China's Cultural Revolution, 1966-1969: Not a Dinner Party

By Michael Schoenhals | Go to book overview

31
"As We Watched Them Beat Him . . ."

Eyewitnesses

Source: Extracts from big-character posters written by teachers and students in the Jianguang Junior Middle School and published in New Beijing University "Smile Mingling in Their Midst" Combat Team, ed. & publ. Jianguang zhongxue qingnian jiaoshi Bei Guancheng shi zemyang bei bisi de?-- "Bei Guancheng shijian" diaocha baogao (How Was the Young Teacher Bei Guancheng from Jianguang Middle School Forced to Die?--Report of an Investigation into the "Bei Guancheng Incident ") ( Shanghai, 1967), pp. 12-13. The person being beaten is the author of the letter translated as Document 26. He committed suicide right after the events described here, on the night of 2 October 1966.

[Original editor's comment:] These are extracts from big-character posters written by teachers and students who themselves either took part in or witnessed the violence. The extracts forcefully expose [ School Party Secretary] Wang Xingguo as the instigator of these criminal acts of violence.


1. Fei Zhensheng (elderly staff worker):

I saw some twenty students surrounding Bei Guancheng on the terrace of Building No. 5. Three or four students were beating him up. And Bei himself? He did not utter a sound, but just let them go on beating him. A student by the name of XXX was most vicious and threw Bei to the concrete floor maybe five or six times. When Bei refused to get up by himself, they pulled him to his feet and hit and kicked him until once again he was lying on the floor. At one point he was lying face up when student XXX came forward and kicked him on the head. Once he managed to sit up, students XXX and XXX stepped forward to slap him in the face for about two minutes. They took turns, one taking over when the other had to rest, their slapping producing a sound like exploding firecrackers . . .

Later I watched through the window in Room 401 how Bei Guancheng was in a sort of frog-like position--his face pressed against the floor, his arms supporting him on the sides, and his behind up in the air. Only later did I find out that he had been enduring a form of punishment . . .

-166-

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