I. An Unreported Side of the Revolution: Topic and Background
Given the long-standing tradition of reverence for teachers and of respect for the institutions of education throughout Chinese history, the events of the summer of 1966 in which students tortured teachers in Chinese schools are unusual and can be considered a "revolution," if we define a revolution merely by the degree of departure from accepted custom. Eventually, these events played an important role in the "Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution" that Mao Zedong launched and led from 1966 until he died in 1976.
Over the past several years, I have conducted interviews and collected documents in an attempt to understand how the events of 1966 played out in schools across China. In the summer of 1966, in all ninety-one schools my investigation reached, students physically attacked teachers. Eighteen educators in all were beaten to death by students. In other cases, teachers were seriously injured and some committed suicide after suffering humiliation and torture. In addition, at two of these schools, two students were beaten to death by their classmates. Shortly after the rise of campus violence, more people off campus were murdered by students as well.
These violent attacks on campuses, however, have not been reported for various reasons. In the summer of 1966, when these events occurred, not a word concerning the violence was ever mentioned in the Chinese media, despite the fact that the media enthusiastically hailed the "Red Guards" -- which had arisen nation-wide in early August of 1966 -- and reported their activities as headline news almost everyday. From the newspapers, magazines and documentary films published by Chinese authorities at that time, we can see pictures in which millions of teenagers wearing Red Guard armbands march through Tiananmen Square, with some Red Guards leaders applauding Mao Zedong who stands on the top of Tiananmen Gate. Against the red background of the red wall of the Gate, Mao's little red books, red flags, and red slogans, stood thousands of young, jubilant Red Guards forming a powerful, distinctive image of the Revolution. The bloody side of the Revolution was lost in the spectacular, uplifting image the media created. Nor were the deaths or torture reported by the Red Guard publications of that period. Aside from these two kinds of materials, there are scarcely any private records left from that period. Unfortunately for today's scholars, government-controlled media and the writings of Red Guards have become the primary and, in fact, almost the only primary source for research on this period of the Revolution.
Not only were the stories of violence not reported by the media at the time of their occurrence, but thirteen years later, in 1979, with the repudiation of the Revolution in the highest circle of the Party, the Chinese media only cautiously began to mention the victims as a way of restoring their reputation. This sort of publicity was limited to a small number of purged high-ranking cadres, victimized celebrities and a few ordinary people who were considered "heroes" or "heroines" for resisting the "gang of four." The teachers who were victimized in 1966 were not so much as mentioned.
None of the three published general histories of the Cultural Revolution (one printed in 1986, one in 1988, and one in 1995 ) cover the brutality against teachers in the summer of 1966. One reason why authors of three books neglected the subject is probably that they mainly relied on the written materials from that period, and have done little in the way of oral history. For instance, Gao Gao, the author of one of these histories, says in the preface that her book relies on three kinds of sources: publications of the authorities and of Red Guards during the Revolution and publications after the Cultural Revolution.
The fact that many of the events of the Revolution have not been reported has affected research on the period not only by Chinese but also by western scholars. For instance, two books considered the best works on this period, The Politics of the Chinese Cultural Revolution and Red Guard Factionalism and the Cultural Revolution in Guangzhou, and the dissertation of the author of the latter book, The Origin and Development of the Red Guard Movement of China, while providing many details on the activities of the Red guards, made no mention of the violence against ordinary people by the Red Guards in the summer of 1966. This despite the fact that these studies employed not only careful reading of large amounts of both government and Red Guard publications, but also made use of interviews with former Red Guards. The Revenge of Heaven, which was developed from a draft submitted by a Chinese student and interviews with him, reported that a teacher was beaten to death by students during the violence at Xiamen No. 8 Middle School, but did not give the real name of the teacher or the real date of the death. Among studies published in the 1980s, Children of Mao (Anita Chen, 1986) mentions, in passing, violence in schools as related by the interviewees; Enemies of the People (Anne F. Thurston, 1986) is based on forty-one interviews as well as published documents, and has a chapter "the Specter of Deaths: Murder, Suicide and the refusal to Grant Medical Aid" but does not provide the names of people who were beaten to death in the summer of 1966.
When I was working on this paper, I was repeatedly shocked by the gap between what happened and what has been reported. Many basic facts have been neglected intentionally or unintentionally. This case is a classic example of the success of Chinese authorities in controlling mass media and public opinion, and reveals the extent to which key elements in an important part of history can elude even persistent historians.
In this paper, I attempt to reconstruct the violent attacks against teachers as a part of the unreported side of the Revolution.
II. Investigating Absent History: Methods and Sources.
The fact that many stories of the Cultural Revolution were not reported forces us to go beyond the extant printed or filmed materials that historians usually employ for their studies. My investigation on this issue started in 1980. Since then I have interviewed more than 300 people who experienced the Revolution while they were in school. Most of the interviewees were students in 1966, but some also were teachers. Several were relatives of the victims. They related stories that occurred in ninety schools, both in Beijing and in the provinces, including colleges, middle schools, elementary schools, and a kindergarten.
