Gang of Four
In this chapter, I would like to focus on the death of Guo Renjie.
Guo Renjie was the deputy secretary of the party branch of the writing class of the Shanghai Municipal Committee, and also the head of the philosophy group of the writing class. Before he was transferred to the writing class, he was a cadre with seniority. He was a native of Yantai, Shandong Province, from a poor peasant background, and joined the revolution before liberation. After liberation, he moved to Shanghai, where he first served as deputy secretary of the general branch of the philosophy department of Fudan University, and then was transferred to the East China University of Political Science and Law as head of the philosophy teaching and research group. His revolutionary experience and party experience were longer than Zhu Yongjia’s and mine, so when the writing class decided to set up a philosophy group to criticize Yang Xianzhen’s philosophy of “two in one”, he was transferred from the East China University of Political Science and Law to be the head of the philosophy group.
He was straightforward, brash, and consistent in his opinions, and he had his own unique ideas. For example, after he was transferred to the writing class before the Cultural Revolution revolt, he always insisted on one point of view: Mao Zedong Thought should also be divided into two. This was a very sensitive issue at that time, when the propaganda of Mao Zedong Thought was at its “peak”. He insisted on this view in school, and he still insisted on it after he came to the writing class. Of course, he said that Mao Zedong Thought should be divided into two, not that Mao Zedong Thought has a correct and wrong side, but that Mao Zedong Thought has limitations at the current stage, and it has to be constantly developed, constantly broken through, and constantly improved. His proposition that “Mao Zedong Thought should be divided into two” was criticized in school, but he still insisted on his view. After he came to the writing class, we thought his views were right and agreed that he could keep his own opinions.
Guo Renjie became the leader of the rebellion in the writing class of the municipal committee
After the first large-character posters were published at Peking University, Fudan students followed suit and posted many large-character posters, gradually forming a force to expose the Fudan Party Committee. Guo Renjie returned to Fudan from the writing class of the municipal party committee. At that time, Guo Renjie was dissatisfied with the Fudan Party Committee, as he had been the deputy secretary of the general branch of the department and was considered a middle-level cadre, so he could not rush to the front. However, he had a good relationship with the Red Guard rebels and supported their revolt against the Fudan Party Committee, and he was an early supporter of student rebellion among the teachers. The Red Revolutionary Society (the full name of which is “Shanghai Revolutionary Committee of Red Guard Colleges and Universities”, with Fudan college students as the backbone) was a faction with which he had very close ties. We joked, “You are practically the ‘military teacher’ of the Red Revolutionary Society.”
“The Red Revolution Society did treat him as an advisor, and sought his advice on all major activities. When Fudan students and teachers rose up in rebellion, Guo Renjie did not suffer any shock. At that time, many party cadres at the school and department levels were affected, but he became a party to the revolutionary rebellion. Later, when Zhu Yongjia was branded as a “cow and snake god” by Fudan, he brought some people from the history department and rescued him according to the instructions given to me by Yao Wenyuan on the phone. Since he was one of the earliest rebels in our group, we called him the “old rebel.
Later, he took me to Fudan to read the big-character posters, which I called “study abroad”, and pushed me to revolt. The other two members of the philosophy group, Cheng Qihua and Xie Zongfan, became the backbone of the rebellion in the writing class at his instigation. Guo Renjie passed on to me the words of the Red Guards: “The revolution is close to Beijing, and the rebellion is closer to the President.” He also used this theme to encourage me to raise the banner of the rebellion in the municipal party committee.
After the rebellion of the writing class of the municipal party committee, he became the second in command of the liaison station of our municipal party committee organs. The actual ranking of the liaison group of the municipal party committee organs at that time was: Xu Jingxian, Guo Renjie, Wang Chenglong and Cheng Qihua. Zhu Yongjia had been beaten by Fudan as a “bully and snake god”, and was still a little bit caught in the hands of others, so he could not hold the leadership position of the rebellion, so it was actually Guo Renjie who assisted me in the service group, and he played a big role.
In the beginning, the entire work of the liaison station was discussed by me and Guo Renjie, Cheng Qihua was responsible for the internal affairs of the organization, and Wang Chenglong was responsible for external liaison. When the writing class revolted to hold a city-wide meeting, Guo Renjie presided over the meeting and the preparatory work. Who were the main critics? He discussed with me in great detail, including the slogans. At that time, my energy was mainly focused on my own speech, so he played a major role in the revolt of the writing class.
