INT: Let's stick with that camp, and the idea of who got out... how many people, you know five per cent went along and ninety per cent didn't care.
RF: There was eighty per cent that was just there. There was about fifteen per cent that collaborated in one way or another. I mean they either signed a petition or a piece of paper or something of that nature or writ it on their body or done something. Then there was five per cent who resisted and fought back and eventually that five per cent was all picked out. They knew who we were and we were court martialled, got a Chinese court martial and the list of charges were ridiculous. Course it was against their law for you to refuse to confess. If they accused you of something and you would not confess, then that was breaking the law, so you were charged with not confessing. So it made no difference if you confessed or not, you were always found guilty and you were sentenced to whatever they decided. They tried us, they sentenced us. Just before they tried us they'd get us one or two at a time in the middle of the night. Me I had escaped and when they recaptured me they just took me straight back to this... it was an old school building and inside this building was a series of wooden boxes. They were not quite big enough for you to lay down in or stood up straight in, they were about two and a half foot wide, about five and a half feet long and about three foot tall, so they put you in that little box and they would allow you out to the bathroom three times within a twenty four hour period. Anything other than that, you had to make your own arrangements with inside of that box. Course they fed you twice daily, this sorghum seed come back again and you'd sit and the guard would try and intimidate you and occasionally they would... if you acted up too much and didn't do the [inaudible] the guard, then he would put hand cuffs on your hand and feet and let you sit a few weeks. And you'd get out for periodic beatings. They'd take you out usually, although you were by yourself, they'd wait until one or two o'clock in the morning to take you out of the cage for a beating. You really never knew why, it just happened. Then they would put you back in the cage and maybe a week later, well some interpreter would come by and asked if you'd realised what you had done, had realised your mistake. You know, what mistake can you make? You sit there hand cuffed hand and foot in a box, you're supposedly making mistakes. And finally I asked him, I said, what kind of mistake can I be making, I'm [inaudible] hand and foot. He said your attitude. He said you're making mental mistakes. So I guess it was what I was thinking about that I was being punished for. It didn't make sense then, it doesn't make sense now, other than the fact that they were trying to break you. They could break my body, but they couldn't break my spiritual outlook. I said, you can't stop me from thinking. I really didn't know what he was trying to do at the time. I was an ignorant, uneducated plough boy from Tennessee. I knew he was the enemy and I knew that he was not going to defeat me and that's all I knew.
INT: But you took him on a bit, can tell us about that when you got your own back even though at some cost to yourself.
RF: Yes. I took him on, I fought him, I kept my self-respect, I think deep down inside he respected me.
INT: What did you do?
RF: Well, we organised resistance, we disrupted their classes, their indoctrination programme, we'd take their literature and tear pages out of their books. We would... the ones who were playing along with them, we would get 'em off to the cells we would give them a stern warning, including some good beatings sometimes for going along with the Chinese and we'd let 'em know that they were supposed to be American soldiers and British soldiers. We had some Brits in this Twenty Ninth and fact is I had a reunion with one of them not long ago, who [inaudible] out of London, he's passed away last December. But he is one of the resistance force. And then we done little of everything we could think of. We would plant nails in the road that come through the camp to puncture the tyres on their supply vehicles. We would cut communication wires when we had a chance. We've be out on labour details and we found their telephone wires, we would cut sections out of it. Mainly we disrupted indoctrination programmes and when they would come with something ridiculous that they were trying to really put across and we would start counter-acting by making it look stupid and funny, making a joke out of it. During the fifties, when the Rosenbergs, the atomic energy spies, were on Death Row waiting to be executed, we were compelled to read the Daily Worker and the Shanghai News and we would get the information about all the demonstrations trying to save the Rosenbergs. The Chinese brought their pigs in on foot and they put 'em in a pen there, so we picked out a big old male pig and a female and we named them the Rosenpigs. So every time they would [inaudible] the hog, we'd have a big demonstration to save the Rosenpigs, the peace-loving pigs of the world! So we'd counteract some of their things with making it sound stupid comical and it's... long time ago, but it was a lot of laughs come out of it, believe it or not.
INT: What happened in the end to the Rosenpigs?
RF: Well, one of them finally accidentally, old Julius he got slaughtered...
INT: Tell me who Julius is in your answer.
RF: Well, Julius is Julius Rosenpig, he was a big male hog, you know, and he was slaughtered and I guess eaten by the Chinese. But the minute that he got slaughtered, we, eighteen hundred men refused to work, we refused to do anything, we made signs and said they had slaughtered the peace-loving pig of the world and the person who did this must be punished. Well, after about a week, well the commandant called us all together and he assured us that the guard that killed Julius would be dealt severely if we'd just go back to work. So we did and everything was finand I'm sure the guard got punished.
INT: What were the sort of...
INT: This is the continuation of the interview with Doc Frazier on tape number 10486. When you were first captured, how much did you weight and subsequently how much did you weigh?
RF: Well, when I was captured I weighed approximately a hundred and ninety pounds. My body weight dropped down to ninety. When the war was over, when I was released, I weighed a hundred and twenty six pounds, I'd gained some weight back. But practically everyone there lost approximately that amount of weight or equivalent. Like a man weighed a hundred and forty pound when he was captured, he expected to lose fifty, sixty pounds. A man like myself, weighed near two hundred, well you used to drop to a hundred pound. And close to the end of the war, they had what we called Operation Fatten Up. After they released the sick and wounded, they started trying to fatten everyone up and they started bringing in bread and rice and canned pork, canned pork, feeding three meals a day and snacks. And I imagine the last two months I was there, I put on thirty pounds, probably gained thirty pounds back.
INT: Now we're talking the physical punishment, but also the mental torture, if you can describe it as torture, tell us a bit about that, maybe relate it to the cage, the box experience.
RF: Well, there were various stages of physical torture, including stripping men naked and standing them outside in sub-zero weather. Course beatings were prevalent, but beatings was insignificant really. The cages were, they were torture, believe me they were torture, specially when they would handcuff you hand and foot. It was hard to maintain your mental status while you were there. You always knew the physical punishment was coming and sometimes you looked forward to it, believe it or not. I would catch myself, when I was in the cage, I would catch myself losing it. And there was one guard in particular that I hated with a passion and I would call him over, he would always fall for it, I would call him over to the bars to my cage to tell him I had something to confess. And he'd have to lean down to get his face near to the bars and when he did, I'd punch him and knock him across the room. Then they'd take me out and give me another beating. And finally it got where I hit him so much, they quit paying any attention to him, instead of just taking him off and putting another guard on, they kept sending him back and he was still falling for it. When I tell him I wanted to confess, he'd put his face against the bars and I'd belt him. But that would [inaudible]. After the beating I would regenerate my hate for them and it would regenerate my determination to survive. No way was I going to let them kill me, without literally shooting me.
INT: What did you see in the face of the man? Did you see a man doing his job, did you see a symbol of the enemy? How did it appear?
RF: Both. As a whole, I saw a man doing his job. As a professional soldier, I was very observant. Now you had someone who were naturally savage, I mean, we'd got it in our army, they had it in their army, they are savage., again on the guards themselves, ninety per cent of them just did their job, you know, they guarded you, they would not let you get away, they wouldn't abuse you unless you did something. Then you had the ten per cent who enjoyed inflicting physical pain on you and humiliating you if they could. The guards themselves was not the problem, it was the higher echelons of the Chinese that administered out the physical punishment and the mental, mainly the mental punishment. Physical scars, they heal, you get over that. The mental scars, they stay awake.