Besides face-to-face conversations and correspondence with the interviewees, I conducted two surveys on the internet in 1994. In the first round I asked if teachers were beaten in schools the users attended during the Cultural Revolution. Most internet users were too young to have been a witness to those events, but I still received the names of seven schools where physical attacks against teachers occurred. In the second round I asked for names of schools where there was no violence against teachers. No response ensued. In fact, up to now, I have found no school where students did not beat teachers during the Cultural Revolution.
In order to avoid errors of memory some interviewees helped me check in personal records and school records for the dates of deaths and events that I mention below. Also, I cross-checked the stories that interviewees told to make the descriptions of the facts as accurate as possible.
Most interviewees were willing to tell me what they witnessed. Some interviewees who were involved in the beatings refused or were reluctant to talk to me. It is regrettable, though understandable, that those who best know the details have been the most adamant in refusing to disclose them.
A more surprising phenomenon is that some teacher victims who were beaten also would not provide details of torture. For them, the memories of this period are too humiliating and painful to relive. For instance, it was not the teachers but the middle school students who provided me with the lyrics for the "Song of Ox-ghosts and Snake-demons" recorded below. All teacher interviewees who were in the "ox-ghosts and snake-demons team" during the Revolution told me that they had forgotten the lyrics of this song except the first line, "I am ox-ghost and snake-demon," even though they were forced to sing this ode of self-condemnation many times.
I reviewed putatively relevant materials published by the authorities or distributed by student organizations during the Revolution. The media, under strict direction of the leaders of the Revolution, purposely ignored facts. While the government newspapers praised the Red Guards without mentioning their violence, the number of deaths escalated. These deaths were not mentioned in the flyers of student organizations, according to some interviewees, because such brutalities were considered at most "trivial mistakes" or "unavoidable radical behavior" for such a "great revolution." In later 1966 and early 1967, when new student organizations supported by the leaders of the Revolution started to criticize the earliest Red Guard organizations in their publications, violent persecution was not their emphasis. Although in Beijing alone, thousands of people were murdered by the Red Guard in the summer of 1966, only three victims were named even in the most dissident tabloid during that period, "Zhongxue Wenge Bao," which, actually, was banned by the authorities in April of 1967; Yu Luoke, the major author of this tabloid was condemned to death in 1970. For all of these reasons, written materials from the ten years of the Revolution were not a major source for this paper.
In the following sections, I cite written sources for my examples when they are available. The stories for which I do not cite footnotes are from my own interviews.
III. How the Students Attacked the Teachers
1. Scale and Degree of Violence Against Teachers
In the afternoon of August 5, 1966, some tenth grade students at the Girls Middle School attached to Beijing Teachers University started "beating the black gang" (da hei bang), a group comprised of three vice principals and two deans (there was no principal.) Many students came to join them. The students splashed ink on the clothes of these five, forced them to wear "high hats," hung boards with their names crossed out by red Xs on their necks, forced them to kneel on the ground, hit them with nail-spiked clubs, scalded them with boiling water, and so on. After three hours of torture, the first vice principal, Bian Zhongyun, lost consciousness and was put into a garbage cart. Two hours later she was sent to the hospital across the street. There, she was later found to have been dead for some time. Another vice principal, Hu Zhitao, suffered bone fractures. The others were also severely injured. Bian Zhongyun, 50 years old, who had been working for this middle school for seventeen years, was the first educator to be beaten to death by students in Beijing during the Cultural Revolution.
Large-scale violence had, however, started earlier, at the Middle School attached to Beijing University. Liu Meide was a deputy principal and a chemistry teacher at the Middle School attached to Beijing University. On July 31, on the day the "working group" that was in charge of the school in June and July received the order to withdraw from school but had not yet left, a group of students launched a violent action against her. They hacked Liu's hair, put dirt into her mouth, and beat her. Liu was forced to crawl on the playground and repeatedly say "I am Liu Meide. I am a poisonous snake (du she)." One day in August, she was ordered by the students to climb on a table and kneel there. A student placed one foot on her back, posing like Mao Zedong's description of how to struggle against landlords: "force them down on the ground and then place one foot on them." After a journalist of Beijing Daily took a photograph, the student kicked Liu from the table to the ground. Liu was pregnant at that time. Her baby died from prenatal injuries soon after the birth. Many teachers at this school were tortured during the same period.
On August 4 at Beijing Fourth Middle School, more than thirty teachers and administrator were attacked on the playground. Students poured ink on them, beat them with fists, kicked them, and tore their cloths. After this incident, two teachers who were insulted committed suicide.
At the Middle School attached to Qinghua University, the birthplace of the Red Guards, Wan Bangru, the principal, and his vice principal, Han Jia'ao, were forced to put a piece of black cloth on the front of their shirts, on which were written in white characters: "first head of the black gang" and "second head of the black gang," respectively. Starting from early August, they were beaten black and blue many times. Their hair was cut raggedly. Wan's kidneys were seriously damaged. One day the students of class 6401 (the eighth grade) forced Han Jia'ao to kneel on the floor of their classroom and took turns beating him, one after another, with a club, whip or leather belt, for more than an hour, and then they burned Han's hair. Some teachers were forced to beat each other and were told, "If you don't beat each other, we will beat you both." A female staff member, Gu Hafen, not only had half of her head shaved, but was also blinded one eye in a beating. In late August, the violent beatings expanded to more young teachers, and even to some students. At midnight of August 26, 1966, having been beaten and insulted for the whole evening at a "struggle meeting" (dou zheng hui), a twenty-six-year old chemistry teacher named Liu Shuhua, committed suicide by jumping from the top of the school's chimney.