After Zhang Chunqiao and Yao Wenyuan came to Shanghai during the “January power grab”, Guo Renjie went all out to prepare for the January 6 conference to defeat the municipal party committee. I remember that he planned the three general orders, such as announcing that Cao Diqiu would no longer be recognized as the secretary of the CPC Shanghai Committee and the mayor of Shanghai, ordering Chen Pi Xian, the first secretary of the CPC Committee, to explain his crimes to the people of the city within seven days, requesting the CPC Central Committee to completely reorganize the CPC Shanghai Committee, and ordering cadres at all levels to hold on to their posts. He played an important role as an organizer in the rebellion.
After the seizure of power, he discussed with me how to carry the great criticism further, and we jointly envisioned a TV struggle meeting, and he put his main focus on the TV struggle meeting. This TV struggle was a major creation in the country. Because a small-scale criticism of the municipal party committee leaders to let the city’s masses to understand, relying on newspapers alone is not possible. At that time, Zhang Chunqiao had already banned the meeting, saying that they would watch the TV on January 6. In this way, television was applied to the criticism meetings at once. The TV struggle in Shanghai had a theme, for example, against economism, specifically exposing the leaders of the municipal party committee as the culprits of the demonic wind of economism, and then bringing all kinds of heads of ministries, commissions, offices, and bureaus who had signed the letter related to the “economic wind” to the meeting, asking them to confess, expose, produce evidence of their crimes, and criticize them on the spot. We envisioned that the meeting would be held in the banquet hall of the Shanghai Exhibition Hall, because it was isolated from the outside world, and it would be more secure to bring the powers-that-be there to criticize the order, and when the meeting uncovered someone, they would be pulled up and asked to confess and criticize him, and the atmosphere was very enthusiastic. At that time, although television was not widespread in the city, but all units had television sets, so everyone could watch it in the unit. The masses could see which people came out to expose and confess at the city-level criticism meetings, which people had a bad attitude and should be beaten, and which people were active and ready to be liberated, and they could see clearly at the TV struggle meetings. Guo Renjie and I planned and hosted the TV struggle meeting together, but every time he hosted he always shrank to the back and pushed me to the front, according to him: “I don’t want to be famous, I don’t want to be an official.” In this way, he had more prestige in the liaison station of our municipal party committee organs.
The first televised struggle session was very sensational, and I remember that halfway through the struggle session, Zhang Chunqiao and Yao Wenyuan called the venue and said, “Come to us for a moment during the break in the middle of the criticism session.” Guo Renjie and I then took a special bus from the Shanghai Exhibition Hall straight to the Xingguo Road Guest House, where Zhang and Yao watched the TV broadcast and said, “This is good. Let them dog-eat-dog, so that they will have internal conflicts and let all kinds of people come out and perform, don’t be afraid.” After Guo Renjie and I got their instructions, we rejoined the meeting and simply liberalized: anyone who wanted to go on stage and expose could go on stage without restriction. In this way, the municipal party committee secretary Ma Tianshui, Wang Shaoyong have gone up to expose, the main leaders of the municipal party committee office, Cao Diqiu, Chen Pi Xian’s secretaries have gone up to grab the microphone, have come forward to expose as a lover, the material exposed is very high quality, some materials we did not have in advance. This came as a shock to the whole audience, the city stirred. After the struggle, Guo Renjie suggested that the content of the TV struggle will be published in a special issue, all the speeches and reflect the emotions of the venue, the performance of the powers-that-be and other photos are published, as well as comments. The special issue sold for three cents a piece and was a big seller. Some people didn’t feel satisfied after watching the TV and wanted to read the details; some didn’t see the TV and went to buy the special edition of the newspaper to read it.
But then came the “January 28th Cannonball Incident”, which led to Guo Renjie’s eventual demise.
Zhang Chunqiao’s secret talk about Mao’s instructions to the Red Revolutionary Society
I have already described the events of January 28, 1967, when Zhang Chunqiao and Yao Wenyuan were shelled by the “Red Revolutionary Society” in Shanghai, so readers may wish to refer to them in “A Dream for Ten Years”.
In March of the same year, one evening, Zhang Chunqiao and I found Guo Renjie Xingguo Road Guest House, the place of conversation is in the fifth floor of the living room, Yao Wenyuan did not participate, the presence of Zhang Chunqiao’s wife Wenjing. That day, Zhang Chunqiao read a few of the municipal party committee organs liaison station briefing, also read the municipal party committee organs liaison station by Guo Renjie, Zhu Yongjia organization people prepared the “January 28” shelling reverse current events, that these materials to the “Red Revolutionary Society” and related organizations shelling Zhang Chunqiao and Yao Wenyuan’s schedule and details were written in detail: year, month, day, what to do in the morning, what to do in the afternoon, what happened in the shelling, how to organize the counter-battery, which people made confessions, how to confess, written in a clear manner. Zhang Chunqiao appreciated this, and asked with concern: “You have collected a lot of materials, the ‘Red Revolutionary Society’ shelling out the general outline. How about the recent counter-counter-current situation?”
