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북녘 | [Reminiscences]Chapter 22 5. My Memories of Wei Zheng-min

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작성자 편집국 작성일20-09-24 22:35 댓글0건

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[Reminiscences]Chapter 22 5. My Memories of Wei Zheng-min


   


 

5. My Memories of Wei Zheng-min 

 

 The great leader Comrade Kim Il Sung often recollected his experiences with Wei Zheng-min, a high-ranking political worker\and military commander of the NAJAA.


His reminiscences give us a lot of information about the exceptional friendship between the great leader\and Wei Zheng-min, the latter’s personality as a revolutionary, his tragic end, his torment\and wishes at the last moment of his life.


I made the acquaintance of Wei Zheng-min when he came to Jiandao to participate in the conference at Dahuangwai11 as the representative rom the Manchurian Provincial Party Committee. After that, he\and I always shared warm friendship on the road of anti-Japanese struggle.


Wei Zheng-min was a professional revolutionary who had fought against the Japanese for the cause of patriotism rom an early age. He had been trained at the military academy at Anyang,\and when he was a student in Beijing he had participated in anti-Japanese demonstrations.


His revolutionary career, it may be said, entered a new stage when he moved his activities to Manchuria after the September 18 incident. In Manchuria he first settled down at Daowai, Harbin,\where he worked as Party secretary.


Wei Zheng-min looked more like a university professor\or a civil servant than a soldier. He was a meditative man who, had it not been for the revolution, might have devoted all his life to scientific research\or to authorship.


He was characterized by sincerity, integrity\and modesty. He was also sociable\and not afraid to speak his mind.


One of the personal files of commanding officers of the guerrilla forces in Manchuria, kept in the Comintern’s archives, reads:

 

“Wei Zheng-min. Deputy commander of the southern group. A member of the CPC. Secretary of the South Manchuria Party Committee. ... A politically well-qualified commanding officer.


“He enjoys high prestige among the guerrillas. No details about his past record.


“No negative information available rom the Reconnaissance Bureau\or the Ministry of the Interior.”


Wei Zheng-min, though a Chinese revolutionary, made unremitting, silent efforts to give support to the Korean revolutionaries\and to promote the Korean revolution. How serious the issue was at the Dahuangwai conference! If he had not been fair\and reasonable as the Party representative at that time, we might have found ourselves in very unfavourable circumstances. He, alone of all the other people, listened to me with attention, affirmed what had to be affirmed,\and took into consideration what had to be considered. After the conference at Yaoyinggou, he took the trouble to visit the head office of the Comintern in Moscow to get answers to our complaints.


His visit to the Comintern proved very helpful to the Korean revolution. I still remember how warmly I embraced him when he returned to Nanhutou, shadowed by death all the way.

When he hugged me as he conveyed the Comintern’s view that my argument that the Korean revolutionaries should fight under the banner of the Korean revolution did not contradict internationalism,\and that my statement that the struggle against the “Minsaengdan” had been conducted in an ultra-leftist way was right, as well as the Comintern’s conclusion that the Korean revolutionaries should lead the army of the Korean people\and fight in Korea\and on the Amnok River, I determined not to forget his efforts to assist the Korean revolution.


On the occasion of the Nanhutou conference, the warmth of friendship between him\and me became redoubled. During the fortnight we spent together at Nanhutou, we had many conversations,\and I gained a deeper understanding of him.


Wei Zheng-min supported my opinion about unit reorganization at the conference at Mihunzhen,\and warmly welcomed the formation of the ARF later.

Around that time, he started to study the Korean language, saying that a smooth communication of ideas was essential for the joint struggle with Korean comrades. He dearly loved the Korean guerrillas. This was the expression of his internationalist support for\and encouragement of the Korean revolution.


We, in our turn, did everything we could for Wei Zheng-min, as there is a saying that “Love is returned for love.”


On our advance to the Mt. Paektu area immediately after the Mihunzhen conference, he was wounded near Fuerhe. At that time we had several war-horses we had captured rom the enemy. We picked the best one\and gave it to him. He then went as far as Maanshan on horseback with us. I got Pak Yong Sun to arrange medical treatment for him at Dajianchang.


Subsequently, Wei Zheng-min went to Yang Jing-yu to convey to him the Comintern’s directive about the expedition to Rehe12,\and then came to see me when we were putting the finishing touches to the secret camp on Mt. Paektu after our advance to West Jiandao.