On August 17, 1966, at Beijing 101st Middle School, students tortured more than ten teachers. They forced teachers to crawl on a path paved with coal cinders until knees and palms bled. They whipped them with copper-buckled belts. Some female teachers suffered having half of their heads shaved, in a hair style called "yin-yang head." The painting teacher, Chen Baokun, was beaten badly and then drowned in a fountain.
On August 19, 1966, the students of Beijing Fourth, Sixth and Eighth Middle Schools held a "struggle meeting" in the Zhongshan Concert Pavilion at Zhongshan Park, which is next to Tiananmen Square. On a stage in front of an audience of thousands they whipped and kicked more than twenty "members of the black gang" from the three schools and the City Education Bureau. Sun Guoliang, the head of the Beijing City Education Bureau, suffered three fractured ribs. Wen Hanjiang, the Vice Principal of the Eighth Middle School, lost consciousness as he bled on stage. According to an interviewee, all were so severely beaten that they "no longer looked human"(buxiang renyang.)
In the middle of August 1966, the students of Beijing Sixth Middle School (which is one kilometer from the Tiananmen Gate and across the street from Zhongnanhai, where the "Center of the Party" is located) made the former music classroom into a jail, with a watchtower and a spotlight on the roof. They wrote "Long Live the Red Terror" on the wall and later dipped brushes into the blood of victims to repaint the characters of the slogan. This jail existed for three months until November 19, 1966. Nine teachers were jailed there during the entire time span. Some teachers, students and "class enemies" from outside the school were also imprisoned there for various periods. A vice dean of the school who had been imprisoned there for three months died less than a month after being released. Three men, a custodian, Xu Peitian, a student, Wang Guanghua, and a man who owned houses for rent near the school, He Hancheng, were beaten to death in the jail.
On August 22, 1966, Sha Ping, the principal of Beijing Third Girls Middle School, was beaten to death. After she died, some Red Guard students forced teachers to slap her corpse. Li Peiying, the dean of this school, hanged herself.
On August 22, 1966, Hua Jin, the head of Beijing Eighth Middle School died in the room where she was imprisoned and tortured. After a serious beating, vice principal Han Jiufang developed a bad case of septicemia. The beating left her permanently handicapped. Shen Xianzhe, a teacher of Chinese, committed suicide after a beating.
On August 25, 1966, the students of the Second Middle School attached to Beijing Teachers University beat three people to death on their campus: Jin Zhengyu, a literature teacher; Jiang Peiliang, the secretary of the Communist Party, the highest-ranking cadre at this school; and Fan Ximan, a student's mother. The principal, Gao Yun, was ordered to stand under the hot sun, while boiling water was poured on him and thumbtacks were stuck in his forehead. Gao came close to dying several times that summer.
Li Jingpo, a custodian in the receptionist office of Beijing Jingshan School who allegedly had "historical problems" was beaten to death by students at this school in August 1966.
At the Middle School attached to Beijing Foreign Language College the Red guard students beat two educators, Chinese teacher Zhang Furen and an administative staff Zhang Fuzhen, to death in the same day
At the Middle School attached to Beijing Teacher's College, Yu Ruifen, a female biology teacher, was knocked to the ground and beaten in her office. In broad daylight, she was dragged by her legs through the front door and down the steps, her head bumping against the cement; a barrel of boiling water was poured on her. Though she died after approximately two hours of torture, it did not satisfy the students. All other teachers in the "ox-ghost and snake-demon team" were forced to stand around Yu's corpse and take turns beating her.
In general, the brutality of students in college and in elementary schools was not as severe as in middle schools, but it was nevertheless serious. At Beijing University, hundreds of people in the "labor reform team of ox ghosts and snake demons" were forced to clean the campus with irregularly shaved heads, while wearing boards with their name and title, such as "member of the black gang" or "reactionary academic authority," around their necks and receiving gratuitous insults from many students who came to "learn revolutionary experiences from Beijing University." For example, Zhu Guaqian, professor of aesthetics, had his head shaved and then was forced everyday to pick up garbage with other "enemies" in front of the convenience store near the student dormitories. On August 4, when Professor Wu Xinghua of the English Department was cleaning the lawn, some students forced him to drink polluted water from a ditch ontaining waste from a chemical factory near the University. Immediately, he became very sick. That night, at age 44, he died. On August 24, students from the Department of Biology used a copper-buckled leather belt to whip one of their lecturers, Hu Shouwen, at his home. His bloody shirt stuck to his skin, so that his wife had to use warm water to soften the shirt before he could remove it. Hu's neighbor Chen Xiance, the secretary of the Party for the Department of Chinese Language and Literature, was beaten beside him that day. On September 2, Chen Xiance committed suicide by drinking two bottles of insecticide after suffering a long period of torture, which included being beaten and having an X-shape shaved on his head. On October 9, Shen Naizhang, professor of psychology, committed suicide after suffering humiliations.
