페이지 정보작성자 편집국 작성일20-05-28 14:31 댓글0건
[Reminiscences]Chapter 4 2. A Spring of Trials
2. A Spring of Trials
On my way to Xinantun I met Cha Kwang Su. The boisterous man’s eyes were sparkling with joy behind his powerful glasses. I was so pleased to see him that I hailed himrom afar.
Saying that he was on his way to the Rev. Son Jong Do’s house to ask after me, he held me in his arms\and turned me round\and round. He said that as his comrades in the revolution had all been arrested he was feeling terribly lonely. He talked about the happenings in Jilin for a while\and then, looking at me out of blood-shot eyes, said, “Song Ju, the labour movement in Korea is developing by leaps\and bounds in all its aspects. The slogans, methods\and character of the struggle—they are all fresh. I think the national liberation movement in the 30s will achieve a great change, particularly in the character of the struggle. What do you think of that? Our revolution should advance under a new banner to meet the rapidly-changing situation, shouldn’t it?”
I was greatly impressed by the constancy of the man who, undaunted by\and unafraid of the enemy’s offensive in the alarming situation when it was difficult to save one’s own skin let alone one’s revolutionary ideals, was travelling in disguise, looking for his comrades\and thinking of the future as a communist should.
“I agree with you, Kwang Su, that our revolution should advance under a new banner,” I said\and then explained what I had decided in the prison. “What, then, should that new banner be? While in prison I gave much thought to this\and came to the conclusion that we young communists must now found a party of a new type\and switch to an armed struggle. Only an armed struggle will save the country\and liberate the nation. The struggle of the Korean people must develop into all-out national resistance, centring on the armed struggle\and under the unified leadership of the party.”
He expressed unqualified support for my opinion. We went to Xinantun\and discussed the matter with Kim Hyok\and Pak So Sim. They agreed with me. It was the unanimous view of the young communists that it would be impossible to save Korea without taking up arms,\or to develop the revolution without being guided by a new line.
An armed struggle was a mature requirement of the specific situation in Korea. The Japanese imperialists’ fascist rule was at its height in those days. The Korean people, deprived of all their rights, were living in abject poverty. The waves of the economic crisis which had begun to sweep the world in 1929 hit Japan, too. In an effort to escape the panic through aggression on the Asian Continent, the Japanese imperialists intensified their colonial oppression\and plunder of Korea\and speeded up their war preparations.
When the Japanese imperialists discovered the way to enrich themselves\and strengthen their army in the plunder\and oppression of the Korean nation, our nation discovered the way to national revival in the battle against the Japanese imperialists. It was not by chance that the mass movements, including the labour\and peasant movements, which had stressed the economic struggle began to move gradually towards a violent struggle.
At that time I observed the strike at the Sinhung Coal-mine with interest, the strike which developed eventually into revolt. Hundreds of coal-miners, under the guidance of the strike committee, raided\and demolished the coal-inspection office\and other offices, the machine shop\and the power generator of the coal-mine, as well as the house of the director of the mine. They cut all the power lines in the area of the mine\and destroyed all the winches, pumps\and other items of production equipment they could lay their hands on. The strikers inflicted such a great loss upon the company that the Japanese management complained that it would take two months to reconstruct the mine.
The revolt resulted in the arrest of more than 100 people, something which was so terrible that it shook the whole country. This revolt made such an impression on me that in later years, when waging the armed struggle, I visited the Sinhung area, in spite of the danger,\and met the leaders of the labour movement.
A qualitative change was taking place in the struggle of the working class of Korea in its\organization, unity, persistence\and solidarity.
More than 2,000 workers affiliated to the Wonsan Labour Federation under the leadership of the federation went, with their families of 10,000, on a several month-long strike. At the news of the general strike in Wonsan, the workers\and peasants across the country sent them telegrams\and letters of encouragement, as well as solidarity funds,\and dispatched delegates to express their support for\and solidarity with them.
