences, well- known surgery expert and a doctorate tutor.

By People's Daily Online


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