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  • Xuziangs journal: horrific days through the

    cultural revolution

    By Sunshine Sung

    Wednesday, May 15, 13

  • January 23rd, 1959The beginning of the horrible famine

    The famine affected my siblings, they are all very hungry now.

    Wednesday, May 15, 13

  • January 23rd, 1959The famine spread like a plague; many people suffered and much was lost

    One-day right after the school bell rang, I quickly packed up my bags and ran back home baring the cold harsh wind. I opened the little white fence that led me to my front yard, with stacks of cheap firewood aside and a henhouse to my right. I heard the dogs barking me, welcoming me home. Earlier on in the morning, after my parents had prepared my three siblings and I breakfast, they headed off into the city to join the Great Leap Forward gathering. Thats all theyve been doing since the Great Leap Forward started. There have been so many gatherings, and my parents just suppose that it is mandatory to attend all of them. But they kindly woke me up softly before they left, to remind me how I was the oldest child and I needed to take care of the family by helping with all the work around the house. They knew by saying that, I would know just what to do.

    My first priority after getting back home was to help my parents around the farm. I helped feed the chickens, rabbits and pigs. I tried to look for food for my siblings to eat, since I had to take care of them. I looked everywhere around the house but all I managed to find was a few grains of rice. I had to add extra water and make porridge just so it was enough for my three siblings and me to eat. The famine had started. Sometimes people even had the need to gather weeds just so they can eat. A lot of places in China even had signs of cannibalism and a lot of other violence caused from this famine.

    Before, my parents told me that just last year, the weather was amazing for growing crops but now its a very poor growing year in China. The famine was caused from a lot of natural disasters like floodings and droughts which were major problems. The Great Leap Forward also caused the famine because people stopped working so hard since they would have to be equal with those who dont work so hard anyways. But the only reason the government wanted to start using collectivization was because Mao didnt want anyone to be poor or to be rich. He wanted everyone to be equal and the same so people would all be fair, which did not turn out as good as planned. The famine did not only starve 13 million people to death, but also lowered Chinas economy because agriculture is the main source of Chinas economy.

    The beginning of the horrible famine

    Wednesday, May 15, 13

  • August 31st, 1966Off with capitalism!

    The red guards just began, and I had just joined to be

    one of them.

    There were very inspirational Dazibaos around.

    Wednesday, May 15, 13

  • August 31st, 1966Everything started just a few months ago. On May 25th and June 2nd the first red guards got the name of them being called the red guards cause of two Dazibaos, just like the exact translation, they are also called big-character posters. The Dazibaos are normally very large sized handwritten Chinese characters used as a means of protest, propaganda, and popular communication.

    Elementary schools, high schools, and universities are all getting shut down because students of all ages are becoming what we are now called, the Red Guards. All of the other red guards are mostly also high school and university students like me. We all travel across the country to connect with the other red guards. I do it with the thought of there being about another 13 million red guards just like me, maybe I can get to meet most of them and share our different thoughts on this whole revolution. Maozedong spends a lot of his time setting up meetings for all of us red guards, for us to meet him see him and appreciate him. But a lot of my friends that also went to high school were sent far away from the city to live and work in the distance countryside, having their education cut short. Most of them were ordered to stay for quite a while; some of them maybe were meant to stay even over a decade long, Im not even so sure they are even planning to let them go back.

    Maozedong wanted to replace his successors with people that are more faithful towards him and can always keep up with what he thinks. He did this through massive mobilization of Chinas youth that is most obviously now named the Red Guards. Mao did not like the idea of China being capitalists. He tried to do everything to get China further away from being capitalists. I will always support Mao no matter what he does wrong, he is really helping China develop into a real country and helping us win over pride. Sometimes through the process more than a few people will die, but thats what needs to happen in order for China to be known. Mao will help China and change it a lot. Even though sometimes not all his plans worked, for example The Great Leap Forward, but he is still trying very hard to make China something. He is trying to build Chinas economy by making the agriculture system and the industrialization stronger, helping develop the different systems in China. Lets just all hope for the best, that Maos plan works and China doesnt collapse.