Apartrom the trade\union\organizations in Hongwon\and Hoeryong in the homeland, the members of the Hansong Association under the Anti -Japanese Labour\union we had formed sent them fundsrom Jilin, thousands of miles awayrom Wonsan. This shows how high the ideological awareness of the working class of our country was at that time. The general strike in Wonsan was an event that marked the high tide of the labour movement in our country in the 1920s\and demonstrated the militant power\and revolutionary spirit of the Korean working class in the history of the world labour movement.
While in prison I followed the general strike with keen interest, believing that it was a momentous event in the history of the labour movement of our country\and that the fighting experience of the strikers was valuable\and should be drawn on\and learntrom by all the social campaigners of Korea.
If the new leadership of the federation had not instructed the workers to return to work but pushed the strike on to the bitter end,\or if the workers, peasants\and intellectuals across the country had gone on a full- scale strike in response to them, the struggle of the working class of Wonsan could have succeeded.
The failure of the general strike in Wonsan again convinced me of the pressing need to found in Korea a Marxist-Leninist party capable of\organizing the struggle of the working class\and leading it to victory. It also gave me the strong belief that a full-scale armed struggle as the mainstream of the national liberation movement would promote the mass struggle of the workers, peasants\and all other sections of the population.
It was inevitable that the Korean people’s struggle should assume a violent character when the enemy was clamping down upon the national liberation movement in such a brutal way. Revolutionary violence was the most effective way of defeating the counterrevolutionary violence of the enemy who was armed to the teeth. The sabre-rattling enemy compelled the Korean nation to take up arms. Arms had to be countered with arms.
It was impossible to achieve the independence of the country merely by cultivating our strength through the development of education, culture\and the economy,\or by labour\and tenant disputes\or by diplomatic activity. The general strike in Wonsan\and the revolt by the Sinhung Coal-miners gave us unbounded confidence in the Korean working class as well as warm affection for\and a high sense of pride in our excellent working class\and our militant nation.
But the question had arisen of the policy of struggle\and the leadership. I had the firm conviction that we could defeat any enemy, however powerful, if we had a correct policy that suited the trend of the times,\and led the struggle properly. I was impatient with my desire to rehabilitate\and consolidate the wrecked\organizations\and to bring the masses to consciousness\and\organize\and prepare them as soon as possible for the decisive battle with Japanese imperialism.
Meanwhile, my comrades who had heard of my release came to see me. I met the core members of the YCLK, the AIYL, the Anti -Japanese Labour\union\and the Peasants\union in the Jilin area\and discussed ways to rehabilitate the\organizations quickly\and rally the masses against the enemy’s increasing white terrorism.
The word “arms” which had so excited Cha Kwang Su also won the support of these young people. Their support was a great encouragement to me.
We discussed ways to intensify the work of the YCLK in Jiandao\and the northern border area of Korea\and to make those areas revolutionary quickly, methods to make substantial preparations for the founding of the party\and some other tasks to be tackled immediately,\and we sent political workers to various places to implement them.
I slept overnight at Xinantun\and left for Dunhua. I decided to work in Dunhua because it was a vantage-point allowing me access to all the counties of east Manchuria\and because I had many friends\and acquaintances there who would help me. I intended to stay there for a while, showing the\organizations the direction for their activities to cope with the situation in east Manchuria\where the uprising was raging, while drawing up detailed plans for effecting the idea I had conceived in prison.
When leaving Jilin, I felt very sorry that I hadn’t carried out the will of my late father who had wished that I should at least finish middle school.
Pak Il Pha said he would get his father to negotiate with the authorities at Yuwen Middle School for my reinstatement,\and advised me to finish my education there.
Pak Il Pha was the son of the nationalist, Pak Ki Baek, who published the magazine Tongu in Jilin. Pak U Chon was a pen name. When I was attending Yuwen Middle School Pak Il Pha, as a student at Jilin Law College, helped me in my work with the Ryugil Association of Korean Students. He was set on becoming a lawyer. At that time he was seeing a lot of a white Russian officer, learning Russianrom him. My comrades, who regarded his behaviour as a sort of betrayal of the new Russia, advised me to break with him. I said to them, “Learning a foreign language is very useful for the revolution. I think it would be shortsighted of me to ostracize him simply because he is friendly with a white Russian officer.” After liberation Pak was able to translate many literary masterpieces such as A. Tolstoy’s The\ordeal because he had learned Russian in his school days.
