The Cultural Revolution, launched in 1966 by Communist Party leader Mao Zedong and lasting for ten years, not only killed millions of Chinese people, including the elite, broke the backbone of the intellectuals, and silenced the Chinese people, but also caused a major economic regression and a lack of livelihood for the people. It was also during this period that many absurd things happened that are unimaginable to people today, that is, people could be thrown into prison, sentenced to imprisonment, or even die in prison just for some thoughtless actions.
Rope tied around the neck of a Mao statue and imprisoned
In October 2012, Southern Weekend published an article written by Ma Yunlong, a well-known editor in Henan Province, titled “Woman sentenced to prison for mistakenly pinning Mao’s photo with pins during the Cultural Revolution”. The article tells several stories he heard while being held in a detention center during the Cultural Revolution.
One of them was the story of a peasant surnamed Wang, a so-called “counter-revolutionary”, told by Han Boliang, an old prisoner in the prison. The farmer surnamed Wang, whose family was in Fugou County (or Taikang County) east of Xuchang, was caught while hauling coal through Xuchang, which at that time relied on human labor and used very few animals.
At that time, Yuxian County (now Yuzhou City), a coal-producing area, was also known as the hometown of Jun porcelain, where there were many porcelain kilns that produced porcelain in abundance. After the outbreak of the Cultural Revolution, Yuxian produced a large number of porcelain Mao statues to meet the political needs. The story goes that this farmer surnamed Wang went to a porcelain store to buy a porcelain Mao statue after a coal mine in Yuxian County was filled with a shelf car of coal. Mao statue in where it is appropriate? Thinking again and again, he shot a flat piece of coal on the roof of the car, the porcelain statue face forward, steadily placed in the center of the highest place. Along the way, he was also careful, for fear of upsetting the statue of Mao.
But when he passed through a village and town before dark, he was stopped by a group of students, let him see what the Mao statue had become. Wang surnamed farmer stopped the car to take a closer look, also startled – a road wind blowing too much, the car’s coal dust soaring up, the Mao statue got dusty. He quickly cleaned up with a towel, which was forgiven by the students.
Where to put the statue of Mao for the rest of the journey? He came up with a solution: hanging on the handlebars with a rope, see dirty, can always wipe, and the rope can only be tied to the neck of the Mao statue. As a result, he was stopped again in Xuchang, and received a beating: “You counter-revolutionary, to hang Mao x x ah!” He was then put into a detention center. He was taken away more than three months later and probably handed over to the Public Security Bureau in his hometown to be dealt with.
He was imprisoned for mistakenly pinning Mao’s photo with pins
Another story is personally told by a girl from Yuxian County, whose nickname is “a flower”. When she first arrived at the detention center, the girl cried out night and day, “I’m not innocent! “I’m not a counter-revolutionary!” “Someone framed me!” She kept shouting for more than a week, until her voice became hoarse and her shouting subsided. In addition, she announced a hunger strike and threw the vegetable soup and bun issued out of the window. Such rigor was quite uncommon in the past.
A month or so later, Ma Yunlong approached the place where the woman was being held by drying honeycomb coal. It was then that he discovered that the girl was only about twenty years old. The two talked intermittently and quietly while the sentry walked away. It turned out that the girl had been a secretary of the Communist Party in the village and a woman leader of the production team. One day, she helped a neighboring sister-in-law carry her child. The child was crying and screaming, and could not be persuaded. She came up with a solution: grab a handful of colored pegs, twist them with her fingers and let them spin on the table like a gyroscope, thus diverting the child’s attention. Sure enough, it worked well, the child stopped crying and just stared intently at the little colored pegs spinning around and around.
However, she did not notice that there was a newspaper on the table, and on the newspaper was a picture of Mao. She didn’t even notice that one of the pins was spinning over Mao’s eyes. What she did not notice, someone next to her noticed. When she finished playing and left with the child, someone picked up the newspaper and the peg as “physical evidence” and reported it to the police. A few days later, she was arrested. The charge was horrifying: she had to blind Mao with pins.