Guo Renjie, who was an advisor to the Red Revolutionary Society, felt that he was also responsible for my abduction by the Red Revolutionary Society, so he felt that it was right for him to find out about the counter-currents. When they found out that the telegram was true, they organized a plea campaign, and the Red Revolutionary Society of various schools organized a truck march with the slogan “The fighters of the Red Revolutionary Society plead guilty to the Central Cultural Revolution” and “The fighters of the Red Revolutionary Society plead guilty to the people of Shanghai “. Zhang Chunqiao told us at that time: “The fighters of the Red Revolutionary Society are not guilty, so don’t make such a plea. So, in the process of fighting the “counter-currents”, we let the fighters of the “Red Revolutionary Society” relieve themselves as much as possible, and only let the heads come out to make self-examination.
I went to one of the conferences hosted by Guo Renjie, and there were speeches by the fighters of the Red Revolutionary Society, criticizing the heads of the Red Revolutionary Society: Ma Lixin of Fudan University and Li Gongzuo (female) of the Teachers’ College were the targets of criticism, and finally I spoke in the spirit of Zhang Chunqiao’s instructions, saying In the end, I spoke in accordance with the spirit of Zhang Chunqiao’s instructions, saying: “The majority of the soldiers themselves are innocent, and it is the few leaders who are at fault. They have made their examination, and we welcome it.”
Guo Renjie reported to Zhang Chunqiao that day at the Xingguo Road Guest House about the opposition of the schools to the “counter-current”, and said that an anti-current liaison station had been organized to facilitate the investigation of the “Red Revolutionary Society” leaders. A few of the leaders were finally ready to be relieved and announced their return to the masses. Other “red three divisions”, “gun division” and a few other organizations rolled into the gun fight not deep still very active, Guo Renjie advocated the implementation of the Red Guards unity, the future and then establish a unified Red Guards organization in the city.
Zhang Chunqiao believes that: the Red Guard movement should eventually be implemented by class, by the school of the big union, under the mouth of the revolution, the resumption of classes and revolution, must not continue to develop a scattered cross-school organizations, mountainous, each in its own way. When the schools have implemented the Red Guard unity, the city will be ripe for a Red Guard Congress.
Zhang Chunqiao nodded his head in approval of our work in the previous phase of the anti-battery fight. But that day his face was very serious and grim, he said: “I have read your materials, but I always suspect that the ‘Red Revolutionary Society’ has a background. For example, whether they ‘Red Revolution Society’ has any connection with the former municipal party committee? Is there someone behind the scenes directing them? For example, after the Central Cultural Revolution sent an urgent telegram, some of the heads of the Red Revolutionary Society went to the East China Sea Fleet and used the Fleet’s red confidential machine to call the Central Cultural Revolution. Some of the leaders rushed to Beijing to find the Central Cultural Revolution, and who in the reception station of the Central Cultural Revolution expressed their sympathy for them? I always suspected that there were people with long beards behind the scenes, and none of these things seemed to have been clearly investigated.”
When Zhang Chunqiao spoke, Wen Jing interjected: “At that time Yang Xiguang in Fudan University to sweep the toilet, those two days also do not go to sweep, very active.”
Zhang Chunqiao then said, “This shelling forget, but I have to tell you, last time I went to Beijing with Wenyuan to report the establishment of the Shanghai People’s Commune, Chairman Mao was very concerned about the Shanghai shelling, the Chairman said: ‘shelling Zhang Chunqiao, Yao Wenyuan, is not counter-revolutionary ah? The Red Revolutionary Society still has to settle this account.’ You have to have a bottom in mind about this matter. This shelling, I think there are still some things, some people have not been investigated. However, these words of Chairman Mao, I only speak to you, you do not spread.”
That night, Zhang Chunqiao decided on the spot: to let Guo Renjie return to Fudan to preside over the school, to rectify the organization of the Red Revolutionary Society, and to identify the mastermind behind the Red Revolutionary Society’s shelling. Zhang Chunqiao always suspected that it was Chen Pi Xian and others who were behind the instigation.