Kim Hyok\and Pak So Sim, like Pak Il Pha, advised me to finish my middle school education at any cost by studying for another year if my reinstatement was possible. They said that as the headmaster, Li Guang-han, was a communist sympathizer, he would not refuse my request, if I wanted to return.
“I can teach myself,” I said. “The people\and the disrupted\organizations are waiting for us. So I can’t return to school, because it would mean turning awayrom the revolution when it is in difficulty.”
As I left Jilin without having finished school, I was tormented with various thoughts: The thought of my late father who had sent me alone all the way to my home town in the winter cold, telling me to study in the motherland, who had taught me Korean history\and geography when I returned homerom school,\and who, in the last moments of his life, had told my mother that he had wanted me to get middle school education, so she should follow his intention even if it meant her living on grass; the thought of my mother who would be disappointed at the news of my having left school one year before my graduation after the three years of unceasing effort she had made to earn my school fees by sewing\and laundering until her fingers were sore; the thought of my brothers who would be no less disappointed;\and the thought of the sorrow of my father’s friends who loved me as their own son\and gave me financial aid, as well as the sorrow of my school friends.
But I thought at least mother would understand me. When my father had left Sungsil Middle School\and become a career revolutionary, she gave him her tacit agreement. So I believed that even though her son had left middle school,\or even a university, she would not disagree if it was for the revolution\and for the motherland.
I think it was a turning point in my life when I left school\and went among the popular masses. It was at this time that my underground activities\and my new life as a career revolutionary started.
Because I was leaving for Dunhua without so much as\dropping a line to my family after my release, my heart was indescribably heavy. I rebuked myself for my neglect, telling myself that I had no excuse for it no matter what sacrifice the revolution required of me, but I could not write to them.
Even when I was in prison I had not written anything to my mother lest she should worry. My comrades who went to spend the winter holidays at my house in 1929 told her that I had been arrested.
Nevertheless, she had not come to Jilin to see me. Mothers would not mind travelling thousands of miles to see their children, if they were in prison, carrying bundles of things for them\and imploring the warders to allow them to see their children, but my mother had not done so. She had shown great patience. When my father was in prison in Pyongyang, she had been to see him on several occasions, even taking me with her. But ten years later, she never visited her son in prison. People may wonder why. She did not explain her reason when later she saw me in Antu.
But I thought that it showed her true love for her son. She might have thought: Song Ju who is behind bars would find it painful to see me; even if I go to see him, what comfort\or help can my visit give him? Will he be able to keep on the right path if he is swayed by pity at the first step when he has so many rugged passes to climb? Let him feel lonely in prison rather than seeing me,\and that will be a benefit for him.
I judged thisrom my discovery of a revolutionary in my mother who had been a simple woman.
Being out of prison\and freerom my duties as a student, it occurred to me that it might be my filial duty to go home\and stay with my mother for a few days. Nevertheless, I walked resolutely towards Dunhua.
Approximately 15 miles southwest of Dunhua there was the mountain village called Sidaohuanggou. I was to work there.
After my imprisonment, several families in Fusong which were affiliated with the\organizations of the YCLK, the Paeksan Youth League\and the Women’s Association had moved to the Antu\and Dunhua areas in\order to avoid the danger of the sweeping arrests in Jilin reaching Fusong. My mother, uncle Hyong Gwon\and brothers had also moved to Antu one bitterly cold winter day.
Six families out of the dozens which had moved to east Manchuria at that time had settled in Sidaohuanggou. Ko Jae Bong’s family was one of the six.
Ko Jae Bong, who attended Fusong Normal School as a scholarship student of Jongui-bu, had taught at Paeksan School before joining the Independence Army\and serving as a leader of the Fusong area flying column. He was a core member of the anti-Japanese mass\organization.
