China News Service, Shanghai, August 13th (Liu Xiao and Li Qiuying) The Battle of Songhu was the largest and most tragic battle in the entire Sino-Japanese war. A total of about 1 million troops from China and Japan were involved in the battle.

The battle itself lasted three months and shattered Japan's plan to "destroy China in three months."

  Today is the 85th anniversary of the National Anti-Japanese War and the August 13 Songhu Anti-Japanese War.

The reporter visited the Shanghai Songhu Anti-Japanese War Memorial Hall built in Baoshan City, the former battlefield site, and heard the story of a group of children who used their small bodies to take on the responsibility of resisting Japan and saving the nation.

Shanghai Songhu Anti-Japanese War Memorial Hall held "A Strange Flower Produced in the Blood Pool of Anti-Japanese War - Picture Exhibition of Cultural Relics and Manuscripts" Photo by Zhang Hengwei

born in gunfire

  During the whole nation's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, Chinese teenagers and children suffered extremely heavy hardships, but the mission of saving the nation and trying to survive deeply penetrated into the hearts of the children.

  In late August 1937, Wang Dongruo, then secretary of the National Crisis Education Society, decided to recruit some students from Yu Rizhang No. 3 Elementary School, Shanhai Institute of Technology and other schools on the basis of the students from Linqing School who had lived in the refugee shelter of Empaiya Cinema. , and established the "Children Theater Company".

Photo courtesy of the Children's Theater Group photo courtesy of Songhu Anti-Japanese War Memorial Hall in Shanghai

  On September 3, 1937, the Children's Theatre was officially established. The youngest of these children was only 8 years old and the oldest was 16 years old. They walked around the streets and carried out anti-Japanese national salvation propaganda by singing and giving speeches.

  On September 9, 1937, the Children's Troupe performed at the Jing'an Refugee Shelter. The young actors used drama and singing to express the suffering caused by Japanese imperialism to the Chinese people. The audience was deeply moved, and they gathered around and shouted slogans.

An old grandmother present couldn't help but said: "The children all understand that China will never die!"

In 1938, a group photo of Zhou Enlai, Deng Yingchao and some members of the Children's Troupe was taken by Zhang Hengwei

A Strange Flower in the Pool of Blood of the Anti-Japanese War

  After the fall of Shanghai, the members of the "Children's Troupe" traveled thousands of miles and came to Wuhan from Shanghai to continue to mobilize the masses to participate in the War of Resistance.

Summary of Zhou Enlai's speech at the welcome meeting of the Children's Troupe Photo by Li Qiuying

  On January 30, 1938, the Wuhan Office of the Eighth Route Army held a warm welcome party for the Children's Theatre.

Zhou Enlai, Ye Ting, Guo Moruo, Ye Jianying, Qin Bangxian, Pan Hannian and Deng Yingchao attended the meeting.

At the meeting, the Children's Troupe sang songs such as "Children's Troupe Song" and "Wanderer".

At the meeting, Zhou Enlai encouraged these children to make more contributions to the fight against Japan and save the nation with the words "Saving the Nation, Revolution, and Creation".

Guo Moruo said, "With your sons and daughters who are not afraid of hardships, China will gradually grow up through hardships."

  The children's anti-Japanese work in Wuhan continued.

In early May 1938, Zhou Enlai instructed, approved by the Yangtze River Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, to formally establish the party branch of the CCP Children's Theatre Troupe, and elected Wu Xinjia as the branch secretary.

The Children's Troupe actively participated in drama and singing activities, and mobilized young children to participate in the work of defending Wuhan.

Photo by Zhang Hengwei, the second anniversary song of the Children's Theatre

  In mid-August, when the Japanese army invaded Wuhan, the Children's Theater left five members to form a work team stationed in Han, and the rest went to Hengshan, Hunan.

Since then, they have traveled to Hengyang, Guilin, Liuzhou, Guiyang, Zunyi, and Chongqing... As the Children's Theater sang in the second anniversary song, "We have traveled all over the wilderness of the motherland and the Yangtze River. We lived in the war of resistance against Japan. Yes, we have grown up in the war of resistance. We are the children of the war of resistance. Our life is the war of resistance, and the great cause of building a country must be undertaken." They used the stage as a fortress and the streets as a camp, using their songs to arouse the national consciousness of the masses and fighting spirit.