After six months in prison, she was suddenly taken away and never returned. I don’t know if she was sentenced, or acquitted, or transferred to her hometown of Yuxian. Anyway, Ma Yunlong never heard from her again.
The stage artist who drilled holes in Mao’s nose
During Ma’s imprisonment, Mao died, and on September 18, 1976, the Chinese Communist Party held a national mourning service. Late that night, he thought a lot in the small single cell to which he had just been transferred and could not sleep. Just after 2 a.m., a man was cast in. Apparently he had just been arrested, as he had no bedding with him.
The man’s name was Li Weisen, a stage artist for the Xuchang Yu Opera Company. He cried to Ma Yunlong about the reason for his arrest. It turned out that morning when he went to work he received an urgent task: to immediately make a large wreath for the troupe and send it to the venue of Mao’s memorial service in the auditorium of the local party committee before noon. In the afternoon, a conference would be held there and at Tiananmen Square in Beijing.
He immediately took action, and originality, the wreath in the middle of the word “Dien” replaced with the Mao image. When the wreath was ready, the unit leaders reviewed it and found nothing wrong with it, so they sent it into the local party committee auditorium. However, the Secretary General of the local party committee found that it was not in line with the specifications, and ordered the scene to modify the wreath.
Li Weisen hurried to the venue and, after listening to a scolding, hurried to make changes. Due to time constraints, it was not possible to recreate a word “Dien”. He was inspired to use a piece of rice paper to cover the Mao statue, and then, hastily made a large paper flower, decorated in the center of the wreath. Although the secretary-general of the local party committee is not very satisfied, but due to time constraints, but also had to do so. Li Weisen was also relieved.
But the afternoon just returned home, Li Weisen was arrested by the police, and immediately interrogated. It turns out that when he was decorated with large paper flowers, the wire of the flowers penetrated the image of Mao under the rice paper and drilled a big hole in the nose of Mao! This is undoubtedly a “counter-revolutionary”.
From then on, Li Weisen and Ma Yunlong were imprisoned together for one year and four months, and in early 1978 he was released home after receiving “clemency” which exempted him from criminal punishment. Only in 1979 was he finally “rehabilitated”.
The grandmother who said “the Communists are not human” died in prison
During the Cultural Revolution, another tragic event happened in a very ordinary family in mainland China. One day, the grandmother was playing with her 5-year-old granddaughter, who was very clever and curious, and she was always pestering her grandmother with questions about this and that, and the grandmother was always patiently answering every question she asked.
After the granddaughter asked about the sky and the earth, after the tiger asked about the elephant, she pointed to the portrait of Mao Zedong posted on the wall and the couplets on both sides and asked, “Grandma, what are the words written on the couplets over here?” Grandma said, “The couplet over here says ‘Long live Mao x x!'” The granddaughter asked again, “What about over there?” Grandma said, “Over there it says ‘Long live the Communist Party!'” The granddaughter continued, “What about the top?” “On the top it says ‘Socialism is good!'” “Whose portrait is that in the middle?” “In the middle is the portrait of Mao × × his old man!” “Grandma, why is there only a portrait of Mao ×× but not a portrait of the Communist Party?” Grandma replied, “Because Mao ×× is a person, so there is a statue, and the Communist Party is not a person, so there is no statue!” .
Obviously, what Grandma meant was that the Communist Party is an organization and has no specific image, so there is no portrait. But if a bad-hearted person heard Grandma’s words, “The Communist Party is not a person,” he or she would certainly make another story. As most Chinese know, saying “xxxx is not a human being” is a harsh curse that has been used since ancient times. Because “not a person” is a beast, that is, the person is bad to the head, no virtue at all, only with the beast for.
As the saying goes, “there are ears through the wall”, and Grandma really fell on this last sentence. The neighbors outside the door heard her words and immediately reported them to the public security authorities. The next day, she was summoned by the public security authorities. At that time, she was unable to defend herself because she had indeed said “the Communists are not human beings”. In the end, she was sentenced and died in prison.