Jo Maria played a pivotal role in the independence movement of Korea not only as mother of Ahn Jung-geun but also as an anti-Japanese independence activist. At the face of the near-collapse of the nation, Jo supported Ahn Jung-geun when her husband Ahn passed away and Ahn Jung-geun devoted himself to saving the nation both at home and abroad. After the death of Ahn Jung-geun, she took asylum in Russia with her family members and then in Shanghai after the establishment of the provisional government in the Chinese city. As the unchanging pillar of the anti-Japanese patriotic movement, Jo maintained a strong willpower and widely granted love to her neighbors during her lifetime.
President of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea Kim Gu had close family ties with
Ahn Jung-geun’s family for generations. After the death of Ahn Jung-geun, Kim Gu took care of Ahn’s family. Kim participated in Sinminhoe (Sinmin Soiety), a secret organization of independence movement activists. Kim was arrested on charges of conspiracy with Ahn when he went to Songhwa-gun for giving a speech in October 1909 as it was right after Ahn’s assassination of Hirobumi Ito. Kim was imprisoned for months and then was transferred to the Haeju Provincial Court. Kim was not prosecuted because of a lack of evidence and was released.
As the first Resident-General of Korea, Hirobumi Ito exercised strong sovereign power over Joseon. Ito forced Emperor Gojong to abdicate the throne in the wake of an incident that in June 1907 the latter, in attempt to al ert the international community of Japan's attempts to colonize Korea, secretly dispatched three emissaries to the Second Hague Conference on World Peace. Ito resigned as Resident-General of Korea and returned to politics as president of the Privy Council. When he arrived at the Harbin Railway Station on Oct. 26, 1909 during his travel to Manchuria, he was shot to death by Ahn Jung-geun, then chief of staff at the Korean righteous army.
Jo Do-seon planned to assassinate Hirobumi Ito at the Caijiagou Railway Station(蔡家溝驛) but failed to accomplish the scheme. After Ahn Jung-geun assassinated Hirobumi Ito, Jo was arrested and imprisoned. In October 1909 in Harbin, Jo heard the news that Ito would visit Harbin as part of his itinerary to Vladivostok, At that time, Ahn Jung-geun made a secret plan to assassinate Ito with U Deok-sun and Yu Dong-ha and asked Jo to participate in the scheme; Jo willingly agreed to do so. The plan to assassinate Ito was cheduled to be accomplished in two steps. First, Ahn planned to kill Ito at the Harbin Railway Station, and Jo Do- eon, U Deok-sun and Yu Dong-ha decided to kill Ito after waiting at the Caijiagou Railway Station where Ito was cheduled to transfer for another train. Jo’s group also got caught by the Japanese investigators. On Feb. 14, 1910, Japanese prosecutor asked for one and a half years of prison labor to Jo Do-seon and he was imprisoned. The Korean government awarded Jo the Order of Merit for National Foundation, Independence Medal in 1962 to honor his distinguished services.
At the time of Ahn’s assassination of Ito, Yu Dong-ha was in charge of contacts among the activists and made a contribution to the assassination by informing the members of the day and the hours when Ito would arrive at the Harbin Railway Station. In October 1909, at his Russian residence, he saw that his father made a solemn vow for saving and reforming the nation with Ahn Jung-geun, U Deok-sun, Jo Do-seon, Kim Seong-hwa, and Tak Gong-gyu and asked them to allow him to sign on the alliance. After the joint signature, they organized the Seven Men Alliance. Being proficient in Russian himself, Yu confirmed that Ito would arrive at the Harbin Railway Station on the morning of October 26, 1909 and sent a telegram to Ahn Jung-geun who was standing by in Caijiagou, Dongsan Province, to offer the news. Yu was arrested on charges of sending the telegram and was transferred to Lushun Prison with Ahn on Nov. 1, 1909. Japanese prosecutor asked for one-year-and-a half of prison labor to him. The Korean government awarded Yu the Order of Merit for National Foundation, Independence Medal in 1962 to honor his distinguished services.
U Deok-sun organized Dongui-danji-hoe (An Alliance of Cutting off Fingers) with Ahn Jung-geun and accompanied Ahn at the time of Ahn’s assassination of Ito. After the assassination of Ito, U was arrested and imprisoned. U Deok-sun was active as a member of patriotic enlightenment organizations such as the Independence Club(獨立協會).In 1908, he crossed the Tumen River with Ahn Jung-geun, Army Chief of Staff of the righteous army, and raided the Japanese military camps in Gyeongheung and Hoeryeong in Hamgyeong-do and achieved big brilliant success in battles. In the spring of 1909 in Yinqiu, the Russian territory, U Deok-sun organized Dongui-danji-hoe with Ahn Jung-geun and Kim Gi-yeol and pledged to desperately cooperate to save the nation from collapse. After Ahn’s assassination of Ito, U was arrested by the Russian military police as an accomplice. After trials in Lushun, he was sentenced to three years of prison labor in February the following year.The Korean government awarded U the Order of Merit for National Foundation, Independence Medal in 1962 to honor his distinguished services.
At the time of Ahn’s trials, An Byeong-chan tried to defend Ahn’s case for free, but could not do so due to the Japanese objection. Afterwards, he was converted to Communism and received financial support from the Lenin government and used the fund for independence movement. At the outbreak of the March 1st Movement in 1919, he organized an independence army called the Independence Youth Council and became its president. An was arrested by the Japanese police in September 1919 and was entenced to one-year-and-a-half prison labor and, after imprisonment, was released on parole on account of sick bail. He took asylum and was chosen as president of the Korean Youth Association in 1920. An helped establish in Xianglugou a unified organization dedicated to the independence movement for southern Manchuria, which later became the Korean Liberation Army. An made a great contribution to the foundation of the Korean Liberation Army. The Korean government awarded An the Order of Merit for National Foundation, National Medal in 1963 to honor his distinguished services.
Choe Jae-hyeong used his money he had earned from a business of trading military supplies and after Ahn’s assassination of Ito, protected Ahn’s family. Though he was elected the finance bureau chief of the provisional government of Korea in Shanghai in April 1919, he refused to ssume the post. In November the same year, he formed an independence organization in Sinhan-chon (New Korean Village) in Vladivostok and prepared for armed struggles. In April when Japan dispatched troops to Siberia, Choe gathered ethnic Korean righteous army members and participated in a street battle, but he was arrested and was killed.The Korean government awarded Choe the Order of Merit for National Foundation, National Medal in 1963 to honor his distinguished services.
During his missionary activities in the area of Hwanghae-do, Father Willem met Ahn Tae-hun and built a cathedral in Cheonggye-dong and christened Ahn Jung-geun’s family members after converting them from Confucianism. Father Wilhelm helped implant the idea of enlightenment and people’s rights in Ahn’s mind. When Ahn was sentenced to death, Wilhelm visited Lushun Prison prior to the execution and held a prayer meeting for Ahn’s confession and sacrament for Ahn. Father Wilhelm was suspended from sacrificial services for two months on account of the fact that he performed the last sacramental rites for Ahn prior to the latter’s execution at Lushun Prison in 1910. He returned to France in 1914 and passed away in 1938.