That day, we thought, we have relieved the Red Guards, and Chairman Mao said that this account still has to be settled, what is going on? After we both came back, we felt that such a major matter, just the two of us know, there are problems with the operation. So I proposed, is it to the liaison station and writing class a few of the most core people to convey it? Guo Renjie also agreed. So, Guo Renjie and I found Cheng Qihua, Wang Chenglong, Wu Ruiwu, Zhu Yongjia, and told them in a very small area, while repeatedly instructing only a few of you to convey, not to spread the word.
Guo Renjie sympathizes with the “Red Revolutionary Society” to be rectified
Guo Renjie went to Fudan as the head of the education and health group of the Red Revolutionary Society, which was a hard job. He asked Wu Ruimu of the writing class history group to go with him, but Wu didn’t want to go, so he came to me. I had to say to Guo Renjie not to force him. Later, Wu Ruiwu agreed to be Guo Renjie’s liaison, and only then did Guo Renjie go to Fudan University single-handedly with the mission of Mao Zedong to settle the accounts of the Red Revolutionary Society.
At that time, Zhang Chunqiao trusted us, and I still believe that the words of Mao Zedong about the Red Revolutionary Society conveyed by Zhang Chunqiao were true, because at that time Mao Zedong held Zhang and Yao in high regard, and Yao Wenyuan later said the same thing to me. But later, Mao’s words spread among some of the Red Guards in Shanghai. I was very surprised, this small range of words, how can be circulated outside? When I looked into it, I found out that because Guo Renjie had an unbreakable relationship with some of the heads of the Red Revolutionary Society, he had revealed it to them.
During the rebellion, Guo Renjie and the head of the Red Revolutionary Society of Fudan swore together: “We will fight together! Together in victory!” That’s why the relationship was very strong. After the “Red Revolutionary Society” shelled Zhang Chunqiao and Yao Wenyuan, Guo Renjie hated them with a passion. When he first returned to Fudan, he once rebuked the head of the Red Revolutionary Society for “defecting to the enemy at the critical moment of the revolution”. However, after the leaders of the Red Revolutionary Society were rectified, he showed his great regret for them.
When the Shanghai Revolutionary Committee was established, the Red Revolutionary Society did not have a member in it. Guo Renjie said that if they had not made mistakes, the Red Revolutionary Society would have taken several seats in it. In addition, he always believed that the Red Revolutionary Society was an old rebellion that had made mistakes and should be helped to get back on their feet, and he was ideologically sympathetic to the Red Revolutionary Society and hoped that they could rise again. Of course he did it for their own good, but he forgot Zhang Chunqiao’s warning to both of us and revealed the contents of the secret talks to the Red Revolutionary Society, especially those in the Fudan Red Revolutionary Society. He not only disclosed Chairman Mao’s speech, but also continuously went to Shanghai First Medical College, Shanghai Normal College, Shanghai Railway College and other units where the Red Revolutionary Society was strong, and discussed with them whether to set up a “Red Revolutionary Society” after the dissolution of the Red Revolutionary Society in the city. “The problem of the Red Revolutionary Society’s municipal liaison station. Later, a city-wide Red Revolutionary Society liaison station was set up to criticize the Red Revolutionary Society, and the issue of “counter-current” ended without a hitch. Guo Renjie’s outside activities were constantly reflected to the leadership of the city revolutionary committee.
After the establishment of the various groups and offices of the Municipal Revolutionary Committee, Guo Renjie was one of the core leaders of the Education and Health Group, and Chen Linhu, a veteran cadre, was the main leader of the Education and Health Group. Guo Renjie seldom stayed in the Education and Health Group, his main job was to be in charge of the fight and criticism work in the universities, but without our consent, he supported the resurgence of the “Red Revolutionary Society”. The second was the liaison group under the Office of the Municipal Revolutionary Committee, which was captured by Wang Chenglong and specialized in producing newsletters, which published the developments of Guo Renjie and the Red Revolutionary Society in a small-scale newsletter. The newsletters were finalized by Wen Jing, which I also saw. These things made me very worried.
The writing class “old comrades” and Guo Renjie had a group talk
I quickly discussed with Cheng Qihua and Zhu Yongjia, saying that if Guo Renjie continued like this, something would definitely happen, and it would cause trouble for all of us. Cheng Qihua also felt the seriousness of the situation and said, “After all, Guo killed with us, we can’t watch him create trouble and cause passivity.” We then invited him to the Special Writing Group at No. 60 Rongchang Road (later changed to Dechang Road), where Cheng Qihua, Wu Ruiwu, Zhu Yongjia, Wang Zhichang, Chen Jide and other people from the original writing group were already waiting.
