Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

August 5, 1966 China’s Red Guard is Born

Posted by w_thames_the_d on July 16, 2011

During China’s chaotic cultural revolution, hundreds of thousands of students and young teens formed a group called the Red Guard. This group, like a microcosm of the communist party had no real legitimacy, but this did not stop them from ordering the death of hundreds of thousands if not millions of people in their three year life.

The red guards were warped human beings, according to most of my colleagues (I have friends whose parents were in the red guards and still are alive today, they are in their 50’s).
The following will explain how the red guards were born and what they meant. The thing to remember is that this movement started in 1966 by people from 12-22 who were born from 1944-1954, making them the same age as China’s next leader Xi Jinping and another of China’s favs, Bo Xilai.

Here is the story
“August 5, 1966

a leading headmistress of an all girls school in Beijing became the first victim of the red guard. Denounced as being sympathetic of capitalism, her students worked themselves into a frenzy and then poured boiling water over her and then beat her with belt buckles and sticks studded with nails. The headmistress died from the beating and not less than two weeks later, the student leader of the departed headmistress was hailed by Mao at Tienanmen where he placed a red band on her arm and proclaimed that she should change her name to “Be violent”.From The Writing on the Wall, China and the west in the 21st century- Will Hutton pg 84

The scary thing about this is that the newest batch of China’s leaders grew up during this period. Those in power now Came into power at that time, but the next batch were those who saw these deeds on a daily basis. They were the ones who could not attend schools as they were all shut down. They were the ones who were told that they should denounce their folks and the old and useless things.

One of the craziest things about living in China is to think that the people who killed teachers, tortured them, turned on their parents, all in the supposed love for Mao, are now China’s leaders. That is nothing less than crazy.

wellesley.edu images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRQdKkzwhr2vTedkfKNxizNqbjzqb2ZGrdpm08XSS2cyy0L__bz





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