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集中营记(三)

融洽的戴家

戴爱美 著
曲拯民 译

 

  我们潍县这个自治政府有命令发出。人人必须工作,俘虏轮流担任一切─煮饭,烧烤,清洁厕所。我姊管洗衣服,我哥哥是一名操作唧筒的打水员和垃圾夫,弟弟做煤球,我在上课前或散学后扫地,洗地板,补衣服,冬天看火炉子,提煤屑。日军祇配给碎煤屑,沒有块煤。
  凡事都有好的一面也有坏的一面。拿起你的镐头来,为了冬天只有煤屑烧而烦躁,甚至抱怨先得把盆子里的冰敲碎,候其溶化后才能洗脸,可是到底还有煤可烧,不是吗?
  年轻的女孩子们列一长行,手提煤屑,从日兵士住所附近运到宿舍来,大家一齐哼着“人手多,工作轻”之句。寒风中工作,手起了冻疮,皮肤裂开,我们还得用手做着煤球。每次两铲煤屑,一铲粘土,泼上水。大人们互相交換混合法的经验。冬季阳光下,煤球干得透彻。
  我祖父(戴存仁牧师,自1881年至1932年在中国工作五十一年。──译者)年近八十,是全营中唯一不必工作的,他是戴德生家的第二代仅存的一位,体重已減到不能再減的八十磅了。看他瘦弱之躯,藏在那松肥的陈旧衣服里,有人诚恳的对他说:“戴老祖父,让我把你的衣服改得合体好吗?”他总是抱以微笑,脸上散发着光辉。“上主必将我脫离这地方,到那时衣服还是会适体的。”他说得不错!直到胜利,他还活着,终被飞机接回英国去了。
  有些成年人彼此说,戴老祖父好像两只腳一踏在天上,一在地下。我不时去找祖父,舒适地躺在他身旁。我纤细的手指触摸着他有波纹,丝般的银须,和脸上在中国某地被狂犬咬伤像似灼伤的疤痕。来自煙台的学生,惟独我们兄弟姊妹四人有祖父一同被拘此营。
  我对潍县的怀念迄今仍感亲切,不无原因。