I asked him if he had revealed Chairman Mao’s speech to the outside world. Why was the “Red Revolutionary Society” talking about it? I said, “I went to a few units for a meeting, and they pressed to ask if Chairman Mao had made this speech, saying that the shelling of Zhang Chunqiao and Yao Wenyuan was counter-revolutionary? Did Chairman Mao say that the ‘Red Revolutionary Society’ was the account to be settled? They also went to Beijing to check this matter, Comrade Chunqiao was very angry about this, I was made very passive, neither good to say that Chairman Mao had this instruction, nor good to say that Chairman Mao did not have this instruction, I had to say to them ‘no comment’.” I said, “Chairman Mao’s words were spoken internally, and Comrade Chunqiao handed them over to us individually, so how can you poke them outside? If you do so, what kind of idea will the vast number of fighters in the ‘Red Revolutionary Society’ have of Chairman Mao?”
He had to admit it, saying he was just reminding them, “You have to pay attention, Chairman Mao has said such things, or else you will be out of luck.”
I said, “You can’t tell them in this form of conveying Chairman Mao’s instructions, either.” Guo Renjie admitted that he was wrong. I also asked him if he had gone to the Red Revolutionary Society in various schools and said a lot of things in sympathy with the old rebellion, and some people wanted to set up a headquarters of the Red Revolutionary Society in disguise and set up a liaison station, and you also agreed?
Guo Renjie showed a bitter face, embarrassed, and stammered, “I mainly sympathized with them, feeling that they were my old comrades in the rebellion, but now they were in such a situation.”
I said, “When they go back, they will be in power in the school, too.”
He said, “They were a big, influential organization in the city.”
I said, “Now the intention is to replace the various factions of Red Guards with a unified Red Guard organization in the city, and it is totally wrong for you to do that. In the future, you must not have secret collusion with the head of the ‘Red Revolutionary Society’ again, but openly engage in a big unification of the Red Guards in the city.”
At that time, Guo Renjie was still sympathetic to the “United Secretary” organization of the Shanghai Diesel Engine Factory, which had already pointed its finger at the Municipal Revolutionary Society, but Guo Renjie said to the people of the “Branch and Union Station”. “I know there is a tiger in the mountain, but I am going to the tiger mountain.” During the conversation that day, I asked Guo Renjie to his face, “Who do you mean by ‘tiger’?” He said bluntly that he meant Zhang Chunqiao.
My fellow writing class members and I drew a cold breath, thinking he had parted ways with us. But that day we still seriously and patiently advised him to hang on to the horse.
He agreed verbally, but he could not help himself. After the meeting, he went outside and contacted those people, who also kept going to him, coming and going very closely.
Wang Chenglong was at odds with Guo Renjie and had many arguments, now he had a handle on Guo Renjie, he compiled an internal newsletter on Guo Renjie’s movements, including his misrepresentation of Mao’s instructions, his liaison with the Red Revolutionary Society and his intention to pull out of the municipal organization, etc., and reported it to Zhang Chunqiao. Zhang Chunqiao was furious and said, “This is intolerable. How can there be such a person inside the agency!”
Then Wang Chenglong created public opinion outside, and the opposing faction of the “Red Revolutionary Society” posted many big slogans outside, calling him “Guo Joker”, with slogans saying: “Guo Joker supports the ‘Red Revolutionary Society ‘ to rise again, there will be no good end!” “Expose the true face of Guo Joker!” And so on.
Guo Renjie’s relationship with the Education and Health Group of the Municipal Revolutionary Committee was also strained. Chen Linhu criticized him, and Guo Renjie thought that he was an old rebel and Chen Linhu had liberated him by himself, so he did not obey and contradicted Chen Linhu. During the meeting of the Municipal Revolutionary Committee, he clashed with Wang Chenglong again. In this way, both the teaching and health group and the office demanded criticism of Guo Renjie, forcing me to take a stand, and they said, “Guo Renjie has come to this point, Comrade Chunqiao has become angry, and must be approved.”
I wanted to protect him in my heart, but if I did not criticize him, it would also go against Zhang Chunqiao’s wishes. So I agreed to hold a criticism meeting, at that time in the party school of the municipal party committee of the ground floor of the small auditorium, a couple of hundred people attended, are the representatives of the internal ministries and commissions of the rebellion team, the city revolutionary committee of the group office also sent people to participate. At the end, I spoke, hoping that he would not go any further than he had already done.