Ko Jae Ryong, his younger brother, was one of my classmates at Hwasong Uisuk School. Later he joined Yang Jing-yu’s unit\and was killed in action somewhere in Mengjiang\or Linjiang. Ko Jae Rim, his youngest brother, went to Jilin Yuwen Middle School after leaving Paeksan School\and worked as a member of the YCLK with me.rom the spring of 1930 he studied at a medical college run by the Japanese Manchuria Railway Company. While in Jilin he had helped me a lot.
The Kos had been on special terms with our familyrom our days in Fusong. They spared nothing if it was for my parents. They helped my father\and mother a lot while running their inn.
In those days a great number of patriots\and independence fighters visited my house in Xiaonanmen Street at all hours. Some of them would stay at my house for a few days. My mother used to be on her feet in the kitchen all the time preparing food for them. This attracted the attention of the warlords. Knowing that the police were watching my father, Ko Jae Bong’s mother (Song Gye Sim) came one day\and said:
“Mr. Kim, please don’t receive any more guests in your house. If your house is crowded with visitors as it is now, something evil might happen to you. We will look after the visitorsrom the Independence Army, so please send them to my house.”
So, she was held in high trust by my father,\and I became friendly with Ko Jae Bong.
When my mother was running about to find a school building after the closure of Paeksan School, the Kos offered one of their rooms without hesitation.
In less than six months after moving to Sidaohuanggou Ko Jae Bong had established Tonghung Uisuk School\and was teaching children. Taking advantage of being the deputy head of 100 household units, he formed YCLK\organizations\and the Paeksan Youth League in Sidaohuanggou\and the surrounding area\and made preparations for forming the Anti-Japanese Women’s Association\and the Peasants\union.
Ko Jae Bong’s mother was delighted to see me\and recollected our days in Fusong with tears in her eyes. When I said that I had been behind barsrom the previous autumn\and that I had come to Sidaohuanggou directly on my release a few days before she said, looking closely into my face, that, although she recognized me, I looked so pale\and puffy that my mother would be pained if she saw me.
I stayed at their house for more than one month, enjoying their kind care. Ko Jae Bong’s mother went to a lot of trouble to nurse me back to health. She prepared meals of barley, millet\and seasoned green herbs\and served them to me at a separate table, always saying that she was very sorry that the meals were so frugal. But I could not eat with an easy mind at the thought of the family which, unable to run an inn in that strange mountain village, had begun farming only that year\and also had to support the daughter’s children who were staying there.
The mistress, knowing what was my favourite foodrom our days in Fusong, borrowed a noodle-press, the only one in the village,\and made some noodles for me. Ko Jae Bong went to the walled city of Dunhua\and bought some salted trout for me. His sister’s husband would go to the spring at dawn every day to catch sanggol to reduce my swelling. Under their warm care I quickly recovered my health.
Ko Jae Bong went to visit my mother in Antu\and returned. It was about 50 milesrom Sidaohuanggou to Antu\and he could cover this distance in a day. He told me he had walked 75 miles in a day like Hwang Chonwangdong in the novel Rim Kkok Jong.
On hearing that I was staying in the Dunhua area after being releasedrom prison, Chol Ju came with Ko Jae Bong to Sidaohuanggou, bringing a letter\and my underwearrom mother. The letter said that my family, after leaving Fusong, had lived in a rented room at the house of Ma Chun Uk outside the west gate of Jiuantu\and then moved to Xinglongcun. While in Jiuantu my mother had hired a sewing machinerom Ma Chun Uk\and had worked hard to earn a living as a seamstress. In Xinglongcun, too, she had worked day\and night to eke out a living.
Chol Ju did not feel comfortable in the new place. Until then he had lived in such towns on large rivers as Junggang, Linjiang, Badaogou\and Fusong. For him Antu which was farrom the railway\and the lowland was too quiet\and too strange a place to feel settled.
“Brother, did you go to Fusong after your release?” he asked me all of a sudden.
“I wanted to, but I didn’t. How could I visit Fusong when I came straight to Dunhua without even\dropping in at my own house?” I answered.