After his journey to southern Manchuria, Wei Zheng-min looked very ill. He had been suffering rom chronic heart\and stomach troubles. As he was a man who threw himself into any work, careless of his own well-being, on top of his weak physical constitution, his health went rom bad to worse.


Once, while leading a group of his men over a mountain ridge he had a heart attack\and fell unconscious. When I advised him to get treatment, he passed off the matter with a smile, saying that physical illness was not to be feared, but ideological ill-health was to be dreaded.


I gave Pak Yong Sun\and Kang Wi Ryong an assignment to build something like a sanatorium in the vicinity of Hengshan for Wei Zheng-min. The Heixiazigou secret camp was situated in the battle area, so it was not suitable for the treatment of an infirm person like Wei Zheng-min.


He spent some time recuperating in the secret camp at Hengshan.

 

I sent Kang Wi Ryong\and Kim Un Sin to Changbai to obtain tonics\and nutrients for Wei Zheng-min. They bought artificial terrapin blood, rice, flour, tinned goods, milk\and even pancakes for him at the cost of 200 yuan they had raised. He was especially fond of food made of flour.


On the lunar New Year’s Day I celebrated the festival with Wei at the Hengshan secret camp. Pak Yong Sun made a noodle-press out of an empty tin,\and Wei\and I ate starch noodles\and even drank a few cups of liquor on the festival that year.


Quan Yong-lin, commander of the 8th Regiment, also enjoyed the festival with us. He could cook wonderfully. He even brought with him different kinds of knives for slicing meat\and cutting vegetables,\and prepared a variety of dishes. He sliced meat as thin as paper\and portioned the slices out rom dish to dish\and then sprinkled condiments over them like lightning. His skill was uncommon.


We also assigned men to Wei at his request. Hwang Jong Hae\and Paek Hak Rim were my favourites, but I sent them to him because he had asked me for them by name.


Hwang Jong Hae was a man intelligent enough to cope with the job of company commander\or regimental commander. He was capable of tackling any difficulty. He spoke Chinese fluently. He was also the right man to work among the masses.


Paek Hak Rim had served as my\orderly for many years. He was faithful, straightforward\and did not spare himself, so I had always taken him with me\wherever I went.


He was with me when we attacked Pochonbo. When I was commanding the battle under a poplar on the Karim River, he ran about here\and there to convey my\orders to different units.


When the comrades of Choe Hyon’s 4th Division were surrounded by the enemy at the time of the Battle of Jiansanfeng, I\ordered the 7th Regiment\and the Guards Company to charge to their rescue. It was Paek Hak Rim who conveyed the\orders to these units at that time.


Once he asked me to assign him to a combat unit so that he himself could fight, so I did as he wished. After some time, I asked him how he liked the combat unit,\and he answered that he liked it very much but that he could not get along away rom me,\and asked me to make him my\orderly again. So I brought him back to Headquarters.


He underwent the Arduous March with us. He was one of the men who shared a handful of roasted rice flour with me at that time.


If an officer\and his men get along on such intimate terms, they will take loving care of each other as they would their own flesh\and blood. To be candid, sending away such a man to work with another man went somewhat against the grain.


However, I sent him away without regret, because he was wanted by Wei Zheng-min, who was seriously ill.


Wei Zheng-min grieved at the news of Yang Jing-yu’s death more bitterly than anybody else. He was so upset that he ate nothing for days.

Wei, who assumed command of the 1st Route Army after Yang’s death, fought courageously.


That autumn, he was again wounded in battle. To make matters worse, he contracted a lung disease\and became unable to command his army.


After killing Yang Jing-yu, the Japanese imperialists displayed his head on a post on a public street,\and claimed that they had destroyed all the anti-Japanese allied forces operating in southern Manchuria. They also bragged that the anti-Japanese struggle in Northeast China would soon peter out.


The NAJAA was, in fact, undergoing severe trials both internal\and external at that time. The Japanese “punitive” actions were growing more rampant as the days went by,\and traitors\and waverers were appearing one after another in the ranks of the armed struggle. Fang Zhen-sheng, the commander of a brigade, was captured\and turned renegade around the time of Yang Jing-yu’s death. On top of that, the mass foundation of the 1st Route Army in southern Manchuria was severely weakened.


