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Letter from a Friend About "Witnessing History-one woman''''s fight for freedom and Falun Gong"

38865

Dear Zheng

 

Actually I have finished reading your book for some time ago, and I have many times been wanting to write to you, but found it too difficult to manage to answer properly! Now I have decided just to answer, as I will not be able to answer properly anyway, or at least: it would take me years to find the right way to answer.

 

First when I heard about the book my thought was: "Hopefully it is not about religion, as this would make it harder to publish to a larger audience". And I still think that it is this way, BUT as your experience IS about religion of coerce it can not be otherwise! So first of all I congratulate you with a fine piece of work, and an honesty that tells the story as you experienced it, without any strategic considerations - the truth is the truth and that''''''''s it.

 

I think I have been feeling with you through my reading. It is indeed a horrible story, and I felt like placed in a Nazi-concentration camp during the 2. world war. I will not advice you to read those similar stories, but just tell you that this is my feeling - the Nazi horrors is indeed frightening similar to you experiences. I have not personally known anybody who survived the nazi camps, but the written stories and the oral tellings from children who''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''s pare rents where in the camps, are having the same sadness in them and the same basic questions to us as human beings:

- how far can people go in following orders from powerful authorities?

- what is the limit of our own capacity to survive in suppressed environments? 

There are no easy answers to this, and to some extend maybe the answers are hidden in tears.

But under all circumstances it is important to tell the stories, and to raise the questions, again and again, no matter how powerful the oppression is.

Actually you can find some power in and old Marxist saying: "Some people might be fooled for some of the time, but not all people can be fooled all of the time" (quotation from my memory). or maybe in an old Victor Hugo sentence: "Nothing is as powerful as an idea who''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''s time has come" - and maybe the idea of human rights in China is an idea who''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''s time has come? And even though we might not be able to answer that question, we might be able to believe it, and act accordingly. And basically I feel that that is what you have done with your book.

 

A few weeks ago I saw the film: "The passion of the Christ" based on the last day of Jesus up to his crucifixion. The cruelty of fellow human beings is what leaves the biggest impression from that film, and the difficulty of "bearing your cross". Of coerce we can not compare to your experiences, but the basics are the same, I think. How to live with that fact, I don''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''t know. But I do know that people who have the capacity to fight back, telling the truth, in whatever way they can manage, to a big or a small extend, are very much needed.

 

I salute you on your achievements with the book and whish you the best of luck in promoting it - no matter what you have given a document, which will play a role in the further fight for humanity.

 

Maybe some day in the future we will have the chance to talk further on this. It is difficult to express in a mail.

 

Many greetings

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