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

By Michael Schoenhals | Go to book overview
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reason they persecuted us so hard was to target the manager. In like fashion, when the manager's faction had earlier attacked the Party secretary, they induced a non-Party member to announce the revocation of the secretary's Party membership. The spy allegation, to which I had bid farewell ten years before, once again fell down on my head, throwing me back into historical limbo. Once again I had become an object to be sacrificed in the struggle between two factions! For the third time! . . .

How can our nation ever end this continuing cycle?

65 Childhood without Toys

Yang Yan

Source: "Meiyou wanju de tongnian." In Li Hui and Gao Lilin, eds., Dixue de tongxin--Haizi xinzhong de wenge (Bloodstained Innocence--The Cultural Revolution in the Hearts of the Young) ( Beijing: Zhongguo shaonian ertong chubanshe, 1989), pp. 8849. The author of this recollection is now a librarian in the middle school attached to the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing. Translated by Bengt Pettersson.

I was born in 1964. Although I was the second oldest child in my family, my mother, father, grandmother, grandmother's sister, and--I almost forgot--my great grandmother, who was still living at the time, all loved me dearly. Even my sister, who was four years older than I, knew this. She used to say: "Everyone likes that little black rascal!" My grandmother couldn't stand the word "black" and used to say, "What do you mean by 'black'? Don't you use such foul language!"

Despite the fact that so many people liked me, I never had any toys during my childhood. I remember my father once bought me a doll in a green military uniform, wearing a Red Guard armband. In its pocket it had a tiny copy of Quotations from Chairman Mao and on its military cap was a five-pointed star. The mere sight of the "doll" made me all excited. I lifted her, removed her little cap and the Quotations. Then I started playing with her. My grandmother happened to enter the room the very moment I dropped the doll on the floor. She picked her up right away, carefully brushed off her "green uniform," and put her cap on properly. With eyes wide open, I watched my grandmother's move


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