1939年作者在煙台入学时与其哥,姊,父母及祖父合照

  提起集中营来,人人都会想到盟国俘虏在东南亚各地飢饿下的长途跋涉,在欧洲,臂腕被刺号头如同动物,甚至惨受毒气室的死刑。潍县並无类似情形,能说坏吗?
  不必多说,痛苦,悲哀的经历当然是述不尽的。可是我们终能胜过一切,至少在清除臭虫捕蝇,捉鼠各方面的成绩是斐然的。星期六我们订之为“大战臭虫日”小刀和指甲是我们的利器,寻索所有的缝儿,不拘枕,毯,被单,或床铺,将虫和卵一齐杀掉。
  练习簿用完了,就用橡皮把字擦掉,周而复始,直到擦无可擦,纸破为止。
  苍蝇太多,令人大起恐慌,学生们被组织起来,实施捕蝇运动。小弟约翰把他努力的成绩──苍蝇三千五百,一起细心数好,装在一只玻璃瓶里,结果荣获第一名,奖品是一盒罐头肉酱,取自红十字会的救济物品。
  假如大家对着夜晚在床上蹦蹦跳跳的老鼠发抖,我们便合力组成打鼠运动,彼此竞爭一番,棒打,笼捉,最后以火或水灭之。可贺我们芝罘学校克利夫领导的一组获胜,共六十八只包括成绩揭晓前最末一天的三十只。亚军的纪录是五十六只。
  五年睽隔,父亲的面孔将感模糊,唯声音犹在耳边。他日常会在我的名字玛莉后面加个“甜心”。我们戴家人总用“可以”来回答对方的要求,可知融洽的程度。(作者的父亲戴永冕牧师,1894-1978,享年八十四岁。自1917年开始在中国工作,直到七十二岁退休,整满五十年。戴家的祖父,父,子,三代牧师献身中国共一百五十二年,纪录空前,亦将绝后。──译者)
  声浪如同传自远方,又好似从留声机唱出来的:“戴家的一切事好商量,沒有不能两字在口上!”
  远在太平洋诸岛屿的战爭此刻正炽,一场战爭能死伤四万人。在战爭结束和平来临前将有四千万人死於非命。
  围牆內,儿童们另有天地。我哥雅各常从三楼的窗戶爬到一条枯树干上来察看天沟背后一巢麻雀育雏的生态。倘若得其法,恰合时间,他能将口嚼中的面包糊直送到幼雏口中。
  运动的略況也值得记述。食物供缺下,半飢饿状态的人该不该运动?听说上海和香港集中营有医生反对在这种环境下从事运动。但是潍县卻不同,精神生活同样重要,因此至少我们在每星期六练篮球,曲棍球和足球。节目的主持人是曾在世运会得过金牌的李爱锐。我们辄取其名直呼“爱锐叔叔”,或用其绰号“苏格兰的飞毛腿”。
  营中的人大半识得李爱锐其人,其事。缯声缯影,他被喧染吹捧得过分。在他荣获金牌多年后,有一描绘他大半生成就的影片“火焰战车”问世,把他的运动经验和生活型态加以戏剧化了。例如他拒绝於星期日出场参与世运的节目,因与其信仰有抵触。实际上他並未那么严肃或摆大架子,他也不喜风头。凡合乎他自己趣味的工作,他都肯默默地自动去做。与他久处之后,再想想这个人,二十年前原是一位抢尽了各国报纸标题,又是橄榄球(美式足球)和径赛界的风云人物,实在有些不可思议。
  我们的曲棍球棒坏了,就去找李爱锐。他取自床单撕剪下的布缕来将它捆扎妥当,外加整修,完后宛若新品。有些青年人由於那漫无尽期,单调得要死的俘虏生活,便暗中偷情,寻找情慾之欢。为挽颓势,他就联合传教士们专辟一处,夜晚举行遊戏和比赛。天津来的学生赶不上功课,他就抱奋勇担任教授科学一项。营中有三个廚房,互相比赛成绩和效率,结果李爱锐工作的第一号房稳拿了第一。如此说来,有谁会不喜欢李爱锐呢?
  1945年,寒冬多雪的二月间,李爱锐患脑肿瘤逝世了。大家闻讯莫不惊呆而惋惜。葬礼举行时,学生们组成一个仪仗队,示哀致敬,由生前至友抬了棺,葬在日士兵住处不远被指定的狭小墓地上。(距胜利仅六个月,长眠此地者已三十余人,故估计死於集中营的人数应在四十名左右──译者)这里,就算作在中国的一小片苏格兰地土吧!(七七事变后,李爱锐为家属安全计,已将妻子儿女送加拿大暂居,因此他可能是加国公民。──译者)
  对於一般无可口饭食不肯吃饭的孩子们来说,飢就非吃不可,这里的伙食是丝毫不成问题的。初期,早餐的主食一律是高粱米和绿豆煮饭,外加足夠的面包。午饭是一些燉或煮的食物,燉,煮,千篇一律。夜饭将午间的剩饭加在一起再燉,煮。燉好的饭多加水不是就叫做“汤”吗?
  祇有神经健全勇武的人才能在管生肉的部分工作。送来的肉,暖季总是长满了蛆的,可说是随除随长,因到处苍蝇太多。看看那颜色发黑边沿作浅色的肝,管肉的人下不得手,不敢作主,找医生提提意见。可吃吗?大概是老骡子的,希望不是病肝。咳!不管一切,入廚就是了。
  如果你想领略人性最恶劣的一面,可以来看俘虏营里那些行动粗鲁的飢民所摆的大长龙。飢饿的人常会因生气而失去控制自己,手推或扑向管理分配食物的人,嫌他勺子使用的不公平,分给自己的不足,別人则说太多,这本是出力不讨好的工作。
  由於平时的教诲,我们这些煙台孩子们自制力強,抱着公道冷靜的态度看得入神。体弱不支的年老女性於排队刷洗饭具时常因事故而爭吵,以至彼此洒水来洩忿。我们煙台来的这一批人从未失礼过。
  老师时常叮嘱我们要保持态度,一个人不可能有两种性格,自由身是一样,当俘虏又是一样。不论从罐头盒挖着厚厚的食品吃,或喝着盘子盛的稀汤,成熟文雅的样子都应当保持,正像白金汉宮里那两位公主一样。
  坐得直,食物不可满口塞,嚥后再说话,刀子撞盘不出声,羹匙舀汤向外,讲话声低,不抱怨…
  战爭的日子延长下去,食物的供应也渐減少了。乐观的想法是盟国正逐步取胜中。可是日本人会不会将有限的储粮对敌国的俘虏照旧配予呢?此时成人的体重減至一百磅的已不在少数。一些愤世嫉俗,不满现状的人常常私下作无益於事的爭辩:俘虏先被解救呢?还是大家先饿毙在俘虏营里呢?关於这些事,老师对我们一向守口如瓶。