This state of affairs greatly worried Wei Zheng-min, political commissar of the 1st Route Army\and secretary of the South Manchuria Provincial Party Committee.

 

He thought that there were gaps\and serious shortcomings in his work that had to be corrected.


He was a soldier\and political worker who made strong demands on himself\and was modest enough to learn rom other people’s experience\and good points. He told me that he would like to hear about the experience of the Korean comrades, who had made great efforts to build up party\and mass\organizations in the wide areas of eastern Manchuria, Korea\and West Jiandao even after the dissolution of the guerrilla zones.


In the years of the guerrilla zones, the revolutionary\organizations had mobilized everything in all the counties in Jiandao. Even children aged six\or seven marched around carrying clubs\and singing loudly, doing the work of the Children’s Corps. Women cast off the shackles of feudalism\and rallied around the Women’s Association. These\organizations roused the people to activity. The masses turned out to fight shoulder to shoulder with the soldiers, to do farm work\and set up the people’s revolutionary government.


By contrast, the units in southern Manchuria had concentrated on military actions\and slighted work among the masses after they left the guerrilla zones. After the high-spirited masses rom the guerrilla zones moved into the enemy-ruled areas, the guerrilla units did not pay much attention to them, nor did they think of laying new mass foundations. In consequence, their ties with the people crumbled.


These units revealed the tendency to resolve all problems by means of military action\and military confrontation. This tendency found its most glaring expression at the time of the expedition to Rehe.


Even when conducting an armed struggle, you must not regard military actions as everything. Guerrilla warfare is impossible without reliance on the masses, the mass foundation that supports\and assists the army\and provides it with manpower reserves.


When we were\organizing the Anti-Japanese Guerrilla Army, we did not have many rifles, nor was our force large. However, we declared war against the Japanese without hesitation. We launched ourselves into the great war against the Japanese with firm confidence in victory\and a strong determination to destroy the enemy. To compare the fighting capability of our guerrilla army with that of the Japanese army that had powerful economic support was out of the question.

What, then, did we rely on when we started the great war against the Japanese? We made our decision to defeat Japanese imperialism on the strength of our politico-ideological, moral\and tactical advantages based on our revolutionary outlook concerning the masses.


The absurdity of the expedition to Rehe was that the masterminds of the expedition attempted to fight the Japanese army in a frontal confrontation, away rom terrain familiar to them, swayed by their subjective desire, without giving priority to their ties with the people\and tactical calculations.


After the dissolution of the guerrilla zones, we had adopted the decisions of the Nanhutou\and Donggang conferences, decisions to build the Party, to form the united-front\organization, to reorganize the Young Communist League into an Anti-Japanese Youth League,\and to extend the armed struggle to the area on the Amnok River\and the homeland. Entrenching ourselves in the Mt. Paektu area, we had formed the ARF\and expanded it quickly in the wide area of the homeland. We had taken all these measures because we valued work among the masses, who were to back up our military actions.


The KPRA benefited greatly rom these\organizations. Had it not been for them, we would have found ourselves in a fix, no matter how elusive the tactics we employed, in a situation when the enemy was making frantic efforts to separate the people rom the guerrillas by building mud walls around their villages\and prevent even a handful of cereals\or a single thread rom leaking through the walls.


The army in relation to the people is what the needle is to the thread; they must always exist in inseparable unity.


At a conference convened by the South Manchuria Provincial Party Committee, Wei Zheng-min got a decision adopted on sending well-qualified guerrilla officers to various parts of Manchuria to correct his past mistake.

It was fortunate that, though belatedly, he realized his defects\and decided to rectify the tendency of placing exclusive emphasis on military actions. What he was concerned most about while struggling with his illness in the secret camp was how he could retrieve the huge manpower\and material losses of the 1st Route Army\and revitalize its strength,\and how he could bring about a fresh upsurge in the south Manchurian revolution that had suffered failures\and setbacks.


While racking his brains to formulate a flexible strategy in anticipation of the forthcoming great event\and to change his tactics in line with the strategy, he was unable to make a decision to cope with the prevailing situation,\and so he was extremely irritated.


As an option, he was thinking of effecting a link-up with the 8th Route Army in the interior of China,\and waiting impatiently for a reply to the letter he had sent to the Comintern in April that year.


