Thursday, December 27, 2007

Article about Problem of Lack of Accountability for Red Guard Atrocities

This article is worth checking out:

On Mao’s 114th Birthday, Past Catches Up to Former Red Guard Leader

Comment by me: Now 40 years later, it is not just the former Red Guards who are guilty of convenient forgetting. Even more seriously it is now evident that the Communist Party cadres who persecuted intellectuals in the Cultural Revolution will never be made accountable for what they did. After "rehabilitation" in the late-'70s and early- '80s the people who suffered confinement, physical abuse and loss of property, while cleared of all the false charges against them, returned to work units where the cadres complicit in their terrible ordeal continued with their careers as if nothing had happened. Many of these cadres later achieved considerable wealth after "opening and reform."

I have a lot of detailed information about the horrendous things that happened at Fudan University at that time as my teachers (including my thesis supervisor, Yan Beiming, the "#1 target for attack at Fudan") having just returned to campus from exile as farmers and manual labourers and prison talked long and with remarkable dispassion about what had happened to them in 1966 and thereafter. It was very apparent to me that they were still suffering from something akin to post-traumatic stress disorder to varying degrees in those years. This may have been the reason for their obsessive detailing of their Cultural Revolution experience to an outsider like me.

Whenever I return to the Fudan campus the shadows of memory of those terrible times haunt in a way that is almost palpable.

The young students on that campus today know little or nothing about this past.

Please read the comments on this posting below.


Anonymous said...


Reading the following pass-over about that BITCH Song Binbin on
commemorating the 114th birthday of the late chairman , angry and
blood rushed to my head ! I can "forgive" the late chairman
(becuse he was then only "talentedly" playing up a political game,
not that "hatred-hearted" as those redguards in cruel-doings) , but
NEVER EVER I would forgive this BITCH Song Binbin, it was from her
started the bloody persecution of the Chinese intellectuals and
sinior cadres in an unprecedented scale in the Chinese history. And
this BITCH was a SYMBOLICAL figure of the brutal red guards
movement , those rogues were not the sligtest less cruel and
barbarous than those Nazi's thugs which the westerners know well.
This article's discription of this BITCH is UNFAIR to the DEAD died
of red guards persecution, I am furious about this article's
"libral" attaitude towards this hid-in-States low-gesture-kept
CRIMINAL. And, again, reading this article , I feel strongly
disgusting about the HYPOCRISY of the American "Democracy" : How
can they treat a once beast- atrocity committer so leniently, not
like what they treat those former time Nazi gangsters? This is
UNFAIR, UNFAIR ; and I vehmently PROTEST such kind of painting of
this Song Binbin as if nothing criminal had ever happened to her;
she should be BROUGHT to JUSTICE and TRIED in the court
someday(like those former Nazi thugs were )[unfortunately, China
hasn't "matured" enough to this point ).

Charles Burton said...

The author of the comment above was a victim of very bad treatment and imprisonment at the hands of the Red Guards, so I take his comment on this very seriously.

Anonymous said...

Charles ,

The unfortuately thing is that many formertime wrong-doings-committed redguards, now living comfortably in the West , push all the wrongs to the late Chairman, as if they were "innoncent" from their outrages ( among them perhaps inculding a "famous writer" Ms Chang who wrote a notoious book smearing Mao personally), and they utter even not a single word of regret expressing,at least , sorry to those once persecuted ; as for those who committed crimes, they should be made to account for their crimes someday( sorry, I could only WISH so ).

Charles Burton said...

Among the people who were subject to persecution by the Red Guards feelings run higher these days than most young Chinese people appreciate, I think. Of course these people are in their 70s now or even older. I got a number of e-mails from China expressing agreement with the 1st comment. As I was in the class of 1977 at Fudan (we entered in spring 1978), most of my classmates had travelled in China as Red Guards and a number were involved in destroying antiquities. Anyway I suppose that most young people in China now these events of the 1960s and `70s are as ancient as the Revolution of 1911 or the 50 years-earlier Heavenly Kingdom Taiping movement!