On August 24, 1966, the Red Guards of the Middle School attached to Qinghua University transported truck loads of Red Guards from twelve middle schools to Qinghua University campus, where they beat the administrators and professors. After several persons at the Department of Electronic Engineering were beaten, their blood stained the ground. Someone marked a circle around the blood and wrote "dog blood." That day Red Guards ordered those in the "ox-ghost and snake-demon team" to pull down a white marble monument which was built in 1905 to commemorate the founding of the school. Those heavy stones were moved under the lashes of whip, kicks and punches. That night, all school-level cadres at both the University and the attached middle school were detained in the Science Building, and there in a small room, a beating was inflicted upon each of them. No one escaped without serious injury.
In elementary schools, the oldest students were thirteen years. At Beijing Lishihutong Elementary School, a teacher surnamed Ye was forced to swallow nails and balls of excrement . The students of Beijing Yuquan Elementary School shaved half of the heads of four female teachers. At Beijing Sanlihe Third Elementary School, after students shaved half of her head, the music teacher, Ms. Zhang, and her husband, the painting teacher, were forced to slap each other's face in front of many of their students. Zhao Guangqian, the dean of Beijing Zhongguyouyi Elementary School, committed suicide by jumping from a chimney after being insulted and beaten. Zhao Xiangheng, the principal of Beijing Shijiahutong Elementary School, committed suicide by jumping from a high building. On August 27, Guo Wenyu, the principal of Beijing Kuanjie Elementary School, died after being beaten and pushed face-down into dirty water. Her husband was tortured at the same time and died two days later. Qiu Qingyu, the principal of Beijing Jixianghutong Elementary school, died of a beating administered on October 1, 1966.
Even kindergarten teachers could not escape the violence. Some teachers of Beijing Zhongshangongyuan Kindergarten and several kindergartens in Beijing's Dongcheng District were denounced and beaten in the Zhongshan Concert Pavilion. Students from middle schools beat them and shaved their heads there.
Attacks against teachers also occurred in provinces. In Shanghai, on the evening of August 4, students of Huadong Teachers University arrested more than 150 professors and administrators at their homes, put "high hats" on their heads, hung boards with words such as "member of the black gang," "reactionary academic authority" and so on around their necks, paraded them through the campus, and then forced all of them to kneel on the "Communist Youth Square" for a "struggle meeting." Afterward, the "Shanghai Writing Small Group," which played a leading role in Shanghai during the Revolution, encouraged students in other colleges to take similar actions. At the Middle School attached to Huadong Teachers University, eighteen teachers were forced to crawl several laps around the sports ground. The female teachers among them were given "yin-yang heads." Students of Fuxing Middle School hit some teachers on the head with hammers, and one teacher's skull was broken. Xue Zheng, the principal of Shanghai Third Girls Middle School, was forced to eat excrement while cleaning toilets, and some students used thumbtacks to fix a "big character poster" on her back.
In Tianjin, students of Nancang Middle School put garbage baskets on the heads of teachers, drew black X's on their shirts and shaved the female dean's head raggedly. A custodian named Yao Fugui at Tianjin Hongqiao District Jinzhongqiao Elementary School committed suicide by jumping into a river near school after he was badly beaten.
In Changsha, the capital of Hunan Province, after returning from the first meeting of Red Guards with Mao Zedong in Tiananmen Square on August 18, 1966, the Red Guards of Changsha First Middle School started beating teachers and students from "bad families." The person beaten most seriously was a female vice principal, who was openly religious. In addition, she had half of her head shaved.
In Sichuan Province, a female teacher Zhong Shusen at City Luzhou Third Middle School suffered bleeding knees after being forced to kneel on coal cinders in the poring rain of August.
In Fujian province, students of Xiamen Eight Middle School beat their physics teacher, Huang Zubin, to death. Having being tortured throughout the night, teacher Sa Zhaochen jumped from a classroom on fourth floor in the early morning when the students who beat him were tired and went to bed. He died soon thereafter. Another teacher hanged himself but did not die from the attempt. When he was denounced at a "struggling meeting" after the attempted suicide, people could see the dark scar around his neck.
In city Guangzhou, Guangzhou Railway Middle School, some students forced a teacher, Gao Benqiang, to drink a bottle of ink and then hit him in the abdomen. During the beating, Gao vomited first the ink and later blood. Gao committed suicide in September of 1966. At Guangzhou Seventeen Middle School, Pang Chengfeng, a stuff member, was beaten to death by a group of Red Guards of this school in September of 1966.
In the summer of 1966. Among the ninety-one schools listed below, in fourteen schools there was one educator who was beaten to death; at two schools, two educators were beaten to death. In all, eighteen educators educators were murdered. The number of people who committed suicide is difficult to estimate with any accuracy.
2. The Origin and Spread of the Physical Attacks
The First Stage: From Verbal Abuse to Physical Abuse
On May 25, 1966, at Beijing University, Nie Yuanzi and six others put up a "big character poster," (da zi bao) attacking the authorities of Beijing University for being "members of a black gang," putting out a call to "firmly, thoroughly, cleanly and totally eliminate any ox ghosts and snake demons." On the evening of June 1, 1966, the Central People's Radio Station broadcast the text of this poster. The poster sent a shock wave throughout the country. Students took Beijing University as their example and started attacking the authorities of their schools with the same set of words.