Here is a passage rom his letter to the Comintern, which reveals his problem:


“We are now under attack rom the cunning enemy in every quarter, when neither directives nor documents\and correspondence rom the central authorities are available to us because we have been completely out of touch with the central authorities ... since the autumn of 1935. ...


“We really feel as if we were aboard a ship without a navigator on a vast ocean,\or like a blind child groping about here\and there. Although the waves of the great revolution are raging, we are like a man who is cooped up in a strange house\or locked up in a large, airtight drum. ...


We have been suffering unexpected, serious losses in our activities since we lost touch with higher\organizations.”


The purpose of his letter was to give a clearer knowledge of the difficult situation of the 1st Route Army to the Comintern\and the Central Committee of the CPC\and to get active support rom them for bolstering this army.


His expectations rom the Comintern\and the CC of the CPC were most unlikely to be met.


The Comintern,\or the Soviet\union, was pursuing a policy of appeasement at that time, so as not to provoke the Japanese imperialists in Manchuria, in consideration of its own security,\and the CC of the CPC was up to its ears in fighting against the Japanese imperialists in a far-off theatre\and was not in a position to help the revolution in Northeast China.


Wei Zheng-min pinned his hopes on the Comintern\and the CC of the CPC for support in the circumstances because he had been away rom military\and political operations for some time, was unable to obtain the latest objective information for a correct estimate of the situation\and was very weak in both mind\and body because of ill health.


He was waiting so impatiently for a reply rom the Comintern because he had strongly appealed for cadres\and war supplies needed for the 1st Route Army.


He believed that support rom the Comintern was the only way to revitalize his army.

At a time when the Comintern found it difficult to send even a messenger to him,\where could it get cadres,\and how\and by which route could it send war supplies? I was of the opinion that restoring the damaged underground\organizations to strengthen the mass foundation\and receiving manpower\and material support rom them would be more reasonable than expecting impossible support rom the Comintern.


After the conference at Xiaohaerbaling, I went to see Wei Zheng-min, who was getting treatment in the secret camp at Hanconggou. My heart ached as I saw his face so pale rom illness. My comrades, who had been taking care of him, said they were worrying about his recurrent chronic illness, although his wound was healing up. It occurred to me that in the adverse conditions at the secret camp, it would be difficult to ensure his recovery.


Wei Zheng-min said that something like a stone was surging up in his chest. I shuddered at his words because I had heard my mother complain of such a symptom when she had had heart trouble.

Wei Zheng-min, however, tried to turn the topic to the immediate task of the guerrilla movement,\and its strategy\and tactics. I told him that we had adopted the policy of preserving\and accumulating our revolutionary force in keeping with the prevailing situation\and of changing over rom large-unit operations to small-unit actions,\and that we had taken practical measures in line with this policy. He expressed his support for our policy, saying that the Korean comrades had made a correct estimate of the situation\and formulated a correct strategy.


We had a long conversation about the situation\and our future activities. We discussed the matter of sending the wounded, sick\and infirm comrades to the Soviet\union\and of obtaining winter food supplies needed for small-unit actions.


That day I advised him to go to the Soviet\union for medical care. However, worrying about the conditions of the 1st Route Army, he said he had too many things to put right to go to the Soviet\union. He asked me, instead, to inform the Comintern of the actual situation of the 1st Route Army in detail\and confirm whether his letter had arrived there if I was to visit the Soviet\union.


I was distressed to see Wei Zheng-min worrying more about the future of the 1st Route Army than over his own ill health. Since the death of Yang Jing-yu, his army was undergoing severe trials.


The situation at that time did not permit me to visit the Soviet\union right away, nor did I have any intention of doing so. We promised to get in touch with each other through messengers, when necessary. “Commander Kim, that is my request of you!”


That was what he said to me when I left the secret camp. That was his last will, for I never met him again.


The request was, in fact, simple\and commonplace.


But I heard it with a heavy heart\and understood its profound meaning. I believe he had meant to ask me to carry the revolution through to success, the revolution to which he had dedicated all his life\and for which he had a close attachment. He might have meant to entrust the work of the 1st Route Army to me.


I cannot forget the look in his eyes as he made the request. It was a look of deep grief.


When I left the secret camp, I left food rations\and other supplies for him, but my heart was heavy. Could rice\or winter clothing revive him? What he needed was good health to carry out the revolution.

 

I impressed on Hwang Jong Hae\and Kwak Ji San that they should do their best to cure him by whatever means.


