The Hundred Days of Martial Fighting at Tsinghua University that I witnessed in my childhood

In 1962, my cousin A-tang (my mother’s first cousin’s son) entered the Department of Electrical Engineering of Tsinghua University from Shanghai, and my great-uncle wrote to ask “Piao Aun” (she called my mother after her own son) and my aunt Zhou Shouxian (my father), who was a professor in the Department of Automatic Control of Tsinghua University, to take care of her son. Before 1949, the Department of Electrical Engineering of Tsinghua University was a triumvirate with the Department of Electrical Engineering of Central University and the Department of Electrical Engineering of Shanghai Jiaotong University, which was the most outstanding department of electrical engineering in the country’s higher Education institutions.

At the age of 18, Tong was very good at his homework, and it was not easy for him to get the top three grades in the Department of Electrical Engineering of Tsinghua University. He was also very obedient and often came to our house on weekends. My father, who also studied electrical engineering and later studied in the United States, received his doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan and was able to guide and teach Tong in his studies.

In the summer of 1966, the Cultural Revolution broke out, and it seemed like the world was in chaos overnight.

In the early morning of May 29, 1967, Shen Ruhuai, a student in the Department of Mathematics and Power at Tsinghua University, as well as Sun Nutao, a graduate of the Department of Self-Control Class of ’66, and Chen Chusan, a graduate of the Department of Mathematics and Power Class of ’66, were killed in a massacre by a group of Red Guards. Chen Tanqiu, the son of Chen Tanqiu, a martyr of the Great Communist Party of China, and others announced the establishment of the “414” Red Guard Headquarters of the Jinggang Mountain Regiment (conceived on April 14, hence the name “414”) to resist Kuai Dafu’s attempt to establish the Tsinghua University School Revolutionary Committee with him as its core. Since then, the two factions of the Red Guards at Tsinghua University were officially separated. From the beginning, the “old group” and the “old four” argued and posted each other’s big-character posters, to fist fights and fights, until the conflict intensified into a “full-scale civil war”. From April 23 to July 27, 1968, the bloody conflict that shocked the whole country was called the “Hundred Days of Martial Arts”.

My cousin Ah Tong, who was one of the first to join the Jinggang Mountain Regiment led by Kuai Dafu in 1966 and was a small leader of the Red Guards of their motor department, came to my house to persuade my father to join the “revolutionary camp” of their “old regiment”. He said, “Auntie, Professor ×× and Associate Professor ×× are both acquainted with you and have joined the Red Guards League, a faculty organization that supports the “regiment”, and “Lao Si” is the defender of the “old regiment”. Jiang Nanxiang’s royalists are counter-revolutionary “revisionist” clowns ……

My father told A-tong that I was a liberal, I would only teach and not participate in political activities, and I would not be involved in the “Old Mission” or the “Old Fourth”, nor would I rely on either side.

Ah Tong said they had just manufactured the latest spear weapon, the original spear shaft was only three meters, now the newly manufactured spear shaft length reached five meters. My father asked him, how heavy it must be? Who can move it? Ah Tong said, the new style spear tip part is still made of steel, and the shaft part is made of aluminum ……

When my great aunt heard that my son had joined the Red Guard rebel group and was going to participate in the martial arts struggle, she was worried. She wrote to my mother and asked Piao Auntie to discipline her son for her, making sure to quit what Kuai Dafu’s Jinggang Mountain Corps, scolding and beating A Tong ……

But since A-tang persuaded my father to support their “regimented” Red Guard ineffective, a long Time (several months), has never come.

One day, shortly after the start of the armed struggle in 1967, our Family nanny, Auntie Tian, was bored and learned that the two factions were fighting, so she pushed my younger brother, who had just learned to walk, in a child’s cart and took me with her to the original second school gate, saying, “Let’s see the big confused students (xiao, second voice, college students) fight. “.

We came to a stop about a hundred meters from the second school gate, and the adults and children watching the war were crowded three layers inside and three layers outside, and it was a big crowd. On the roof of the mechanical building on the east side of the second school gate, two young men on the roof were using giant slingshots to shoot the enemy hiding in the first school building diagonally across the street, and I couldn’t figure out which side was the “Old Mission” and which side was the “Old Fourth”. On the roof of the building, two bicycle inner tubes were used as tension devices, and the “shell” was a scorched slag larger than a basketball. The two boys made a full force, the body leaned back, and suddenly let go together, coke “shell” to the opposite of a teaching whistling, “boom” a loud sound, a teaching of the whole window was knocked away, the following crowd of people watching a hilarious outcry. At that time I watched the heart jumping, feeling both excited and a little scared. More than 50 years have passed since then, but the situation is still vivid in my mind.

In the summer of 1967, when the three volts were almost over, one evening I was playing in the courtyard with my neighbor’s children when I heard a clattering sound of tin, and saw a dozen warriors with wicker hats, tin armor and spears walking in a line. I ran Home screaming, and by the time my mother heard the news and chased me outside the courtyard, the samurai in their iron-clad leaves had all clattered away.