In early June in Beijing, the "working groups" were sent to schools to replace the authorities of the schools and to lead the Cultural Revolution there. In order to conduct the Revolution full time, all colleges and middle schools ceased their regular curriculum, which had been accused of being a part of the "feudal, capitalist and revisionist educational system." In many schools, those who verbally attacked teachers earliest drew support from the "working group" and became members of the new "Committee of the Cultural Revolution."
Starting in early June of 1966, educators in general became the target of the Cultural Revolution. When students encountered teachers, they no longer greeted them. When they did address teachers, they rudely called them by their whole name instead of "Teacher + family name," in the traditional way. Students were encouraged by the working groups to write "big character posters" to "expose" (jie fa) their teachers. In addition to political terms such as "counterrevolutionary," "anti-Party, anti-socialist, anti-Maoist" and so on, they also used derogatory words, such as "pig" or "poisonous snake," to condemn their teachers. Almost every teacher was attacked verbally on the "big character posters" or at the "exposing and denouncing" meetings. The teachers who were accused were not allowed to defend themselves.
The "working groups" organized sessions to expose and to criticize teachers and divided all teachers into four categories: good, fair, those with serious errors, and anti-Party, anti-socialist rightists. For example, the working group at the Girls Middle School attached to Beijing Teachers University led an "exposing and denouncing session" against vice principal Bian Zhongyun on June 21 and all students of this school attended. According to the working group's record of July 3, 1966, the working group put two out of six leading cadres of this school into category IV, the worst one, two in category III and two in category II. Some teachers, unable to bear the pressure and insults, committed suicide. For example, at Beijing University, students pasted a poster on the door of history professor Wang Qian. There are two versions of this story. One says that the poster was blown away by the wind; another says that Wang was angry and tore it down. Some students accused Wang of hating the Revolution and wrecking the poster intentionally. The "working group" ordered Wang to apologize and to paste it up again. Wang did what they asked him to do, but then committed suicide that night by drinking insecticide. That was June 11, 1966. In the same school, Dong Huaiyun, a lecturer of the Department of Mathematics, committed suicide in late June after the "big character posters" criticized him and the "working group" ordered him to clean the dining hall with a group of people who were considered the targets of the Revolution.
Some students started to physically attack teachers in June. At Qinghua University, June 11-12, 1966, some students organized a "dog-beating team" to beat those who had been accused of being "members of the black gang" or other enemies. They insist that those people were "dogs" and not human. On June 18, 1966, at Beijing University, some students launched violent actions against those who had been verbally attacked. For example, the secretary of the Party in the Chinese Department mentioned above, Cheng Xiance, was chased and beaten. Some students took a garbage basket from the latrine, put it on the head of the vice Chair of the department, Xiang Jingjie, and then poured ink on him. In the evening, Xiang went home, where his wife put herb paste on the bruises on his back. Hu Shouwen, a lecturer of the Biology Department mentioned above, was dragged by a rope around his neck, leaving him half-conscious. More than sixty people from departments were violently attacked. Having been beaten and insulted, Yu Dayin, an English professor and a co-author of the most widely used English textbook, committed suicide at her home that night.
In middle schools, similar events happened. On June 8, 1966, at the Middle School attached to Beijing University three students in her chemistry class beat Liu Meide, the deputy principal, with a club two-inches in diameter, which broke after three hours of fierce beating. Bian Zhongyun, the principal of the Girls Middle School attached to Beijing Teachers University mentioned above, described how she "was tortured for over four hours" during the "struggle meeting" of June 21 in her letter of June 29, 1966, to the higher authorities of the Party. Bian wrote, "I was forced to wear a high hat, lower my head (eventually, bending over at a ninety-degree angle) and kneel on the ground. I was beaten and kicked. My hands were tied behind my back. They hit me with a wooden rifle that was used for militia training. My mouth was filled with dirt. They spat in my face." She appealed to the higher authorities of the Party to protect her but they made no reply.
Officially, however, the "working groups" stated that students should not use violence against teachers, even though the "working groups" encouraged students to verbally attack teachers and planned to send those who had been placed in the "fourth category" to labor reform camp. The working group at Beijing University tried to stop the violent actions on June 18, 1966. Two days later, on June 20, 1966, the President of the State, Liu Shaoqi, approved the promulgation of Brief Report No. 9 by the "working group" at Beijing University to all schools in order to restrain the "phenomenon of violence" ("luan dou xianxiang" ) on campus.
The Second Stage: From Beating to Fatal Torture
On July 28, 1966, according to Mao Zedong's instructions, the Party Committee of Beijing City issued the "Resolution on Withdrawal of the Working Groups from Colleges (also middle schools)." After this, student organizations, most of which called themselves "Red Guards," filled the power vacancy created by this withdrawal. It is at this time that large scale beatings of teachers occurred. As I reported above, all people who were beaten to death by students died after the withdrawal of the working groups.