营中文娛事项的公告

  1944年,美国超空中堡垒的基地已在中,印两国和太平洋的马利阿纳岛完成,正在轰炸日本土中。多时,肉食不见供应,连高粱,绿豆也沒有了。司廚的人发明了面包糊:用陈腐的面包浸水过夜滤去混水,加进面粉同煮,用桂皮和糖精调味。对於忍飢挨饿的人,沒有一样食物是不可入口的。
  据说惯於动劳力的人每天需要四千八百单位的热量,否则三千六百即夠。营里的医生们(俘虏)估计每人每天仅获热量一千二百。大家在沉默中接受着长期的飢饿,结果是显而易见的:憔悴消瘦,体力枯竭,神情麻木。有人失重一百磅之多,孩子们的牙齿暗无光采,已发育的少女月经停止。
  老师们发现鸡蛋壳可添入食物中借此增加钙的供应不足。征得营中医生的同意后,就将保留的蛋壳洗淨,烤焦,捣碎,研磨成粉,送到宿舍来,用羹匙逐一送到我们口边。面对难以下嚥的粗粉,我们要吐出,要喷出,但不可能,我们就咀嚼之勉強嚥下去。
  这並不能说老师们太沒溫情。当我的生日那天,一位老师弄到一只苹果来给我庆祝一番。一只苹果本不是件大礼物,可是这场面对我来说是十分重要,觉得母爱就出现在眼前。她召我到医院的背后,祇有我们两人。她取一只铁盒,放在一个临时炉灶上,用枯枝,生了火,将苹果树削成薄片,我在元片里找到了苹果花,一片一片的在油中煎了给我吃。这件事当时,我觉得像在玩魔术,又似进入幻境。四十年来,我还要在苹果片上找那苹果花儿。在我的生命中,沒有一个生辰纪念糕点堪与那次煎的苹果片可比,更有意义,更叫我开心。
  虽然在战爭失去自由之下,这份礼物委实给我保存了童年的欢愉,是我一生永誌不忘的事。倘若我们这些稚子之心那时是无邪无忧的,年纪较大的孩子卻另有一些想法和忧虑。那就是,大学教育,就业出路,爱情婚嫁等等。姊姊凯琳业已及龄,想到爱情的时候到了,她时常戴着俏皮的小帽,美发卷了蓬松带弹性的大卷,稍覆前额,余发后梳。
  她的一个好友抱怨着说:“我们已被上主忘记了。”“我们几时才能恢复自由?祇怕结婚这件事今生是无望的了!”营养不良的我,激素在我身上並未萌芽,所以不会傻想那些事。(下期续)