    Off with capitalism!

    Wednesday, May 15, 13

  • May 1st, 1967Guards out of control

    We, the red guards started to torment everyone who wasnt one

    of us.

    Wednesday, May 15, 13

  • May 1st, 1967We grew up together, in the same house, under the same roof. Both of us ate at the same dinner table for every meal, laughing together at the same jokes. Why did my aunt have to choose this career? If only she wasnt a high school teacher at a great school like hers. All the red guards are just so violent, tormenting everyone without a simple little red booklet. Yes, people without the little red booklets should be punished for not believing in only the greatest leader, Chairman Maozedong.

    My favorite aunt- my only aunt was kneeling on broken glass right in front of my eyes, and there was nothing I could possibly do to help. Her face was full of tears and blood. She was using the last of her words screaming out my name, screaming out for my help. Another red guard standing right next to me handed me an already bloodied up bat, and gestured me to start beating up my aunt. I grabbed the bat, hit a few practice swings in the air, and then closed my eyes. I bit my upper lip, tilted my head towards the ground. Lined up my bat. I was physically ready to hit my aunt, but my heart wasnt. Some other red guards started yelling at me, telling me to hit her hard, telling me to hurry up.

    Everything was happening right before my eyes, I was just standing there, watching everything happen. Everything happened so fast. I couldnt come to my senses and take action. The next thing I knew, the bat was grabbed out of my hand by the most violent Red Guards, he has no heart whatsoever, and I knew he was going to beat my aunt up very badly, and quite obviously there was nothing I could do. . I just stood there like a scarecrow, not moving an inch. Waiting to see the bat hit my aunt. One swing. Blood was flying everywhere, right as the bat hit her from the right side of her cheeks. Her hair was hanging off her face, shaggy black bangs lying across her forehead, thankfully covering her eyes so I could not see the fear she was feeling within her. I couldnt just stand there, knowing there was nothing I could have done. My aunt and I both knew what was best for me, if I tried to save her we would both be trampled over till we were dead, if anyone betrays a red guard well thats never happened before and hopefully never will, because the ending will not turn out pretty. My aunt and I were noticeably outnumbered by a large amount of the red guards. They could have taken both of us out in just a few seconds. I had to remain silent, biting my lips to keep my mouth shut. Every time the bat came up against my aunts body, I slightly turn my head. I loved my aunt and I could feel all the pain she was feeling.

    Guards out of control

    Wednesday, May 15, 13

  • September 14th, 1971Death of Lin Biao

    The Gang of Four, all brilliant people that helped our amazing leader, Maozedong.

    Wednesday, May 15, 13

  • September 14th, 1971Lin Biao, a man of his words. As if. Everyone trusted him as much as we all trusted the great Maozedong. Lin Biao was definitely one of the most loyal and influential people since this whole revolution started and now since hes gone, everyone is started to doubt the rightfulness of the whole Cultural Revolution. Who would ever try to plan to assassinate Maozedong? Why would Lin Biao and his wife even try to sabotage Maos train? Lib Biao has been working with Mao for years now, doesnt he know that Mao is a very smart man and will see him through? Its a horrible thought just thinking that someone Mao trusted would actually betray such an outstanding leader like him. If any of us red guards ever got the chance to work that closely with him, we would do anything apart from screwing it up. We all work our butts off for Mao everyday even when we arent close with him yet. But one day, I know I will get to meet him and become very friendly with him. Hes the best role model anyone could ask for and just being a red guard is an honor to him.

    Just a day ago, Lin Biao died from a plane accident while it was carrying him and his family members to Mongolia. For someone who tried to assassinate the best leader of all time, he deserved a way more painful death full of torture. Lin Biao was supposed to be with Mao every step of his way. All the information of what Lin Biao planned to do was out


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