Life is short，but history is long. And history is definitely going in one direction, toward the eventual victory of the people in their striving for peace and socialism. ......If I had to do it all over again, I would live the very same way.
——Soong Ching Ling
在人类历史的长河中，半个世纪不过是短短的一刹那，而对于一个人来说，却是漫长的道路。作为中国共产党党员的我, 能够置身于中国人民斗争的行列,为中国人民的解放事业尽一份力量;在建设的年代里, 我又能把自己的劳动同中国人的劳动融为一体, 为此, 我感到幸福和欣慰……如果让我重新开始生活，我还是要选择这条道路，这是毫无疑问的。
A half century includes only a few short years over the course of human history, while it is an extremely long road for an ordinary person. As a member of the Chinese Communist Party (CPC), I feel honored and grateful to have spent my days in and contributed my part to the revolutionary cause of the Chinese people and their tireless endeavors to build the country......Needless to say, I would make the same choice if I had the chance to start from scratch.
马海德，原名乔治·海德姆（Shafick George Hatem），1910年9月出生于美国。1934年在沪上与宋庆龄的相识，为他开启了通往中国革命的大门。在此后的五十余载岁月中，马海德始终视宋庆龄为革命导师和引路人。他们秉持着共同的革命理想，为了共同的奋斗目标，以崇高的国际主义精神，为了中国人民的革命和建设事业做出了不懈的努力。
Soong Ching Ling (Madame Sun Yat-sen), a world-famous soldier of patriotism, democracy, internationalism and communism, had long been China’s ambassador of friendship that bonded people from home and abroad. Notably, she also opened windows for foreign friends in China to better understand the country, the Chinese people and the revolutionary cause which ultimately won their hearts and gained their support. Ma Haide (George Hatem), as an excellent CPC member, a pioneer of the new China’s health services, an outstanding internationalist and a renowned medical expert, was such an example among those that Soong Ching Ling had helped.
In September 1910, Shafick George Hatem was born in Buffalo, New York. After obtaining his medical degree in 1933, Hatem came to Shanghai where he set up the practice. In 1934, Ma Haide got to know Soong Ching Ling who provided him with key introductions to become a young revolutionary. Therefore in the following 50 years and more, Ma Haide respected Soong Ching Ling as his revolutionary mentor and guide. With shared ideals and goals, as well as the noble spirit of internationalism, they worked hand in hand to make unremitting efforts for the cause of the Chinese people's revolution and construction.
To commemorate Ma Haide’s 110th birth anniversary, we are organizing this exhibition to revisit his 55-year revolutionary career in China especially his unwavering support to the CPC, and highlight the depth of his decades-long friendship with Soong Ching Ling.
Ma Haide got acquainted with Soong Ching Ling in Shanghai in 1934. During these turbulent years in the 1930s, Soong Ching Ling had always stood with the Chinese people in their struggle for national independence and against foreign aggression. She earned the respect of not only the Chinese people, but foreign friends in Shanghai as well. Encouraged by Soong Ching Ling, Ma Haide as a newly-arrived American doctor, was quickly involved in activities of the Maxist study group and conducted social investigations to support the CPC revolution. Later in 1936, with the help of Soong Ching Ling, Ma Haide successfully went to North Shaanxi where he joined the CPC and kicked off his revolutionary career in Red China.
Upon his arrival in North Shaanxi, Ma Haide was soon fascinated with the dauntless revolutionary spirit of the Red Army. He finally made his decision to stay in Yan’an and join the CPC. After the outbreak of China’s whole-of-nation resistance war against Japanese aggression in 1937, Soong Ching Ling initiated the China Defence League (CDL) in Hong Kong to seek international aid for her country, organizing delivery of medical supplies to the resisting base controlled by the CPC. As the CDL representative in Yan’an, Ma Haide always followed the instructions of Soong Ching Ling to establish and improve the health care system in the resisting base through detailed reports of medical conditions and facilitation of construction of the International Peace Hospital. Moreover, he enthusiastically advocated the CPC’s policies when receiving foreign guests. Even in those war-ridden years, Soong Ching Ling often sent Ma Haide her warmest greetings which further strengthened their friendship and shared faith that victory would eventually come.
In the Autumn of 1949, Soong Ching Ling and Ma Haide, after years of separation, had their reunion in Beijing where both of them witnessed the birth of new China. Soong Ching Ling was then elected Vice Chairwoman of the Central People’s Government, while Ma Haide chose to be naturalized as a Chinese citizen and was later appointed as advisor of the Chinese Health Ministry. In his capacity, Ma Haide led multiple batches of medical experts to work in former revolutionary bases, inhabitation communities of ethnic minorities and outlying poverty-stricken areas. Together with colleagues, he made remarkable achievements based on his years-long experience in the field of preventing and researching venereal disease and infectious leprosy. Regarding what he learnt and thought during this process, Ma Haide maintained close communication with Soong Ching Ling and regularly got positive feedbacks from her. More than 3 decades since the People’s Republic of China was founded, Soong Ching Ling and Ma Haide with their intense enterprise and sense of mission toward revolution, had battled on to the end of their days for a new China of independence, democracy, peace and prosperity.
Lasting for a half century, the revolutionary friendship between Soong Ching Ling and Ma Haide flourished with new vitality. Since the birth of the new China, Soong Ching Ling had continued to offer revolutionary guidance to Ma Haide, and provide him and his family with meticulous care in life. In a similar way, Ma Haide always paid attention to Soong Ching Ling’s health and helped her catch up with foreign friends. Highly trusted by Soong Ching Ling, Ma Haide and his family as frequent visitors, attended a number of parties held at Soong Ching Ling’s residence when she lived in Beijing. After Soong Ching Ling passed away, Ma Haide wrote a series of articles to commemorate her, expressing his infinite reverence and love for Soong Ching Ling and also carrying forward Soong Ching Ling’s revolutionary spirit.
Even in old age, Ma Haide did not cease his medical practice and research. As he put it, “people living in the world always need to do something. I have made some humble efforts for the Chinese revolution, and I have nothing to regret even if I die.” In the Autumn of 1988, Ma Haide were taken down with overwork and passed away on October 3rd at the age of 78. For his outstanding contribution to the medical and healthcare services of China and the world, Ma Haide earned broad admiration from home and abroad. In 1988, he was awarded the honorable title of “Pioneer of Health Services in New China” by the Chinese Health Ministry. In 2009, Ma Haide was selected as one of the hundred people who moved China since the foundation of the People’s Republic. And in 2019, he was awarded the homorable title of “Most Beautiful Struggler”.
As an international communist fighter with great humanity, Ma Haide worked shoulder to shoulder with Soong Ching Ling for a half century including the years of revolution and war, as well as the days and nights of building a new China. With their sincere love for the CPC, the Chinese people and socialism, they firmly believed that the great cause of communism would certainly achieve its victory.
In the great journey of working hand in hand for the happiness of the Chinese people and the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, Ma Haide and Soong Ching Ling established unshakable and unbreakable friendship as time went by. This genuine friendship lasting for 50 years, had gone beyond boundaries among nations and states, revealing the noble spirit of internationalism and shining with the brilliance of great personality. Needless to say, their excellent contribution to the Chinese revolution and the cause of human emancipation, will be respected by the world and remembered forever by history.