In 1927, George Emile Autenrieth, alias Hao Tianli, a young German protestant pastor, came to the mountainous Meixian County in the East Guandong Province in China to serve as a German and English teacher at Leyu Middle School. Many of his students later became pillars of contemporary China, including a Minister of Posts and Telecommunications and an academician of the Academy of Engineering. But in the wake of WWII, Hao Tianli was sent back to Germany in 1947 and died in 1983. He was never able to return to Meixian.
The Reform Policies of the Eighties has opened China’s doors again. Klaus Autenrieth alias Hao Junhe, Hao Tianli’s third son, finally returned to Meixian to realize his father’s dream of going back to China. Hao Junhe himself grew up in the area and lived there for 11 years as a child. Since 1986, he has visited Leyu Middle School for 15 times. He met his father’s colleagues and students, and engaged in German-Chinese friendship and cultural exchange activities from the town of Schorndorf in Germany, where he lives.