A Song of Salvation at Weihsien Prison Camp

Mary Taylor Previte

III

  Self-government at Weihsien ruled that every able-bodied person should work. The prisoners did everything—cooked, baked, swabbed latrines. My older sister, Kathleen scrubbed clothes. Jamie pumped long shifts at the water tower and carried garbage. John made coal balls. Before and after school, I mopped my square of floor, mended clothes, stoked the fire, and carried coal dust. Not coal. The Japanese issued only coal dust.
  Like every other Weihsien problem, coal dust had its dark side and its bright side. You could take your pick. You could grump yourself miserable about having only coal dust to burn; or, when you were breaking the ice in the water bucket in the morning to wash your face, you could count your blessings that you had anything at all to fuel the stove.
  We younger girls made a game of carrying the coal buckets. In a long human chain—girl, bucket, girl, bucket, girl—we hauled the coal dust from the Japanese quarters of the camp back to our dormitory, chanting all the way, “Many hands make light work.” Then, in the biting cold, with frostcracked fingers, we shaped coal balls out of coal dust and clay—two shovels of coal dust, one shovel of clay and a few splashes of water. Grown-ups swapped coalball recipes. Winter sunshine made the coal balls dry enough for burning.
  One person in the camp who didn't work at a job was Grandpa Taylor. Almost 80, and the only surviving son of J. Hudson Taylor, he had dwindled away to less than 80 pounds. His cloths bagged around his emaciated frame. “Grandpa Taylor,” people begged him, “let us take in your clothes to make them fit.”
  He always smiled, his face haloed with glory: “God is going to bring me out of Weihsien,” he used to say. “And I'm going to fit in these clothes again.” (He was right; he did survive the war and was flown back to England.)
  The grown-ups said Grandpa looked as though he had one foot on Earth and the other in heaven. I snuggled up next to him on his bed and ran my little fingers through the crinkly silk of his snow-white beard to feel the cauterized scar on his cheek where a rabid dog had bitten him in his early days in China. Of all the children in the Chefoo School, we Taylors were the only ones to have a grandpa in the camp.
  Why do I remember Weihsien with such tender memories?
  Say “concentration camp” to most people, and you bring forth visions of gas chambers, death marches, prisoners branded and tattooed like cattle. Auschwitz. Dachau. Bataan.
  Weihsien was none of that.
  A wash in a cesspool of every kind of misery, Weihsien was nonetheless, for us, a series of daily triumphs—earthy victories over bedbugs and rats and flies. If you have bedbugs, you launch the Battle of the Bedbugs each Saturday. With knife or thumbnail, you attack each seam of your blanket or pillow, killing all the bugs and eggs in your path.
  If you run out of school notebooks, you erase and use the old ones again—and again—until you rub holes through the paper.
  If you panic at the summer's plague of flies, you organize the schoolchildren into competing teams of fly-killers. My younger brother John—with 3,500 neatly counted flies in his bottle—won the top prize, a can of Rose Mille pate, food sent by the Red Cross.
  If you shudder at the rats scampering over you at night, you set up a Rat Catching Competition with concentration camp Pied Pipers clubbing rats, trapping rats, drowning them in basins, throwing them into the bakery fire. Our Chefoo School won that contest, too, with Norman Cliff and his team bringing in 68 dead rats—30 on the last day. Oh, glorious victory! The nearest competitor had only 56.
  One, two, three, four, five years I hadn't seen Daddy. I could still hear his voice: “Mary Sweetheart” - he always called me Mary Sweetheart — “there's a saying in our family: A Taylor never says ‘I can't.'”
  In the far reaches of my mind, like a needle stuck on a gramophone record, I heard the messages playing:
  A Taylor never says “I can't.”
  Thou shalt not be afraid…
  Somewhere out there, the war dragged on. Midway. Guadalcanal. Eniwetok. Saipan, where more than 40,000 were killed or wounded in one battle. Forty million people would die before the madness ended.
  But inside our prison walls, we preserved the wonders of childhood. From the third-floor window of his dormitory, Jamie perched in a hollow tree trunk behind a rain gutter and watched a family of sparrows nesting and raising their young. If he did it right, he could chew up bread saved from Kitchen Number One and get the fledgling sparrows to eat the mush right out of the side of his mouth.
  There were also sports. If the food supply is dwindling and starvation is near, should you expend your energy on sports? In other Japanese prison camps in Shanghai and in Hong Kong, doctors advised against games and exercise because prisoners had no energy to spare. But Weihsien was different. Nourishing the spirit was as important as feeding the body. So on any weekend after school, we children played basketball or rounders, hockey or soccer. The man who organized these games was Olympic gold medal winner Eric Liddell—Uncle Eric, we called him. The Flying Scotsman.
  Almost everyone in camp had heard of Eric Liddell. The folklore about him seemed almost bigger than life. In later years, the film Chariots of Fire would dramatize the accomplishments of this man who refused to run in the Olympics on Sunday because of his religion. But Uncle Eric wasn't a Big Deal type; he never sought the spotlight. Instead, he made his niche by doing little things other people hardly noticed. You had to do a lot of imagining to think that Liddell had grabbed world headlines almost 20 years earlier, an international star in track and rugby.
  When we had a hockey stick that needed mending, Uncle Eric would truss it almost as good as new with strips ripped from his sheets. When the teenagers got bored with the deadening monotony of prison life and turned for relief to the temptations of clandestine sex, he had some missionary teachers organized an evening game room. When the Tientsin boys and girls were struggling with their schoolwork, Uncle Eric coached them in science. And when Kitchen Number One competed in races in the inter-kitchen rivalry, well, who could lose with Eric Liddell on our team?
  One snowy February day in 1945, Liddell died of an inoperable brain tumor. The camp was stunned. Through an honor guard of solemn schoolchildren, his friends carried his coffin to the tiny cemetery in the corner of the Japanese quarters. There, a little bit of Scotland was tucked sadly away in Chinese soil.