They said they would take good care of him\and told me not to worry. My feet would not move on at the thought of leaving them behind on that nameless mountain. So I delayed my departure.


On my visit to Khabarovsk later, I complied with his request.


The officials of the Comintern said that Wei Zheng-min’s letter had arrived without a hitch.


Wei Zheng-min’s secret letter to the Comintern was made public after the Japanese imperialists carried the full text of the letter in their official publication, Thought Bulletin, No. 25, in December Juche 29 (1940).


The letter fell into the hands of the Japanese imperialists because it was contained in the kit of Ri Ryong Un, a regimental commander of the 3rd Directional Army, which was captured by the enemy when Ri fell in battle at Wangqing in the autumn of that year.


For this reason, it was understood that the letter had not reached the Comintern.


Who, then, delivered the letter that the Comintern said it had received without a hitch?


The following document kept in the Comintern’s archives may be considered to give a clear answer to this question.


“Top secret. To the Executive Committee of the Comintern.


“I am sending translations of the report dated April 10, 1940\and two letters rom Comrade Wei, Deputy Commander of the 1st Route Army\and Secretary of the South Manchuria Provincial Party Committee of the CPC.


Sheliganov


August 10, 1940”


The document bears the date January 23, 1941,\and Dimitrov’s signature.


The first section of the letter reads:


“Our information comprises four sections. Many things have been omitted\or overlooked here. So I hope that you comrades talk to the messenger Wang Run-cheng\and find solutions to all the questions you are concerned about.


“He will tell you about the secrets which I have refrained rom putting down in my letter. “I stand special surety for the messenger.”

 

The quotation suggests that Wei Zheng-min duplicated his letter to the Comintern, one copy to be delivered by Ri Ryong Un\and the other by Wang Run-cheng. Slight differences can be found in some parts, but the basic content is the same in the two copies. The only major difference is that the letter discovered in Ri Ryong Un’s kit says nothing about Wang Run-cheng.


Wang Run-cheng was known by his nickname, Wangdanaodai, when he was fighting in close coordination with the great leader earlier in eastern Manchuria. He was the political commissar of the 4th Regiment, 2nd Division, 2nd Corps of the Northeast People’s Revolutionary Army,\and later became the political commissar of the 2nd Division of the 2nd Corps of the NAJAA.


In the spring of Juche 30 (1941), the great leader came back to Manchuria in command of a small unit, braving great perils,\and paid a visit to Hanconggou\where he had last met Wei Zheng-min, but the latter\and his company were no longer there.


The great leader heard the details about them several months later, at the end of the year.


When I returned rom small-unit activities in Manchuria\and Korea, Soviet comrades wanted to see me at once. A Soviet army colonel in civilian dress, who was said to have come rom Vladivostok, appeared before me. He said that a group of people, supposedly a small unit of the Anti-Japanese Allied Army, had come across the Soviet-Manchurian border\and was staying in Vladivostok. He added that they insisted on seeing me because I was the only person who could identify them.


Travelling to Vladivostok by car with the colonel, a thousand conjectures ran through my mind. Mightn’t Wei Zheng-min be among them? Mightn’t it be a false rumour that he had died of illness? I ardently hoped that he would still be alive.


The car seemed to be moving at a snail’s pace, so I was most impatient. On our arrival in Vladivostok, the colonel brought Kwak Ji San to me. I


was surprised to see that aide-de-camp Kwak had grown so old in a single year as to be taken for a man in his sixties. His appearance testified to all the hardships suffered by Wei Zheng-min\and his company.

Kwak Ji San had been a teacher in Yanji before he joined the guerrilla army. Later he had become a political worker. In his early years, he had been in command of a guerrilla company in Yanji.


He was a seasoned revolutionary who had gone through all kinds of hardships. Many guerrillas had learned rom him how to read\and write.


He was good-natured\and well-informed,\and enjoyed respect rom everyone everywhere. People respected him rom the bottom of their hearts, because he helped them through thick\and thin.

He was also generous. Some people called him a “twelve-width skirt”, which must have meant that he was magnanimous to everyone,\or that he was like the mistress of a large family, a mistress who takes the trouble of looking after all the family affairs.


When the 1st Route Army was\organizing its guards regiment, we had recommended him as Wei Zheng-min’s aide-de-camp for supply work. Since then, the men had followed him, calling him “aide-de-camp Kwak, aide-de-camp Kwak!”


