A tragedy pushed to the shadows (1)

Very interesting book excerpt by Tani Branigan.

I think it is important to distinguish between the sent down youth, many of whom believed in Mao or tried to believe and often want credit for it, and, on the other hand, the victims persecuted, hurt and killed by Mao’s forces, including by the youth who followed Mao’s commands during the CR.

In my article on the museums and memorials created by former sent-down youth, I noted how in contrast, every attempt to create a museum for the victims has been blocked or quashed:

Bury Me With My Comrades: Memorializing Mao’s Sent-Down Youth.” Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, Volume 16, Issue 14, Number 4 (July 15, 2018).

I was just in Cambodia. With the decisive break they have made with Pol Pot — in contrast to China’s holding on to Mao — they do have memorials to the victims of Pol Pot and his Mao-inspired Cambodian Communism. One can only hope that China too will be able to face its own modern history.

Magnus Fiskesjö <nf42@cornell.edu>

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