Book Reading in Kassel, Germany Exposes an Outrage: Harvesting Organs from Living People

June 21, 2015 | By a Falun Gong practitioner

( Patrons in a bookstore in Kassel, Germany, had a hard time digesting what they were hearing: living prisoners of conscience in China were having their organs harvested to fuel China’s booming transplant trade.

The bookstore was holding a reading of The Slaughter, the latest book by American China expert, author, and investigative journalist Ethan Gutmann. The story concerns the murder of prisoners of conscience, whose organs are harvested in China’s labor camps and transplant clinics. The book has recently been translated and published in German.

Florian Godovits, who translated The Slaughter from English to German, at a book reading on May 28 in Kassel, Germany

Learning of the outrageous: Harvesting organs from living people for profit

The guests were visibly shaken by the content of the book, which documents the history of the Chinese regime’s organ harvesting crimes. It is not so easy to “open oneself up to such a difficult issue,” said a visitor, a biologist, who receives event newsletters from the bookstore.

As the book’s translator Florian Godovits related, the organ harvesting atrocities began with the Uyghurs in the 1990s. Later, besides from Tibetans, Uyghurs, and House-Christians, the majority of the organs came from Falun Gong practitioners – the target of China’s most brutal and systematic persecution.

State-Controlled Media Makes the Sweeping Persecution Possible

Mr. Godovits said that such a comprehensive persecution was possible only because every media outlet in the country defamed this group. In China, people were bombarded with “Falun Gong is bad” on every radio broadcast and every TV program – just like the defamation and subsequent persecution of the Jews in the Third Reich. Soon after, the government conducted massive book burnings. The news of this spread around the world.

Godovits, a journalist who has been a long-time employee of the Austrian Press Agency, asked his listeners, “Think about it. At the time [of the Third Reich] in Germany, if you had heard propaganda from the state run news agency of East Germany, would you have taken it seriously?”

A middle-aged woman asked, “But why [persecute] this qigong practice? There are so many types of qigong in China.” Godovits said that it was likely the Chinese leadership’s greed for power and fear of such a strong movement, which was being practiced by more than 70 million people in the late 1990s.

The woman with the question had been given a flyer about the organ harvesting many years ago, but had not heard anything more about it. “I had to push myself to come this evening, but, finally, I wanted to know more,” she explained.

The biologist commented, “I knew about it back when West German pharmaceutical companies were conducting medical tests on prisoners in East Germany. That really shocked me. But this here is one size larger; it has such an enormity: so many people are available in concentration camps.”

Godovits concluded the reading with the chapter about the connection between the popular plastinated bodies exhibitions and the persecution of Falun Gong, which has resulted in the deaths and disappearances of tens of thousands of practitioners.

That evening the listeners were able to figure out the connections for themselves. Some of the attendees asked the two Chinese women present whether the people in China knew about what is going on in their country.

One of them was a Chinese graduate student from the University in Kassel. She said that most of the people in China either believe the claims of the Party, or else they don’t dare to freely express their own opinions. She herself was very glad to have learned about the organ harvesting that night. She added that she would like to translate the book into Chinese, as she feels that the Chinese people definitely need a different view from the one the regime presents to them.

German version available

Category: Other Community Events


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