“The people in Fusong miss you very much,” my brother said. “Zhang Wei-hua used to come to our house every day to ask after you. The people were very kind.”
What he said revealed that he was yearning for the people in Fusong.
“Yes, they were.”
“I often think of my friends in Fusong. Please remember me to them if you happen to go there.”
“Of course I will. By the way, have you made any new friends in Antu?”
“Not many. There aren’t many boys of my age in Antu.”
I realized that my brother was longing for the old days in Fusong\and that because of that, he had not settled in the new place. His sad eyes\and melancholy look told me all this. His unsettled mental state, a sort of resistance to the reality that was common among boys of that age, disturbed me.
“Chol Ju, just as a good farmer does not complain of bad land, so a revolutionary should not be particular about\where he finds himself. Why shouldn’t there be good friends for you in Antu? You will find them if you look. As you know, father used to say that comrades do not fallrom the sky of their own accord\and that we should look for them, just as jewel hunters look for jewels. Find many good friends\and make Antu an ideal place to work in. You are old enough to join the YCLK, aren’t you?”
I stressed that he should prepare himself well for membership of the Young Communist League.
“I understand. I am sorry to have troubled you,” he said, bracing up, a serious look on his face.
Not long after that he joined the YCLK.
During my stay in Sidaohuanggou I helped Ko Jae Bong\and his brother form branches of the Children’s Expeditionary Corps, the Peasants\union\and the Anti-Japanese Women’s Association\and tried to contact the members of the revolutionary\organizations scattered around the east\and south of Manchuria. On receiving the letters I had sent through Ko Jae Bong to the liaison offices in Longjing, Helong\and Jilin, ten of my comrades including Kim Hyok, Cha Kwang Su, Kye Yong Chun, Kim Jun, Chae Su Hang\and Kim Jung Gwon came to Sidaohuanggou. They were all leaders of the Young Communist League\and the Anti-Imperialist Youth League.
I learnedrom them that the uprising sweeping the east of Manchuria had reached greater heights than I had expected.
The Korean people living in Manchuria were the main force behind the uprising; they had been instigated to revolt by Han Pin\and Pak Yun Se, who claimed that in\order to be admitted to the Chinese Communist Party they should be recognized by the party as having distinguished themselves in the practical struggle.
At that time the Korean communists in the northeastern region of China had abandoned the campaign to rebuild the party in accordance with the Comintern’s principle of one party for one nation\and were conducting brisk activities to become members of the Chinese party. The Chinese party had proclaimed that it would admit the Korean communists on an individual basis after testing them individually through a practical struggle. Worse still, officialsrom the Comintern went round encouraging people to start an uprising, so the Korean communists under the Manchuria general bureau, who were trying to join the Chinese party, drove the people into a reckless uprising out of their own political ambition\and lust for higher positions.
They expropriated those who should not have been expropriated\and even set fire to schools\and power stations.
The May 30 Uprising gave the Japanese imperialists\and the Chinese reactionary warlords a good excuse for suppressing the communist movement\and the anti-Japanese patriotic struggle in Manchuria. The Korean communists\and revolutionaries in Manchuria became the target of their ruthless white terrorism.
Having incurred tremendous losses, the masses had to retreat to rural\and mountainous areas. Atrocities similar to those committed during the great cleaning-up in the year of Kyongsin(1920)3 were perpetrated throughout east Manchuria. The police cells\and prisons were overflowing with captured rebels. A lot of them were dragged to Seoul, Korea,\and condemned to severe punishment, even death.
The Fengtian warlords, tricked by the Japanese imperialists, suppressed the uprising in a brutal way. In\order to drive a wedge between the Korean people\and the Chinese people the Japanese started rumours that the Koreans had risen in revolt in east Manchuria in\order to conquer Manchuria. The leading warlords believed these rumours\and clamoured that all Koreans were communists\and that the communists should be killed for they were the puppets of the Japanese imperialists. They killed the rebels right\and left. The foolish warlords identified the communists with the puppets of the Japanese imperialists.