At the same time, various universities also held criticism meetings of the “Guo Clown”. I heard that when the “Red Three Divisions” of Fudan University held a criticism meeting of Guo Renjie, the Red Guards beat him up. Knowing that the Red Three Divisions were supported by Wang Chenglong, I told Wang Chenglong, “No more martial arts fighting at future criticism meetings.” He glared at me and said with a hoarse throat, “The masses are angry, so what does it matter if you hit them a few times!” It is evident that he was in favor of doing it.
Guo Renjie was grabbed away
I think it’s troublesome to get on like this, and it’s bad luck for Guo Renjie. At this point, Guo Renjie had a few more things that people had caught him in: he had a relationship with a female scriptwriter from the Huangpu District Peking Opera Company, his hometown in Shandong, and people said that they had an affair. At the same time, it is said that he had a male and female problem with a female teacher at Fudan University, which was also rumored to be in full swing. Some people want to trace Guo Renjie’s “hooliganism”.
In this way, I found it difficult to protect him. At that time, the “Red Three Divisions” were ready to take him away. I said to Cheng Qihua, “Find a room for him at the Party School and tell him to write an examination. Don’t go outside.” He wrote his examination in the liaison station of the municipal party committee, which was actually to protect him. Soon, his gallstones attacked and the pain was unbearable. Cheng Qihua was soft-hearted and thought that if she sent him to a random hospital, he would soon be taken away, so she sent him secretly to the Shanghai Public Hospital under an alias. She did not tell Wang Chenglong about this, but told me that several people in the original writing class also knew about it, and it was kept secret from the public.
Who knows, one of the original writing class has a problem with Guo Renjie, his wife is “red three division” point of view, he went back and told his wife. His wife works in Shanghai College of Technology, and the head of the “Red Division” Zhang happened to be the College of Technology, so they got the information about Guo Renjie’s hospitalization.
One day, the “Red Three Divisions” took a truck and rushed to the Shanghai Public Hospital on West Yan’an Road, searching from store to store. I heard that Guo Renjie was covering his face with a bed sheet, but the bed sheet was removed and he was found.
When Wang Chenglong got the news, he clapped his hands, laughed, and said to me gloatingly, “Haha, so someone hid him. Now there’s a good show!”
After Guo Renjie was snatched away, I never heard from him, and I didn’t know where he was being held. I knew Wang Chenglong must know, so I asked him, “Where exactly is Guo Renjie now? The man is missing, so we should send someone to look for him.”
Wang Chenglong smiled mysteriously at me: “To be examined by the masses!”
At that time, Wang Chenglong and Wang Shaoyong were in charge of the special case office of the Municipal Revolutionary Committee. I had blocked Guo Renjie’s hospitalization at public expense from him, and now it was his turn to block Guo’s news from me.
One night, while I was on duty in the office of the Kangping Road Compound of the Municipal Revolutionary Committee, someone in the office reported, saying, “Zhang Mou, the head of the ‘Red Three Divisions’ of the Shanghai Institute of Technology, sent a top secret document. It must be personally received by comrade leaders of the Municipal Revolutionary Committee.”
I thought, “Since it is a top-secret document, of course I can receive it. I asked the office to bring it to me. It turned out that it was a “special case review report”, which was sent to Wang Shaoyong and Wang Chenglong for their review. The report contains information about Guo Renjie’s contacts with the heads of the Red Revolutionary Society in various universities and colleges, and the next stage of the plan to pursue the issue of Guo Renjie’s relationship with men and women. It was signed “102 Task Force”.
It was only then that I learned that a task force had been set up on the issue of Guo Renjie. At that time, there were two kinds of special cases in the special case office of the Municipal Revolutionary Committee: one was directly arrested by the city, the special case of several municipal leaders, such as Chen Pi Xian’s special case team and Cao Diqiu’s special case team, as well as particularly important cases in Shanghai; the other was in the form of mass special cases, in which each mass organization first set up its own special case team and then linked it to the special case office of the city. The “102nd Task Force”, which examined Guo Renjie, belonged to the second case, that is, they examined the case themselves, and then reported the examination and the results to Wang Shaoyong and Wang Chenglong, who were in charge of the task force. As for where Guo Renjie was held, the report did not disclose. However, since the report was sent by the head of the “red three divisions” Zhang, I know that the special case must be the “red three divisions” in Shanghai that group of people, behind the scenes command is Wang Chenglong. This is no doubt.
