HOME >> News
History Lecture


On March 8th, a lecture organized by the History Department and History Club attracted many middle and high school students to come together in the Xianmian Auditorium. The lecture was hosted by an SHSID history teacher, Mr. Sven Serrano. Ms Betty Barr was again invited to share her childhood stories from what is now the Shanghai High School campus, but what was once the Lunghwa Internment Camp. During the WWII, more than 1,800 allied foreigners were held by Japanese in this camp. Former internee Betty entered the Lunghwa camp with her family in 1943 at the age of 10. The Longmen building, the big auditorium and the engineering lab building of our campus were all the possessions of the internment camp during that period.

Ms. Betty Barr and Mr. Sven Serrano answered a lot of questions asked by the students about education, food, and correspondence during the internment. Compared with other Japanese prisons during WW2, Lunghwa camp seemed to treat its internees ‘very well’. There were only 20 guards, no executions, and prisoners who tried to escape were captured again and then transferred to other camps. Internees were provided with enough food. They also received education and worked only to maintain the facility. Although many people got malaria repeatedly, they could drink milk, which was much better than the lives of Shanghainese at that time. As for her feelings when she came back to this ‘camp’, she said with emotion “this is my second home”. Since she taught in Hong Kong and Shanghai, and has excellent pronunciation when speaking Cantonese, Shanghainese, and Mandarin, which surprised some students. Later, Betty showed some of the dishes which were used during that period, and let the students ‘touch history’.

Our students learned more about the school campus and its history through her wonderful lecture.

(Written by Shen Zhou       Pictures by Haijie Feng)