  For a child who used to have to be bribed to eat a bite of food, eating the concentration camp fare was no problem at all. I was hungry! In the early days of the war, we lived no gao liang, the roughest broom corn, or lu dou beans cooked into hot cereal for breakfast, and all the bread we wanted. Lunch was always stew, stew, stew. “S.O.S.,” we called it: Same Old Stew. Supper was more leftover stew—watered down to soup.
  Only the stouthearted could work in the butchery with the maggot-ridden carcasses. Plagues of files laid eggs on the meat faster than the team could wipe them off. When the most revolting-looking liver—horribly dark, with a hard, cream-colored edge—arrived with the day's food supplies, the cooks called in our school doctor for a second opinion. Was it fit to eat? Probably an old mule, he guessed. So we ate it.
  If you wanted to see the worst in people, you stood and watched the food line, where griping and surliness were a way of life. Hungry prisoners were likely to pounce on the food servers, who were constantly being accused of dishing out more or less than the prescribed half dipper or full dipper of soup. It was a no-win job.
  Having been taught self-control, we Chefoo children watched the cat fights with righteous fascination. Shrieking women in the dishwashing queue hurled basins of greasy dishwater at each other. Flights were common. But not among the Chefoo contingent.
  Our teachers insisted on good manners. There is no such thing, they said, as one set of manners for the outside world and another set for a concentration camp. You could be eating the most awful-looking glop out of a tin can or a soap dish, but you were to be as refined as the two princesses in Buckingham Palace.
  Sit up straight. Don't stuff food in your month. Don't talk with your mouth full. Don't lick your knife. Spoon your soup toward the back of the bowl, not toward the front. Keep your voice down. Don't complain.
  Food supplies dwindled as the war dragged on. If you wanted to be optimistic, you could guess that the Allies were winning and that you were going hungry because the Japanese weren't about to share their army's dwindling food with Allied prisoners. Grown men shrank to 100 pounds. But our teachers shielded us from the debates among the camp cynics over which would come first, starvation or liberation.
  By 1944, American B-29 Superfortresses from bases in Calcutta, China and the Marianas were bombing Japan. There were many meatless days. When even the gao liang and lu dou beans ran out, the cooks invented bread porridge. They soaked stale bread overnight, squeezed out the water and mixed up the mush with several pounds of flour seasoned with cinnamon and saccharin. Only our hunger made it edible.
  An average man needs about 4,800 calories a day to fuel heavy labor, about 3,600 calories for ordinary work. Camp doctors guessed that the daily food ration for men in our camp was down to 1,200 calories. Although no one said so out loud, the prisoners were slowly starving. The signs were obvious—emaciation, exhaustion, apathy. Some prisoners had lost more than 100 pounds. Children had teeth growing in without enamel. Adolescent girls were growing up without menstruating.
  That's when our teachers discovered egg shell as a calcium supplement to our dwindling diet. On the advice of the camp doctors, they washed and baked and ground the shells into a gritty powder and spooned it into our spluttering mouths each day in the dormitory. We gagged and choked and exhaled, hoping the grit would blow away before we had to swallow. But it never did. So we gnashed our teeth on the powdered shells—pure calcium.
  Still, there was a gentleness about these steely teachers. On my birthday, my teacher created a celebration—with an apple—just for me. The apple itself wasn't so important as the delicious feeling that I had a “mother” all to myself in a private celebration—just my teacher and me—behind the hospital.
  In the cutting of wondrously thin, translucent apple circles, she showed me that I could find the shape of an apple blossom. It was pure magic. On a tiny tin-can stove fueled by twigs, she fried the apple slices for me in a moment of wonder. Even now, after 40 years, I still look for the apple blossom hidden in apple circles. No birthday cake has ever inspired such joy.
  It was a lasting gift these teachers gave us, preserving our childhood in the midst of bloody war. But if we children filled our days with childish delights, our older brothers and sisters had typically adolescent worries: college, job, marriage. Kathleen, quite head-over-heels in love by now, was sporting a lovely page-boy coif with a poof of hair piled modishly over her forehead.
  “God has forgotten all about us,” one of her friends moaned one day. “We're never going to get out of here. And we're never going to get husbands.” With malnutrition slowing down my hormones, no such foolishness entered my mind.

(英文原文经原作者同意在本报发表)

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2019.12

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