As Harry Wu’s long time friend and the European Representative of the Laogai Research Foundation (unpaid, Bürgerpflichtler), I am offended by Andrew Jacobs’ article (NY Times 8/14/16) which consists of an indigestible mixture of mudslinging, slanted facts and information, fifth column tricks, cherchez la femme, Medea, pure envy and jealousy etc. etc., a real mixture of poisons from the snake-pit that the Chinese dissident scene is.
After rereading many emails and my personal notes, I can state that Medea never left LRF for the reasons she now gives.
Many years ago, right after they occurred, I have several times heard all and everything about the background of Yahoo’s donation and the resulting events directly from Harry and Medea herself. There was no mentioning of any irregularities by the latter then, but rather a lot of wounded vanity.
Harry made excellent use of the Yahoo money (never contributed a dollar to the European Laogai activities “because of the Yahoo rules”) and set up the Laogai Museum as a lasting memorial to the ongoing crimes of the Chinese-Communist Party, not to his own fame. In my opinion the museum is a far, far better use of the money then sprinkling it in small portions to people inside China of whom you cannot check at all whether they need the money or whether they get it.
After the end of World War II when my country came to confront the horror of its responsibility for the “Final Solution“ and the concentration camps, Germans came to accept and own the enormity of their responsibility for this mass murder. Today, in Berlin, there is the Holocaust Museum, which documents and reiterates the lesson that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. A Laogai Museum in Berlin and/or in Warszawa/Poland is my goal.
I am deeply grateful that I could attend the Tribute for Harry Wu held in the Library of Congress and to feel that Harry’s life work has so resonated in the United States as praised by congressional leaders including Nancy Pelosi and Frank Wolf, both of whom had directed so much of foreign policy objectives towards addressing human rights abuses in the People’s Republic of China.
At the Tribute the daughter of the late Congressman Tom Lantos spoke about her father, who as a teenager had to endure life in a concentration camp because he was Jewish. His daughter defined her father and Harry Wu as heroes, scholars and survivors who maintained painful memories, as brothers in their fights for Human Rights.
And that is precisely what they were, not an easy target for mean accusations. Si tacuisses, Mr. Jacobs………………..