In a story of repentance that was triggered by the atrocities of Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution in Communist China, Zhang Hongbing, who was 16 years old in 1970 when he and his father denounced his mother, Fang, thereby triggering her execution, is looking for absolution. Zhang is trying to have her grave preserved by the government as a cultural relic.
Zhang, now 60, said, “My mother, father and I were all devoured by the Cultural Revolution. It was a catastrophe suffered by the Chinese nation. We must remember this painful historical lesson and never let it happen again.”
After Mao initiated the Cultural Revolution in 1966, roughly one million people died and thirty-six million were threatened by the government. Michael Schoenhals, of Lund University, who co-authored Mao’s Last Revolution, said that the young generation of that time is now feeling an obligation to record what actually transpired: “The people who were then doing some of the worst things–because they were young and stupid and enthusiastic and eager–are now pushing 70. They want to write before they go, or sometimes their children want them to write it down.”
Read more at the Guardian.
Image source: Chineseposters.net