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Interview with General Stilwell’s Great-Granddaughters, Susan and Nancy Returning to Chongqing to Witness the Lasting Friendship of Chinese and American People After 20 Years
2023-11-01

Interview with General Stilwell’s Great-Granddaughters, Susan and Nancy

Returning to Chongqing to Witness the Lasting Friendship of Chinese and American People After 20 Years

专访史迪威将军外曾孙女苏珊和南希

20年后再赴“重庆之约”见证中美人民友谊延续


Bt Yang Yan and Tang Anbing/The World and Chongqing


On August 8, the media interviewed Susan Cole and Nancy Millward, great-granddaughters of General Stilwell, who came to Chongqing for the Commemorating Events of the 140th Birth Anniversary of General Stilwell. After 20 years, Susan and Nancy returned with their families to the mountain city of Chongqing, where General Stilwell once worked and fought for peace, to witness the lasting friendship between the Chinese and American people.


史迪威将军外曾孙女苏珊和南希接受媒体采访。


On this trip, Susan and Nancy were very much touched when they visited the “A Great Friend – Photo Exhibition on General Stilwell’s Life”. As the guide told Stilwell’s stories, the precious photos brought his extraordinary years in China to life.


Susan believes that many of the stories presented in the photo exhibition show the gentle side of her maternal great-grandfather. “So, when he [Stilwell] was training them, and when he went to the front line and he was really with the Chinese Soldier.” To Nancy, that’s the most touching. “I really appreciate that he thought of the wounded soldiers and vocations they would need when they returned home after the war and made sure they could be taken care of as well.”


Looking Forward to Growing Friendship with the Chinese People


General Stilwell’s family has carried on the friendship between the people of China and the United States and has been committed to friendly exchanges. General Stilwell’s daughter started the Stilwell Scholarship in the 1980s, a program that has funded more than 50 Chinese students to study in the United States.


Nancy said her family helped prepare the “National Memories” photo exhibition. The exhibition was staged in China and the United States to give the public a deeper understanding of the national memory of China and the United States, which crossed the ocean and fought side by side in the China-Burma-India Theater during World War II. “…we are at the ready to continue to do what we can in order to foster the relationship. I think, especially these days, it’s extra important to have good relations between the U.S. and China. We are absolutely delighted to be here to be the stewards of the legacy of General Stilwell and grow these friendships.”


People-to-people exchanges can promote mutual understanding. Susan and Nancy believe, “…being able to introduce our children to the city and to the people has been very meaningful for us. When you’re in America and you teach them about your family, history and legacy, it’s very different because you’re in America and you’re very far away, but being here, where General Stilwell worked and lived, it just brings a whole new perspective to it for our children.”


At the Stilwell Museum in Chongqing, the offspring of General Stilwell and Comrade Zhu De planted a “friendship tree” that represents the lasting friendship between the Chinese and American peoples. “I think I can speak for my sister and myself that we have a lot of pride in our family, especially our great-grandfather General Stilwell. Being back here in Chongqing, where he spent time during the war, to see where he lived and where his headquarters was, as many times as we’ve been here, it is always very emotional for us to come here and to continue the legacy that he started all those years ago to continue to build a friendship with the Chinese people.” Nancy said, “we feel a lot of gratitude and appreciation for being able to be here and continue the friendship with the Chinese people.”


One Thing Unchanged: The Warmth of the Chongqing People


Susan and Nancy have been to China many times before. Their first visit to Chongqing in 1987 with their grandmother and a group of 15 members of the Stilwell family opened a door for them to understand the people of China and the United States and recognized the importance of maintaining good relations between these two countries.


In 2003, Susan and Nancy came to Chongqing to attend the 120th birth anniversary of General Stilwell. Twenty years later, they were in Chongqing again, visiting the traditional scenery area of “18 Steps”, seeing the giant pandas at the Chongqing Zoo, and experiencing the Yangtze-Jialing rivers tour... “The city has changed a lot. I feel like there are more treasures to discover in the city. And we’ve enjoyed it very much.”


They were amazed by how much Chongqing had changed and used the word “incredible”. In Susan’s eyes, although Chongqing has undergone great changes, many high-rise buildings have been built, and transportation is also developing rapidly, one thing has not changed, that is, the warmth of the people of Chongqing is still the same. “It’s so coherent in the upkeep of the Museum. It’s been very emotional for us. The warmth of the Chinese people remains. It has been amazing to be greeted and welcomed.”