Kwak Ji San did everything for Wei Zheng-min. More than once he ventured into the enemy-held area at the risk of his life to obtain food\and medical supplies. It was no accident that Wei Zheng-min used to say that he was able to live long thanks to the aide-de-camp.


When his excitement at our reunion had subsided somewhat, Kwak asked the Soviet army colonel to bring the Mauser he had entrusted to him. The colonel did so,\and Kwak told me in a choking voice that it had belonged to Wei Zheng-min.


I took the Mauser rom Kwak, but I didn’t dare to ask what had happened to Wei. Anyway, the solitary revolver explained everything.


It was not until that day that I heard in detail about Wei’s death, as Kwak explained.


After I bade farewell to Wei Zheng-min at Hanconggou, he\and his men moved to the secret camp at Jiapigou in Huadian County. There are also other places with the name Jiapigou in Wangqing\and Dongning Counties,\and in many other parts of Manchuria.


Wei’s company established two secret camps, one several miles north of Jiapigou, the other a little farther to the southwest of the district.


Wei Zheng-min lodged in the first one. Hwang Jong Hae, Kim Pong Nam\and a doctor named Kim Hui Son were with him. A machine-gun section of seven\or eight men also stayed with them. Kwak Ji San, Kim Chol Ho, Ju To Il, Ri Hak Son, Jon Mun Uk\and Kim Tuk Su set up their quarters in the second secret camp.


Kwak Ji San alone knew the locations of the two secret camps. He travelled between the two, carrying heavy loads of food\and delivering messages. He obtained food rations with the help of puppet Manchukuo army officers with whom he had sworn Jiajiali (brotherhood–Tr.). These officers complied with all Kwak’s requests. The commander of the special corps of gendarmes was also under his influence.


Both the puppet army officers\and the special corps commander ran with the hares\and hunted with the hounds. They brought food, salt\and other supplies to the guerrillas in the mountains,\and then took away worn-out clothes, shoes, pans\and similar things rom the guerrillas to make false reports that they had killed\or wounded guerrillas,\and got bonuses for doing so.


It was said that Wei Zheng-min had wielded his pen until the last moment of his life, writing reports, reviewing his guerrilla struggle\and drafting documents relating to his unit. It must have been his revolutionary desire to work as long as he breathed.


When death was knocking at his door, he turned over his Mauser\and his documents to his comrades, saying, “You vigorous young comrades must fight to the last. The revolution depends on you. The revolution is an arduous undertaking accompanied by bloodshed\and sacrifices, but you must not be afraid of such hardships. Our bloodshed will not be in vain.

“You must go to Comrade Kim Il Sung without fail.”


Wei Zheng-min died in March 1941, at the age of thirty-two. He died too young. There was neither a volley for his death nor a mourning ceremony. His comrades buried him with acute sorrow\and great care.

Strange to say, one of his men, of Chinese nationality, sneaked down the mountain\and guided the enemy to his grave. There is no knowing why that man, Wei’s favourite, did such a thing.


The enemy’s report that they had killed him in action was not true. He was not killed in action, but died of illness. The Japanese were fond of such false propaganda. They exhumed Wei in\order to get a bonus. Only barbarians could do such a thing.


The account of how the Mauser reached my hands also showed that Wei Zheng-min’s bodyguards had undergone many excruciating experiences.


Wei Zheng-min handed over the Mauser to Hwang Jong Hae, whom he loved dearly\and trusted deeply.


Hwang was in charge of communications at first. When necessary, he also acted as an interpreter for Wei. Later, he became the leader of the guards platoon, guarded Wei at all times\and became his right-hand man. He translated documents\and materials under Wei’s instructions\and wrote for him when he was too ill to write himself.


Hwang\and Kwak guarded Wei to the last moment of his life. Hwang was a devoted guard.


Once, Wei’s white horse disappeared rom the secret camp. Leaving Wei in the care of a machine-gunner, Hwang went out to look for the horse. As he was tracing the horse’s footprints he noticed enemy troops stealing towards the secret camp. They were also following the horse’s footprints in the opposite direction. It was a critical moment. The guardsmen were all out obtaining food supplies,\and only Hwang\and the machine-gunner were by Wei’s side.