Guo Renjie was severely beaten in the task force
I was very ambivalent about Guo Renjie: on the one hand, I thought he was an old comrade in the rebellion together, and no matter how big the mistake was, he could not be fixed to death; on the other hand, I felt that it was hard to forgive him for leaking Zhang Chunqiao’s secret talks with us and revealing Chairman Mao’s internal speeches to the public. I hope that Zhang Chunqiao see this kind of situation, can step in to protect him a little.
After some time, the reporter of Wen Wei Po found out the situation of Guo Renjie, who was tortured by some people of the “Red Three Departments” to make him confess. The situation was written in great detail, saying that Guo Renjie was locked up in a secret room, and when he walked, his legs were already limping, and the situation was written in the form of field notes.
Q: “What about your relationship with a certain someone in the Huangpu Peking Opera troupe, male or female? Give an account!”
Guo Renjie replied, “I’ve already told you, nothing.” “Boom” a punch, Guo Renjie was knocked down.
Another question: “Apart from your inappropriate relationship with this person, who else do you have? Tell us!”
Guo Renjie: “There is no one else.” The interrogator knocked Guo Renjie under the table.
One question, one answer, then a hit, and even recorded how many times it fell.
The last was to use the whip to whip Guo Renjie’s buttocks, dozens of whips, the skin and flesh are smashed.
Guo Renjie let out a burst of screams, but also all recorded.
I also know that there is a big problem intertwined with this: the factionalism of the two university student organizations in Shanghai. “The Red Three Divisions and the Red Revolutionary Society were rival factions, and when the Red Revolutionary Society was in power, it overpowered the Red Three Divisions. After the turnaround of the “Red Three Divisions”, they took their anger at the “Red Revolutionary Society” out on Guo Renjie. This intention is very obvious, they may not see how much hatred for Guo Renjie itself, but actually torture Guo Renjie with severe torture, this is to vent a kind of faction.
I read the material, I felt very uneasy, thinking that something is going to happen, so that the fight will not be a human life? And Guo Renjie even if there is a relationship between men and women life problems, it is always a crime not to die, not to mention the focus of the special case review should not be life style issues. But then the special case is Wang Shaoyong and Wang Chenglong in charge, Zhang Chunqiao also designated by Wang Shaoyong to preside over the work of the Municipal Revolutionary Committee, I think it is very difficult to do, only hope that Zhang Chunqiao on this matter can take a stand. I then sent the material that hit Guo Renjie to Zhang Chunqiao, Zhang Chunqiao on the situation is every issue must read, and the newspaper sent to the situation to look particularly carefully. I hope he can write a critique, so that Guo Renjie can be saved. But the situation sent up, there is no response.
Another strange thing happened at this time: my confidential secretary, Wang Gang, who was transferred from the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, joined us in the writing class of the Municipal Committee to rebel. He was well acquainted with me and Guo Renjie, Zhu Yongjia and others. He was in charge of my confidential documents, and saw this material sent by the newspaper about the beating of Guo Renjie. After two days, he suddenly disappeared. How could someone close to me go missing? I told the office staff to quickly go to his home to find his wife. Wang Gang’s wife was working in the county at the time, asked her, she just said that Wang Gang had also had a relationship with men and women in the Academy of Social Sciences. Wang Gang is a very timid person, he took a look at Guo Renjie to people seized to fight so much, the heart is very afraid. He once said to his wife: the old Guo gave such a strong beating, how to do? Before the disappearance, it is said that Wang Gang had called to look for me, because I was out of the meeting, not found, he looked for the writing class Chen Jide, told her: “You talk to Lao Xu, I have a set of keys, left in the office. There is also a bicycle left on Kangping Road.” Chen Jide was surprised and could not react for a moment why he said such a thing. Later, Wang Gang, a person, disappeared from people’s view.
When Wang Chenglong found out about it, he seized the matter and made a big fuss, saying that Wang Gang absconded with confidential documents. He also told the Shanghai Public Security Bureau to issue a wanted notice, and published a photo on the wanted notice saying that the confidential secretary of a comrade in charge of Shanghai was missing. Obviously, it was an opportunity to damage my reputation. Later on, I asked the Office of the Secretary to check whether the documents were missing. It turned out that not a single document was missing. Wang Gang is very honest, usually very few words. I analysis, he was afraid that people want to calculate his old account of the relationship between men and women, so with Chen Jide explained the aftermath, and then find a place to commit suicide. Later, the Bureau of Shipping once checked the ship out to sea, the number of tickets sold when boarding, and later when counting the number of passengers, once found less people, we suspect: Wang Gang may have taken the Yangtze River ship out to sea, but never found the body. For this, Wang Chenglong told the city Revolutionary Society office to investigate for a long time, so that I have a period of time even the secretary in charge of the file, my own heart is also very bad: very close to a comrade, how to disappear without even greeting with me. This shows the impact of Guo Renjie’s matter on Wang Gang is very big.
