September 21 is the International Day of Peace, which is a special day for people in Weifang, Shandong province. After Weifang became the second international peace city in China after Nanjing this year, by reviewing the humanistic value of the Courtyard of the Happy Way, Weifang people commemorated the just struggle and Internationalism of international expatriates and Chinese people uniting against Japanese fascists.
The United Nations proclaimed the International Day of Peace in 1981 and invited all member states, non-governmental organizations, and people from all walks of life to celebrate it in a way that would demonstrate the commitment of the United Nations to maintain peace among all peoples and nations.
The International Day of Peace was observed every year on the third Tuesday of September. Since 2002, the International Day of Peace has been celebrated on September 21. The resolution mentioned, “Thereafter the International Day of Peace shall be a global day of cease-fire and non-violence, and all States and peoples are invited to stop hostilities on this day."
Originally built in 1882, the Courtyard of the Happy Way architectural complex was a comprehensive place integrating a church, a school, and a hospital. However, during World War II, the Japanese army secretly set up a concentration camp for foreign expatriates in the Courtyard of the Happy Way in March 1942 and imprisoned 2,261 expatriates for three years. The army's harsh supervision and forced labor of Western expatriates left a painful memory in human history. At that time, the Courtyard of the Happy Way was also known as the "Auschwitz in the East.”
On February 3, 2021, Frederick Arment, president of the International Cities of Peace, announced the list of new international peace Cities to the world. Weifang is on the list, becoming another international peace city in China after Nanjing.
- Translated by Stephen Huang