Hwang hurried back to the camp,\and, after hiding secret documents, ran through the forest, carrying Wei on his back. Bullets whistled like hail around him, but he clasped Wei in his arms, shielding him with his own body,\and kept running. He was determined to save Wei, even at the cost of his own life. Wounded in the shoulder\and unable to carry Wei any further, Hwang turned him over to the machine-gunner. He took the machine-gun himself,\and held the enemy back with constant firing.


Being such a man, he was dearly loved by Wei Zheng-min. It was not without reason that Wei handed over his Mauser to him.

 

After the death of Wei Zheng-min, Hwang Jong Hae\and his small unit moved to the secret camp\where Kwak Ji San was. They hunted wild boars, bears\and any other animals they could find both for immediate consumption\and for supplies of food for the next march.


It was at this time that Hwang Jong Hae was killed in a hunting accident. As he was chasing a wounded bear the animal turned\and mauled him to death. It was a tragedy that we lost such a loyal man in such an accident.

The Mauser was taken over by Ri Hak Son, a friend of Paek Hak Rim’s rom the same hometown. Ri Hak Son cleaned the weapon every day, in memory of Wei Zheng-min. He also met an accidental death. After his death, Kwak Ji San took care of the weapon.


Kwak grew opium while conducting small-group actions, in preparation for moving into the Soviet\union.


It was probably around this time that Ryu Kyong Su\and his small group met an old man who had been in touch with Kwak in the vicinity of Jiapigou. But because the old man kept this fact secret, Ryu Kyong Su failed to meet Kwak,\and returned.


Kwak\and his company obtained new uniforms\and food rations including salt in exchange for the opium they had grown. In spite of these preparations, they experienced many hardships on their way to the Soviet\union. When crossing the Soviet-Manchurian border, they even took their trousers off\and carried them on their heads across the river, so I was told.


The revolver reached me through several hands.


Later, Kwak Ji San joined Kim Il’s small unit\and moved into Manchuria. With the help of the puppet Manchukuo army officers with whom he had a Jiajiali relationship, he formed underground\organizations\and did political work among the people.


Kwak\and other Korean communists, who had served as bodyguards for Wei Zheng-min, made every effort to put an end to the tendency of concentrating exclusively on military actions, the tendency over which Wei had been so remorseful in his lifetime,\and to strengthen the mass foundation of armed struggle.


Kwak fell in battle, probably in 1943. He had returned to Manchuria on a reconnaissance mission, but on his way back after accomplishing his mission, he was shot by the enemy.

Wei Zheng-min gave us sincere support when the Korean revolution was undergoing the severest of trials. That is why I still recollect him with affection.


Whenever he had a difficult decision to make on practical matters, he consulted us. How deep the confidence was that he placed in us can be seen rom the fact that after Yang Jing-yu’s death in battle, he discussed exclusively with us the problems relating to the work of the 1st Route Army\and the South Manchuria Provincial Party Committee.


When cadres of the 1st Route Army brought to him problems that needed his decision, Wei Zheng-min sent them all to me.


After Wei Zheng-min’s death, the Comintern discussed with us all the problems relating to the work of the 1st Route Army of the NAJAA\and the South Manchuria Provincial Party Committee.


Wei Zheng-min was an excellent man\and an excellent revolutionary. For this reason, we helped him wholeheartedly.


Many people made painstaking efforts to take care of him,\and many internationalist fighters protected him with their lives.


Wei Zheng-min was specially concerned about the Korean revolution,\and cherished a special friendship for us.


According to our comrades who worked at his side for a long time, Wei Zheng-min always linked the future of the Korean revolution with us,\and, therefore, he always told them to give loyal support to me.

Wei Zheng-min’s life was beautiful because his life was the same both at its beginning\and at its end. A man who has started his career for his country, for his fellow people,\and for humanity must end his life for his country, for his fellow people,\and for humanity. Only then will his life be remembered by people for ever as a noble\and beautiful life.


In the years of the revolution against the Japanese, people’s spiritual world was a pure one.

 

Since the emergence of modern revisionism in the international communist movement, not many people talk about internationalism. Even those who used to preach internationalism whenever they opened their mouths are now busy feathering their own nests.


The times were good when revolutionaries, though not well fed\and well clothed, helped one another, regardless of nationality, offering food\and other necessities to one another. Communists must not betray their internationalist duties\and obligations anytime, anywhere.

 

         

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