On the evening of August 5, 1966, after Red Guards at the Girls Middle School attached to Beijing Teachers University beat their principal, Bian Zhongyun, to death, Song Binbin and other heads of the Red Guards personally reported the news to Wu De, the Second Secretary of the Party Committee of Beijing City. The cadres from Zhou Enlai's office went to the school and asked Bian's husband, Wang Jinyao, "to have a correct attitude towards the revolutionary masses." Nothing about how the circle of high officials discussed the deaths of Bian and others has leaked out. But it was obvious that that no measures were adopted by the highest circle of leaders to stop the killing. On the contrary, they highly praised the quickly spreading Red Guard movement, and Mao met with a million Red Guards in Tiananmen Square on August 18, 1966. At that meeting, Song Binbin presented a Red Guard armband to Mao Zedong; Peng Xiaomeng, a student at the Middle School attached to Beijing University, where the students first started using violence against teachers, gave a speech from the top of Tiananmen Gate. In the following days, the violence escalated. As a result, more and more teachers were beaten and many died. According to an article on the middle and elementary schools in Beijing during the Cultural Revolution published in 1991, during two weeks in August 1966 alone, in Beijing's Xicheng District, which lies in the center of Beijing City, almost one hundred teachers, administrators and staff died of torture. Countless others were injured or handicapped. The section of the article regarding this period was very short and did not give exact numbers or name victims. Nor did it tell how many of the dead were beaten to death or how many committed suicide after being attacked.
The Third Stage: From Inside Schools to Outside, from Beijing to the Provinces.
On August 22, 1966, the Central Committee of the Party approved the Public Security Bureau's "Regulation of Strictly Restraining from Sending out Police to Oppress the Revolutionary Student Movement." At that time in Beijing, student violence had spread from schools to the streets at large. The victims were not only the "old enemies" like the former factory and store owners and "rightists"(youpai fenzi), so-labeled in 1957, but also famous artists, writers, and so on. For example, on August 24 the eminent writer Lao She committed suicide after he and about twenty others were seriously beaten by Red Guards from middle schools. At Beijing First Middle School, the Red Guards changed the school's vegetable cellar into a beating site where thirteen people were beaten to death. According to an interviewee, a former Red Guard of Beijing Forty-seventh Middle School, located in the distant outskirts of the city, they not only beat their teachers in their school but "liquidated" (xiaomie, i.e. beat to death) almost all the people from the villages around the school who had been categorized as "enemies." In Daxing county of Beijing, from August 27 to September 1, 1966, 325 people who belonged to the so-called "four categories of enemies" or were the children of such people were killed. Among the victims, the youngest was a 38-day-old infant.
In August and September 1966, in Beijing 1,772 people were killed, according to the Beijing Daily, the newspaper of the Party Committee of Beijing City. In a long newspaper article published in 1980 about the former director of the Beijing Revolutionary Committee, Xie Fuzhi, who was denounced at that time, the number of people killed in the summer of 1966 was mentioned in passing. The article did not tell who these people were or how they died. In addition, the author(s) used the passive voice of the verb "beat" and did not tell who murdered the 1,772 people. Actually, they were not shot to death but tortured by teenage Red Guards. ***According to an unpublished "internal" document, from August 26 to September 1, everyday hundreds of people were beaten to death in Beijing: on August 26, 126 people; on August 27, 228 people; on August 28, 184 people; on August 29, 200 people; August 30, 224 people; on August 31, 145 people; on September 1, 228 people. In the summer of 1966, 333 people were beaten to death in Xicheng District alone, which is the most central and developed area in Beijing. *** The statistics for the number of victims may be from the Beijing Public Security Bureau, which is in charge of the registration of residents. Actually, there were some people who could not be counted because they were beaten to death in the trains leaving Beijing for the countryside when their registration as residents of Beijing had been canceled.
At the height of the violence in late August 1966, in the middle schools in Beijing, a phrase began to circulate which went: "It is just a matter of 28 Yuan to beat a person to death." 28 Yuan was the price of cremation for one corpse. The cremation fee for those who were beaten to death was paid by their families, who did not dare to say a word of protest.
Starting from August 1966, Red Guards received free train tickets to travel anywhere in the country and practice "great revolutionary networking" (geming da chuan lian). The Red Guards of Beijing brought the violence to the provinces. In Shanghai, for example, on August 27, three Red Guards of Beijing Twenty-eighth Middle School engaged in "networking" by telling some Red Guards of the Shanghai Middle School to "struggle against the landlords" in Zhuxing Productive Team of Meilong People's Commune. As a result of this action, one former landlord was killed. At the Shanghai Foreign Language School, after the Red Guards from Beijing came and beat teachers there one day in August, during the next day students of this school followed the example of Beijing students and beat their teachers. After some teachers were wounded and bled, they forced the teachers to lick the blood on the ground. One interviewee, a former Red Guard member of the Shanghai Middle School, said:
Red Guards from Beijing in army uniforms with leather belts took on grand airs. They asked us: "How come you are still so refined? There is no revolutionary atmosphere here at all." I couldn't understand what "revolutionary atmosphere" meant. Then a female Red Guard member from Beijing took off her leather belt and started demonstrating how to whip. This was the earliest image I have of the Red Guards from Beijing.