Thousands of people were arrested\and killed during the uprising; most of them were Koreans. Many of those arrested were executed. The uprising caused tremendous harm to our revolutionary\organizations. It aggravated the relations between the Koreans\and the Chinese.
Li Li-san’s line was later denounced as “a reckless line”\and “petty bourgeois lunacy” by the Chinese party. Yet his line of the Soviet Red Army was an adventurous line that did not suit the situation in northeast China. The Third Plenary Meeting of the Sixth Central Committee of the Communist Party of China held in September that year sharply criticized the Left adventurist line of Li Li-san. The Comintern, too, criticized his error in a letter dated November 16. The provincial party committee of Manchuria convened an enlarged meeting of the committee\and a joint meeting to expose his error to criticism.
We also criticized his line at a meeting held in Mingyuegou in May 1931\and adopted measures to overcome the Left adventurist errors. However, the aftereffects of his line were not eradicated\and it badly affected our revolutionary struggle in northeast China for several years.
The young people who had gathered in Sidaohuanggou bitterly lamented the fact that Korean blood had been wasted\and wondered how long our revolution would have to drift in confusion. In\order to encourage them, I said:
“It is true that the loss in the uprising is great. However, what is the use of crying over that loss? We must stop crying\and go\where we are needed to rehabilitate the\organizations\and straighten out the situation. It is important to expose the factionalists’ wild ambitions\and remove the massesrom their influence. To this end, we must show them the path the Korean revolution should take. The uprising ended in bloodshed, but the masses must have been trained\and awakened to consciousness through that uprising. During the uprising the Korean nation displayed its militant\and revolutionary spirit to the full. I was greatly encouraged by this great, self-sacrificing fighting spirit of our nation. I am sure that when we teach them scientific fighting methods\and tactics\and show them the path our nation should follow, a fresh upsurge will take place in our revolution.”
My comrades were not greatly impressed by my call. They said, “You are right, Comrade Han Byol. But\where is the new line that is acceptable to the masses?” They looked at me with impatience.
I said, “It will not fallrom the sky, nor will it be brought to us on a plate. We must map it out for ourselves. I gave some thought to this while I was in prison. I’d like to hear your opinions.”
So we held a discussion on the line of the Korean revolution which I had already discussed with Cha Kwang Su, Kim Hyok, Pak So Sim\and others. This was the Sidaohuanggou Meeting. The meeting approved my proposal.
The appalling bloodbath that had taken place throughout the east of Manchuria caused me to feel resentment\and awakened me to my sense of duty to the nation. As I pictured the people falling down with bleeding hearts in the midst of the turmoil, I racked my brains over how I should rescue the revolutionary masses of Korearom the sea of blood\and how I should save the national liberation struggle of Korearom adversity\and lead it to victory.
The revolution needed arms. It was awaiting a well-organized\and trained revolutionary army\and people, a programme that would guide the 20 million people to victory\and a political general staff capable of putting the programme into effect. The situation at home\and abroad required that the Korean communists effect a turn in the noble struggle to liberate the country\and nation. Without a change our nation might suffer further bloodshed\and tragedy.
With a determination to make a breakthrough in effecting the change\and to bring about this turn, in the summer of 1930 I jotted down in my pocket-book the essence of the ideas that were floating in my mind.
I promised with the\organization members\and political workers as they left Sidaohuanggou to meet them again in Kalun in the second half of June after they had carried out their assignments.
Afterwards a meeting of the party committee of the eastern region of Jilin Province was held in Dunhua. The issue of the uprising was discussed at the meeting. The factionalists were planning to\organize another uprising like the May 30 Uprising. I pointed out that the May 30 Uprising had been reckless,\and I opposed their plan.
I had gained a lot of experiencerom my life behind bars\androm the May 30 Uprising.
Indeed, the spring of 1930 was a spring of growth\and of trial, an unforgettable spring in my life. In that spring our revolution was preparing for a fresh upsurge.
[이 게시물은 편집국님에 의해 2020-05-28 14:50:00 새 소식에서 복사 됨]
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