Translation/Gao Xiang


8月8日,来渝参加史迪威将军诞辰140周年纪念活动的史迪威将军外曾孙女苏珊·科尔和南希·米尔沃德接受了媒体的集中采访。这是苏珊和南希阔别20年后,携家人再次来到史迪威将军曾经工作和战斗过的地方——山城重庆,见证中美友谊延续。


此行,苏珊和南希参观了“伟大的朋友——史迪威将军生平图片展”。伴随讲解员生动的讲解,一张张珍贵老照片再现了史迪威将军在中国的不凡岁月,姐妹俩感触良多。


苏珊认为,图片展呈现的不少故事,展现了外曾祖父温柔的一面。南希最喜欢的照片之一便是史迪威将军与中国军人在一起的照片,“无论是在训练场上,还是在前线并肩作战,史迪威将军与中国士兵真正站在一起。他总是为受伤的士兵和他们的未来发展着想。战争结束后,他会牵挂士兵退伍后的生计问题。”


期待与中国朋友继往开来


史迪威将军家族接力延续中美人民友谊,长期致力于中美民间友好交流。史迪威将军的女儿在20世纪80年代启动了史迪威奖学金,该项目资助了50多名中国学生在美国学习。


南希介绍,她的家族曾协助筹备“国家记忆”图片展。展览在中国和美国展出,让大众更加深刻地了解二战期间中美两国跨越大洋,携手并肩,浴血奋战在中缅印战场的国家记忆。“我们将继续竭尽所能。尤其是现在,良好的中美关系尤为重要。我们非常高兴能传承史迪威将军友好交流、团结合作的优良传统,也很高兴能够见证中美人民友谊延续。”


人文交流能促进相互理解。苏珊和南希认为,“这一次,我们带着孩子来到重庆,让他们用全新的视角追古抚今,身临其境地感受战时重庆对外曾祖父的重大意义,了解史迪威将军当时的生活和工作,体会史迪威家族的光辉历史和优良传统,这是我们在美国没法实现的。”


在重庆史迪威博物馆,史迪威将军后代和朱德同志后代一起种下代表着中美两国人民友谊延续的友谊树。“非常荣幸来到重庆,这次旅行让我们深受震撼。史迪威将军为家族带来了无上的荣耀,我们倍感自豪。每次回到重庆,来到他曾经生活工作过的地方,我们都感慨万千。”南希说,希望能够与中国朋友继往开来,共同传承友谊。


唯一不变的是重庆人民的热情


苏珊和南希来过中国很多次。1987年第一次来重庆,随祖母及15人的史迪威家族成员团访问中国,也为她们了解中美两国人民打开了一扇门,认识到保持中美良好关系的重要性。


2003年,苏珊和南希来重庆参加史迪威将军诞辰120周年纪念活动。20年后再赴“重庆之约”,参观了十八梯传统风貌区,到重庆动物园看了大熊猫,体验了两江游……“相比我们20年前看到的重庆,这座城市简直今非昔比。重庆有很多等待我们去发现的宝藏。我们非常喜欢重庆。”


她们感叹重庆变化之大,用了“难以置信”这个词。在苏珊眼中,重庆虽然发生了巨变,建起了许多高楼大厦,交通也在迅速发展,但有一件事始终没有改变,那就是重庆人民热情依旧。“尤其是看到重庆一直以来精心管理史迪威博物馆,我们非常感动,感受到重庆人民待人真诚的态度。”




文/本刊记者 杨艳  图/本刊记者 唐安冰



史迪威将军旧居全貌。


史迪威研究中心


史迪威研究中心和重庆史迪威博物馆,作为中美民间交往的重要平台,在中美两国交往与合作中发挥着桥梁作用。近年来,先后举办了“纪念史迪威将军诞辰120周年暨重庆史迪威博物馆开馆仪式”“纪念约瑟夫·史迪威将军来华70周年暨中缅印战区珍贵图片展”“纪念中美建交40周年暨史迪威将军与中国研讨会”等活动。2021年,史迪威研究中心专家委员会成立。


重庆史迪威博物馆先后接待过美国前国防部长佩里、前国务卿基辛格、参众两院高级官员、多任驻华大使等。在中美两国政府、军界和民间交流与合作中,发挥着独特作用。


一直以来,史迪威研究中心坚守“开展史迪威和中美关系研究工作,为交流合作提供服务,抓好重庆史迪威博物馆管理”的职责,多次主办大型活动和学术会议,为中美双方的文化交流构建多元渠道。接下来,中心会加大与美国相关机构、人员的交流合作力度,加大相关档案、文献和文物的搜集、整理和研究力度,深入挖掘相关历史文化资源,宣传和弘扬史迪威将军对中国人民的情谊、对中华文化的热爱,以及为促进中美民间交往的历史贡献,为中美两国人民友谊的世代传承搭建桥梁。

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