From the list of the schools attached, we can see from north to south, from big cities to countryside, violent attacks occurred everywhere. Those attacks caused many deaths. For example, in Wuhan, capital of Hubei Province, in 1966 the Red Guards beat 62 people to death and caused another 32 people to die after being tortured. However, the violence began in Beijing and spread to small cities, later. In Changzhou, Jiangsu Province, Chu Mengheng, the principal of the Twenty Sixth Middle School, was publicly humiliated by having a wooden board hung from his neck (shi zhong), and denounced many times in early 1967. One day some students came and blindfolded him with a black cloth. They led him into a room which they filled with smoke until he fainted. Then they used a club as thick as a person's arm to hit him until the club broke. Bruises covered his whole body and he could not lie on his back or sit. But no doctor in the hospitals dared to give him medical treatment. One day when he was called to school for a "meeting," which obviously would include torture, he attempted to hang himself. Fortunately, his family found him and untied the rope in time. He survived, but, at the Elementary School of Wantou Commune, Yangzhou, Jiangsu Province, vice Principal Zhang Yun was beaten badly and jailed in a classroom. She drowned herself in a river and died, leaving her young children orphaned. This happened just before the eve of the Chinese New Year's Day, Feb. 7, 1967. Before she died, her seven-year-old son heard some students exchanging their views on how to whip "enemies" with a copper-buckled belt.
According to the interviewees, who come from different provinces, the beating of teachers occurred in each place. Even though I could not obtain the complete statistics of the educator victims who were beaten to death in 1966, from the attached list of the schools my investigation reached one can see that fourteen of seventeen educators were beaten to death in Beijing rather than in the provinces. This fact may tell us that the degree of violence against teachers was most serious in Beijing, which was called the "center of the Great Proletariat Cultural Revolution." .
3. Major Methods of Torture
(1) Beating with fists, clubs or kicking.
(2) "High hats" and parading through campuses or streets
Mao Zedong described this method which peasants used to attack the landlords in his essay, "Report of an Investigation of the Hunan Peasants Movement (1927)," printed in a popular edition of Mao's work and read by many students.
(3) A "black board" (hei pai) hung on the front of the person who was labeled as an "enemy." On the board were written titles such as "member of the black gang," "counterrevolutionary," "reactionary academic authority," and so on. Below the title was the person's name with a red "X" over it. This symbol was used because usually outside a court of justice there was an announcement on a bulletin board with a red "X" over the name of the person who had been condemned to death. Many teachers were forced to wear such a self-condemnatory board whenever they appeared in public.
At the beginning most boards were made from a 2x1 foot piece of cardboard. But later some students made heavy boards in order to add to the physical insult. At Beijing First Middle School, which was near the ruins of the old city wall, some students even took a huge brick from the city wall and hung it from a thin wire around the neck of their principal, Liu Qiming, while denouncing her.
(4) The "aircraft" or "jet plane style" ("zuo feiji" or "zuo pen qi shi .") At the "struggle meetings," people who were "struggled against" were forced to stand on the stage, lowering their heads, bending their bodies towards the ground, and raising their arms backwards, stimulating the shape of an aircraft or a jet. The "struggle meeting" could last several hours. This pose is difficult and painful to maintain for such a long time, especially for the elderly.
The two terms became commonly known after the summer of 1966 because of their use in the increasingly frequent "struggle meetings" throughout the country. Han Zuoli, the vice chief of Beijing City Education Bureau was denounced at approximately 400 "struggle meetings" between 1966 and 1969. He was forced to assume the "aircraft" or "jet plane style" each time. Han fainted twice during these sessions.
(5) "Yin-Yang head," (yin yang tou) which looks like the "Yin-Yang" pattern from ancient times. Students shaved half of the heads of their teachers, hence the name. It was usually used as a special punishment for the female teachers.
(6) Whipping with copper-buckled leather belts. The typical outfit of Red Guards was a yellow military uniform with a leather belt, plus a red armband. The belts were also used to whip people. The copper buckle could cause serious damage. It was said that using the belt required special skill. Several interviewees mentioned the fact that some Red Guards talked about and exchanged their experiences on how to use the belt, including the direction and angle of the whipping.
(7) Ransacking the home (chao jia.) Students would go to the teachers' homes and search their private belongings without any warrant. The Red Guards' "destroying the four olds" campaign occurred in August and September of 1966. Although teachers usually did not have many precious things, such as antique and jewelry, they had many books. At that time almost all literary books were condemned as part of the "four olds" and were taken away or burned. One teacher interviewee had a large collection of books on Chinese chess, all of which were confiscated and destroyed.
(8) "Ox-ghost and snake-demon team," (niu gui she shen dui) or "labor reform team," (lao gai dui) also called the "team of the objects of dictatorship." (zhuan zheng dui) Every school had some teachers in this kind of team on campus. The team was considered a collection of "enemies." The members had to do some dirty or heavy work such as cleaning toilets, carrying trash and the like. They had to wear the "black board" all the time. Those in such teams could be insulted or beaten anytime.
