Wo Shi Laowai – Wo Pa Shui

This Blog was Invented in Xi'an 5,000 Years Ago

Kill Nice!

Posted by MyLaowai on Sunday, March 1, 2009

Monday, May. 21, 1951

The Nazis, though they herded millions into death camps, made an effort to cover up their iniquities. The Russians broadcast and filmed their relentless show trials of the ’30’s, but they chose to execute the accused in the privacy of an NKVD cellar. But the Chinese Communists have put on a public spectacle of death which the 20th Century has not witnessed since the Russian Revolution in 1917. Since the Red Terror began in China two months ago, the scene had become so familiar from a dozen broadcasts and newspaper stories that its enormity had almost been lost. Last week, when the terror hit Shanghai, after having engulfed Canton (TIME, May 7) and other cities, the scene was re-enacted, and blatantly broadcast by Communist radio and news services.

“Shall We . . .?” In the courtyard of the National Textile Mills, Chen Siao Mao, a worker, and his wife & son were “on trial” as counterrevolutionaries. The public prosecutor went through the customary question & answer game.

Prosecutor: Shall we shoot them?

Crowd: Shoot them!

Prosecutor: Do the people want to shoot them immediately?

Crowd: Shoot them immediately!

The three accused, pale-faced and trembling, knelt. “Kill them!” shouted the crowd. A second later, the shots rang out.

“All of Them.” The scene was repeated over & over again in the great (pop. 4,000,000) city. Shanghai “owed an enormous debt of blood to the people,” said its Communist Mayor, because it had been “the headquarters of the imperialists, feudalists and bureaucratic capitalists.”

City cops, helped by Communist political police, in a single night arrested an estimated 24,000 Chinese, dragged them off to concentration camps in Shanghai’s outskirts. Among the arrested: former Kuomintang officials, schoolteachers, Christian churchmen, non-Communist union leaders, property owners, newspaper workers, factory managers, students. A committee of 24 Communist-appointed “civic leaders,” called the Committee for the Investigation of Counter-Revolutionaries, selected candidates for trial & execution. The New China (Communist) News Agency proudly reported that Shanghai high-school students marched beside the prisoners on their way to execution beating gongs and drums, and chanting: “Kill nice! Kill them well! Kill all of them!”

“Unanimous Roar.” Public trials were staged in parks, public squares, at the Canidrome, a once fashionable dog-racing track, where 10,000 people gathered and (as the Shanghai News reported it) demanded the death of the accused in “a unanimous roar.” The Communists set aside the four Shanghai airports for public executions. In one day they shot 293 people. This did not break the record set by Nanking the day before with 376 executions, but there was reason to believe that Shanghai with its larger population would win the contest in the long run. Hangchow (pop. 500.000) only executed 50, but it reported proudly that more than 110,000 people had “waded through rain-soaked streets” to witness the occasion. In two days, 719 Chinese had been executed, an average of one every four minutes.

The killing of men was accompanied by the perversion of souls. A 20-year-old student, Chow Ying-fu by name, whose father had been executed last month as a counterrevolutionary, last week in the journal of the South China United University at Canton expressed his feelings about the event. He sounded like a character from George Orwell’s 1984.

“My father should have been killed long ago,” he wrote. “For the security of the people, for the permanent destruction of the old system, for truth, for peace, I must firmly approve his execution . . .”

The only hopeful news out of the bloody melee was a sign that at least some Chinese were standing up to the terror. One newspaper reported that four Communist officers and political workers were “wounded when resistance was offered.”

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