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A photo of Harry in the Laogai Museum in 2009
 
 
A photo of Harry in the Laogai Museum in 2009
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The Story of Harry Wu

Harry Wu was a political prisoner in China for nineteen years after being labeled as a counter-revolutionary by the government. Originally from Shanghai, he was part of the so-called bourgeoisie class and was a university student in Wuhan before he was unjustly imprisoned, without even a trial. He spent much of his time working in extremely treacherous conditions in a prison mine.

His family fell apart while he was in prison, and he had no freedom during the prime years of his life because of Mao’s regime. When he was released from prison, he went to the United States to become a visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Even though he was teaching at a world-famous institution, he had to work night shifts at a doughnut shop to get by.

Through it all, he never gave up hope. His harrowing tale is a testament to the millions of others who were imprisoned by this brutal communist government and those who were killed simply because the government had the power to do so.

 

Interview with Mr. Harry Wu

“How can I survive? I just lived as a beast. Any life, including humans, they want to live. Even dogs, even small ants. Everyone wants to live. I just wanted to live.”

 

Interviewer: Tomáš Bouška

This interview's English transcription has been gratefully edited by Ms. Victoria Lee Norris volunteering for Political Prisoners.eu, and the Laogai Research Foundation.

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Childhood

Childhood

My childhood was wonderful.

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Family

Family

Only then did I learn that my mother had committed suicide when she received my letter, because she was so disappointed.

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Becoming a Counter-Revolutionary Rightist

Becoming a Counter-Revolutionary Rightist

But the Communist Party found out right away that I intended to escape to a foreign country - this is very serious counter-revolutionary crime - then they arrested me and sentenced me to the prison camp.

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Labour Camps

Labour Camps

I was 23 when I was imprisoned and when I left I was 42.

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Laogai Research Foundation

Laogai Research Foundation

The Laogai is the Chinese gulag, Chinese labor camps, and Chinese Communist Party violations.

 
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