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Descendants of WWII heroine visit Taiwan to attend anniversary events

Descendants of WWII heroine visit Taiwan to attend anniversary events

Taipei, Sept. 2 (CNA) Family members of Chinese-Belgian scientist Siou-ling Tsien de Perlinghi (???), who was awarded a medal for saving nearly 100 lives during World War II in Belgium, are in Taiwan to attend events in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of the war. At a news conference Wednesday, Dimitri de Perlinghi, the eldest son of the late scientist, said they were pleased and honored to attend the events in Taiwan. "I'm proud of my mother," he said. He said his mother was born in Yixing in China's Jiangsu Province in 1912 and went to Belgium in 1929 to study chemistry. It was there that his mother met his father, a Russian who had fled to the European country, he said. De Perlinghi said his parents had planned to move to China to work after they finished their studies in 1937, but decided to stay in Belgium due to the outbreak of the War of Resistance against Japan. That war was a part of World War II, in which Japan and the other Axis Powers were defeated by the Allied Powers in 1945. In 1940, the German army invaded Belgium and occupied the country until the end of the war. During those years, Siou-ling Tsien de Perlinghi helped save nearly 100 young adult Belgians who had been sentenced to death because of their efforts to resist the German forces. Because she personally knew General Alexander von Falkenhausen, who was in charge of Belgium affairs during the German occupation, she talked him into sparing the young people's lives on humanitarian grounds. Her courage earned her a medal from the Belgium government and she was also granted Belgium citizenship, said Dimitri de Perlinghi, 78. She also had a street named after her, in recognition of her efforts during the war, he said, adding that it was a high honor for someone from a foreign country. At the invitation of the Republic of China government, Dimitri de Perlinghi, his wife and other family members are visiting Taiwan Aug. 31-Sept. 6. They are scheduled to meet with President Ma Ying-jeou (???) and attend events in commemoration of the anniversary of the end of the war, including an exhibition showcasing historical facts about that period. In 1937, the Communist Party of China and the Kuomintang agreed to cooperate to defend China against Japanese invasion, although that cooperation was often cursory at best. The ROC government fled to Taiwan in 1949 after losing to the Chinese communist forces in a civil war. (By Elaine Hou)


Updated : 2021-09-19 02:00 GMT+08:00