80-year-old German-Chinese Publishes book in search of Relatives in Chengdu

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One afternoon in the fall of 2018, Sichuan Literature and Art Publishing House received a unique submission, an autobiographical memoir “Hannah’s Chongqing” seeking publication. The manuscript tells the story of Chongqing in the memory of a Chinese-German girl (daughter of a former German consul in China). Recently, the Chinese version of “Hannah’s Chongqing” was published in Chengdu.

Why would a book with a Chongqing background seek to be published in Chengdu in the first place? It is understood that the author of this manuscript is an old German lady Fu Anna who is over 80 years old. She lived in Chongqing for 15 years. At that time, she had a cousin from Chengdu, a childhood playmate who lived with her for two years, so she took the initiative to fulfill a long-term wish:  finding her cousin in Chengdu.

Anna Fu was born in Chongqing in 1937. Her mother Peng Tingwen is a Chengdu native, and her father Fu Deli is from Germany. From 1945 to 1949, Fu Anna attended Nankai Middle School in Shapingba, Chongqing. In 1952, at the age of 15, she left Chongqing with her parents and returned to Germany. Since then, she has never been to China. Nostalgic for her youth, Fu Anna finally mustered up the courage to find her cousin.

Qiaomei is the daughter of Fu Anna’s mother and sister. In the book, she calls Qiaomei’s mother “Lady Lu Bao”. Qiaomei was only one year younger than her. She came to Chongqing in 1943 and lived in Fu Anna’s house for two years. They went to school together, played with dolls, and embroidered together. Although it was not long, the gentle and quiet little girl was deeply engraved in Fu Anna’s mind, which reminded her from time to time.

Fu Anna’s father, Fu Deli, came to China early for an expedition to the East. Like most explorers, while studying the rare animals in the Himalayas, he also fell in love with the customs of  China. According to colleagues from the expedition team, he met and fell in love with Peng Tingwen, who was teaching in a middle school in Chengdu. On June 7, 1935, the two registered their marriage in Chengdu. Two years later, Fu Deli took his wife to Chongqing and served as consul of the German embassy in China.

In 1952, Anna Fu’s family left China and lost contact with her family in Chengdu. It has been 68 years. Nowadays, there are very few clues to find relatives, and she doesn’t even remember her cousins full name. Anna Fu knows that there is no hope for her relatives this time, but she still hopes that through the publication of this book and media reports, some old Chengdu people will  help her find Qiaomei .

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