Mao Dun wrote an inscription for the Children's Troupe Photo by Li Qiuying

  The famous writer Mao Dun called these children "a strange flower in the blood of the Anti-Japanese War".

A legacy spanning a hundred years

  The birth of this "strange flower" is inseparable from the breeding of revolutionary soil.

Shanghai, the birthplace of the Children's Theatre, is the cradle of Chinese revolutionary culture.

  At the end of the 1920s, the Communist Party of China set up a special cultural leadership organization in Shanghai to strengthen the leadership of the revolutionary culture from the organization, and Shanghai became the main position for the Communist Party of China to lead the revolutionary culture.

Some achievements of the left-wing cultural movement in China are displayed by Zhang Hengwei

  In the 1930s, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, a large number of progressive cultural workers launched a left-wing cultural movement centered on Shanghai, which became a "light to guide the future of the national spirit", which effectively promoted the awakening of the national people's awareness of resisting Japan and saving the nation, for the sake of Quickly set off a new upsurge of anti-Japanese national salvation and accumulated spiritual strength.

  Mass singing activities were one of the important forms of anti-Japanese national salvation propaganda activities at that time.

In 1935, left-wing musicians successively established the "Amateur Choir" and the "Song Research Association", and created popular national salvation songs such as "March of the Big Knife" and "On the Songhua River", and taught singing among workers, students and citizens.

In 1936, under the influence of this, the students of Linqing School established the "Children's Singing Team" of Linqing School, sang salvation songs and performed small plays, which laid the organizational foundation for the establishment of the Children's Theater.

  After the children's troupe fought for five years, in 1942, as the political environment in the Kuomintang-ruled areas deteriorated, in order to protect these children, the troupe's party organization planned to evacuate the members in batches.

Most of the children entered drama schools, music colleges, and ordinary primary and secondary schools, and some went to the front lines of the Anti-Japanese War, or went to Yan'an, the holy place of revolution, to continue the new Long March for the cause of the motherland and the people...

Photo by Zhang Hengwei during the second stage of the Children's Troupe's Thousand Mile March

  "Our dozen or so naive hearts are confident that they are not afraid of difficulties, and they are not afraid of laughing and scolding. With trembling hearts, we look at the dawn of national victory and grasp the current needs and possibilities. We are like weak grass. We are like candlelight in the wind and rain, desperately rushing into this torrent of national liberation, emitting our weak light." This is a passage published in "The Open Letter of the Children's Theater" in 1937. Courage and determination have inspired thousands of compatriots 85 years ago, and 85 years later, their stories can still empower us.

An open letter from two children's troupes published in Shanghai's "Salvation Times" by Zhang Hengwei

  It is understood that in order to carry forward and commemorate the national spirit and patriotism of the Children's Theater during the Anti-Japanese War, the Shanghai Songhu Anti-Japanese War Memorial Hall, the Memorial Hall of the China Left-wing Writers Union and the Memorial Hall of the Former Site of the Eighth Route Army Wuhan Office jointly organized the "Birth in the Blood of the Anti-Japanese War". A Wonderful Flower - Exhibition of Pictures of Cultural Relics and Manuscripts.

With dozens of members' recalling manuscripts, more than 100 pictures, and nearly 100 cultural relics, the Children's Theatre troupe displayed the glorious deeds of the children's troupe uniting the national children's strength during the Anti-Japanese War and making a strong national voice to resist the enemy and defend against insults.

Feng Yuxiang wrote an inscription for the Children's Troupe Photo by Li Qiuying

  "The children's stories are just a point. We hope to enlarge the children's stories on the 85th anniversary of the Songhu Battle, so that the audience can learn about the origin of the Anti-Japanese War culture from how the children's theater troupe grew up, so we did This special exhibition." said Tang Lei, curator of the Songhu Anti-Japanese War Memorial Hall in Shanghai.