In this way, I can’t even manage my own secretary, disappeared. Then, at the end of the day, in the matter of Guo Renjie, I was even worse off saying anything.
Guo Renjie finally jumped to his death
On the evening of January 6, 1968, the leading members of the Municipal Revolutionary Committee were meeting in a small auditorium on Kangping Road when the Luwan District Public Security Bureau called to report urgently that Guo Renjie, who was being held there, had taken the opportunity to be arraigned by the Red Guards and told his guards that he wanted a glass of boiling water to take the Red Guards outside, and as soon as the Red Guards stepped out, he closed the door behind him and jumped from the second floor window, landing on his head, cracking his skull and dying. He died.
I couldn’t figure out how he got locked up in the district public security bureau. That night, I was very shaken. Wang Shaoyong, me and Wang Chenglong all circled on the phone record sheet. When Wang Chenglong circled it, he said: “fear of suicide, notify the family, cremation. Report this matter to Comrade Chunqiao.” Wang Chenglong engage in this task force itself, is to put people to death. Zhang Chunqiao will certainly not come forward to take a stand, nor will he say anything to protect.
In fact, Guo Renjie was the first cadres in Shanghai to follow the Central Cultural Revolution Zhang Chunqiao, Yao Wenyuan rose to rebellion, but finally died in such a brutal struggle. After the end of the Cultural Revolution, people came to ask me about the whole process of Guo Renjie’s case and said to me: Guo Renjie belonged to the rebel faction, and it was not easy to rehabilitate him, so there was no conclusion so far.
From the bottom of my heart, I felt uneasy because I could not protect an “old comrade” who supported me and died because he was destroyed against Zhang Chunqiao’s will. I think, Guo Renjie he was not obsessed with power, do not want to be an official, there is no question of power. But the fact that he died in this way can be said to be a tragedy in the Cultural Revolution. The tragedy was that he rose up in rebellion and after he got involved in this whirlpool, he could hardly extricate himself. Some people in power during the Cultural Revolution were not only hard on the “capitalists” and those in power, but also on their “comrades” within the rebellion, and if they became heretics, they immediately cracked down and cut them off.
In addition to supporting the Red Revolutionary Society, Guo Renjie also actively supported the Shanghai Diesel Engine Factory “Joint Division”, which was one of the main reasons why he was rectified and hit. When the “United Secretary” kept coming to the city to sue, Guo Renjie received them on behalf of the rebellious liaison station of the municipal party committee. At the beginning, Wang Hongwen also let the “Joint Division” link with the “General Department of Industry” and recognized this organization, but later felt that the “Joint Division” was not in line with their “General Department of Industry Later on, they felt that the “Joint Division” did not conform to their views of the “General Administration of Industry” and suppressed the “Joint Division”. Wang Chenglong was against the “Joint Division”, and I was also very angry with this organization when I saw that the “Joint Division” was against the Municipal Revolutionary Committee. When Guo Renjie received the “United Secretary”, he said something sympathetic, he felt that the “United Secretary” was in a way oppressed. When he was in Fudan, the Red Guards were oppressed by the Fudan Party Committee, and he supported the Red Guards’ rebellion; later, the Red Revolutionary Society was oppressed, and he supported the Red Revolutionary Society; at this time, the Joint Secretary At this time, the “United Secretary” was aggrieved and came to the liaison station to reflect, and he repeatedly expressed his sympathy. I said to him: “You should not get involved in it, once you intervene, things will be complicated. Our municipal party committee organs liaison station in charge, a faction to support this, a faction to support that, which is not to make a big problem. Our policy can only be joint, there is only one policy, it is not good to support which faction.” He disagreed with me. Guo Renjie support “United Division” material and to Wang Chenglong and You Xue Tao to the briefing, were sent to Zhang Chunqiao read, why Zhang Chunqiao did not take a position to protect Guo Renjie, and this matter also has a relationship.
Guo Renjie was forced to die before, once left me a letter, is written with a pen on the horizontal grid paper exercise book, to the effect that: you have advised me many times on many things do not feel free to take a stand, I did not listen, now I think, your advice is right, but unfortunately it is too late …… Guo Renjie is so gone.
I think, even if he survived, according to his character that always sympathize with the oppressed people, inevitably in the Cultural Revolution will continue to offend some people, in the end is not a good end.
(From “Xu Jingxian’s Last Memories”, Chapter 10)