On April 23, 1968, a massive martial fight between the regimented faction and the 414 faction took place in Tsinghua Park, which lasted for 100 days and shocked the whole country. At 9:00 a.m., Kuai Dafu mobilized a group of armed men to attack the old motor hall, where the head of the 414 faction was located, with hundreds of participants, using spears, acid, stones and other weapons, and the fight lasted for six hours. Xie Jincheng, a member of the 414 and a student from the 9th class, was run over by the regiment’s grain grabbing truck and died on the spot (at the age of 24).

In the early morning of May 30, an unprecedented armed struggle began in the East Bathroom of Tsinghua University, in which both sides used anti-personnel weapons such as earth tanks, petrol bombs, gas bombs and poisoned crossbow arrows.

Xu Gongsheng, a metallurgical student and the leader of the regiment faction, was the national champion of fencing in the university. (Final age: 23). Duan Huanghui, a 19-year-old young worker of the school’s repair department, was stabbed down a ladder with a spear by 414 while taking over the roof of the East Side Bathroom, and fell from a height to his death on the spot.

In the end, Kuai Dafu, at any cost, brought in a fire truck to put out the fire and carried out a fire attack, using high-pressure water hoses to spray gasoline into the East bathroom and throwing Molotov cocktails to ignite the fire. ……The “5-30” armed struggle at Tsinghua University in 1968 In the end, it ended with the victory of the reunion faction.

In order to block the lighting and communication in the area occupied by the rebel faction, on the night of July 7, the 414 faction blew up the 35,000-volt high-voltage transmission line to Tsinghua University, and the entire Tsinghua University, Peking University, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences were suddenly in darkness and without power for four hours.

The protracted armed struggle between the regimented faction and the 414 faction left more than 30 people disabled and hundreds injured, with 12 people dying as a direct result of the armed struggle.

My cousin A-tang almost became the 13th person to die in the martial arts fight in Tsinghua.

He witnessed with his own eyes the tragic situation of his comrade, Duan Hong, who was stabbed by a spear and fell from a height. After the “5-30” war, he led five or six brothers from the Electrical Department to guard a stronghold.

One day, a 414 in their downstairs provocation, cursing, said the ability to come down to compete, don’t hide upstairs as a shrinking turtle …… A Tong anger, despite the resistance of his companions, single-handedly went downstairs to find the 414 guy. The man saw that he really came down, turned around and ran, A-tong end of the spear in close pursuit behind.

In fact, it was a trap to get away from the mountain, not far out, A-tang was ambushed – a nearby window of a three-story building, another 414 people have long been ready to wait there, see A-tang chase over, the man raised a big stone aimed at A-tang head down hard, and when he found out that the big thing is bad dodge in a hurry He was too late, the stone hit him on the right side of his head, the wicker hat was smashed out (without the wicker hat, he would have died), blood flowed like a stream, and he passed out on the spot.

His regiment sent brothers immediately took him to the North Medical Center, where he was in a coma for two days and two nights. With the doctors’ best efforts to save him, Ah Tong eventually passed away from death and recovered a Life ……

In the middle of August, my cousin A-tang, who had not shown up for a long time, came to my house again. my Parents did not blame him too much, but only checked the long scar of about five centimeters on his forehead, and did not dare to write to my elder brother and sister-in-law in Shanghai about it.

I remember this day, the sky was a bit gloomy. Atang took me to the lotus pond, where the literary scholar Mr. Zhu Ziqing wrote his famous essay “Moonlight in a Lotus Pond”. The lotus pond on a midsummer night is as poetic and real as a dream in the Writer‘s writing.

The two of us walked across the green-painted iron bridge and stopped at the southwest corner of the deserted island near the spring garden (where Hanting is now located, which was specially built to commemorate Wu Han, the former vice mayor of Beijing and professor of history at Tsinghua University, who died during the Cultural Revolution), where there was a huge grave filled with wreaths and elegies, many of which were yellowed.

Did you see the tombstone or not? I can’t remember – I couldn’t read at that time, but I only vaguely remember my cousin A-tang reciting something about “the tomb of revolutionary martyr Duan Hong” …… A-tang bowed deeply to Duan Hong’s grave. The cemetery bowed deeply three times. After paying tribute to this young friend Duan flood, who had “fought” together in the regiment and was now killed, A-tang took me away quietly. I remember that not long after our visit, the cemetery was dug up and leveled by the labor propaganda team.

At the beginning of 1969, my cousin A-tang graduated and was assigned to work at a power plant in Dezhou, Shandong Province.

In the summer of 1969, my father, Zhou Shouxian, suffered a schizophrenic shock during the “clearing team” campaign and was then sent to the so-called Tsinghua University Experimental Farm in Liyu Zhou, Jiangxi Province, where “thousands of miles of bare land and ten thousand ponds of small insects” were rehabilitated through a course of purgatory-like hardships. On May 30, 1976, Shouxian Zhou, the founder of Tsinghua University’s computer science program and my father, committed suicide by hanging himself.

On May 16, 1978, Liu Da, the new president of Tsinghua University, held a memorial meeting in the auditorium to rehabilitate and restore the reputation of Zhou Shouxian, a patriotic scientist.

In the fall of that year, cousin A-tang was admitted to graduate school at the Institute of Electrical Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and came to Beijing once again.

September 2020

Yesterday, No. 165