Many interviewees estimate that in 1966 the percentage of teachers who were formally put into the "ox-ghost and snake-demon team" was more than ten percent. Booklets, written around 1985, giving brief histories of five middle schools in Beijing reveal that at Beijing Twenty-sixth Middle School, 46 teachers were put into the "team" and beaten brutally. At Beijing 101st Middle School, 63 teachers were in the "team." At Beijing Yuying School, more than 20 teachers were forced into a "labor reform team." At Beijing Yucai School, 16 administrators and teachers in the "team" were struggled against and beaten badly as "members of the black gang." At Tong County (a suburb of Beijing) First Middle School, students shaved half the heads of four female teachers, and 53 of 76 teachers were put into the "ox ghosts and snake demons team," working 14-15 hours a day under the whip.
(9) Sing the "Song of Ox-Ghosts and Snake-Demons," (niu gui she shen ge) which was also called the "Howling Song" (hao ge) because the teachers who were forced to sing the song were considered more animal than human. The teachers in the "ox ghosts and snake demons team" had to sing this song together several times per day. If their singing was unsatisfactory, they would be beaten or punished. The song was composed by a student of Beijing Fourth Middle School and spread throughout the country. The song goes as follows:
|1 5 1 2 | 3 1 |
I am an ox-ghost and snake-demon.
|1 5 1 2 | 3 1 |
I am an ox-ghost and snake-demon.
| 0 0 0 | 0 0 0 |
I am guilty. I am guilty.
| 6 5 3 3 | 2 1 |
I committed crimes against the people,
| 3 3 2 3 | 5 5 |
So the people take me as the object of the dictatorship.
| 6 5 3 3 | 2 2 |
I have to lower my head and admit to my guilt.
| 3 3 2 3 | 5 5 | 6 5 3 3 | 2 1 |
----- ----- ---------- ---------
I must be obedient. I am not allowed to speak or act incorrectly.
| 3 3 3 2 3 | 5 5 |
If I speak or act incorrectly,
| 6 5 3 3 | 2 1 |
May you beat me and smash me,
| 5 5 6 6 | 0 7 7 | - - ||
---- ----- ------
Beat me and smash me.
These nine methods of persecution were adopted at almost every school on the attached list. In addition, other methods were also used in some schools. One of them was to establish a jail in schools and detain teachers there. For example, at Beijing First Middle School, a physics teacher, Mr. Gong, was detained on campus for several weeks and beaten so severely that one of his students could not recognize him. At Beijing Fifth Middle School, the principal, Lu Qinghuan, was jailed in a small, dark room under the staircase for months. In Beijing Sixth Middle School, Red Guards built a jail on campus and locked up many teachers and others there for over three months as mentioned above. In the summer of 1966, Red Guards of many schools came to the Sixth Middle School to learn "revolutionary experiences." According to a Red Guard visitor from Beijing Jingshan Middle School, blood stains covered the floor of the jail.
Various methods of torture were employed. In the Middle School attached to Beijing University, some students whipped teachers with wire wrapped in plastic. One victim said that this plastic-wrapped whip did not hurt skin as much as a belt with copper-buckle, but caused more serious pain "that screws into your heart." In Nanjing Nanshi Elementary School, a female teacher was forced to stand on a stool that was perched on a chair to listen to the denouncement. After the denouncement was finished, someone pushed the chair out from under the stool, toppling the teacher to the ground. At the Middle School attached to Qinghua University, some teachers were forced by Red Guards to beat each other. Some teachers of the Beijing Third Girls Middle School, the 101st Middle School and the Middle School attached to Beijing Teachers College were even forced to beat those who had been beaten to death. When they refused, Red Guards accused them for "having sympathy for those enemies." Even teachers fortunate enough not to be labeled as "enemies" also lived in terror. According to several interviewees, in the summer of 1966 at Beijing 101st Middle School and the Middle School attached to Beijing University, some teachers had to stay in the farm fields near the schools and did not dare return to their homes until midnight to avoid harassment from students.
4. Who Were Beaten?
Teachers were prosecuted as a group in the summer of 1966, but not all teachers were physically violated. The following four categories of teachers were most likely to be attacked.
(1) Persons in charge of the school, including the school-level (in college, the department level) administrators and the secretary of the Party Branch. Almost all of them were accused of being "members of counterrevolutionary black gangs" or "capitalist agents in the educational circle." Among them, those who served as the head of a school or were in charge of teaching were tortured most seriously. For instance, at the Girls Middle School attached to Beijing Teachers University, on August 5, 1966, except for a vice principal who was less educated and was in charge of general affairs like building maintenance, the other five staff members at the school level were all beaten badly, and the highest manager at the school, Bian Zhongyun, died. Bian was the vice principal. If at that time there had been a principal, he or she may well have been killed before Bian.
(2) Teachers who were considered "good teachers" before the Revolution but were labeled as "capitalist reactionary academic authorities" during the Revolution. Almost all eminent professors at universities were put into this category no matter whether they were engaged in natural sciences or social sciences. At average colleges, a lecturer could be labeled a "reactionary academic authority" simply because there were few people with a higher title. Eventually, in almost every middle school, elementary school, and even kindergarten, teachers who were relatively high-ranking were attacked as "reactionary academic authorities." Each school needed its own targets for the Revolution.
(3) Those who were considered to have "political problems," such as having connections to the Nationalist Party in Taiwan, having a "bad family background," being labeled a "rightist" or on the verge of being "rightist" in 1957, being religious, etc. Although teacher ranks had been purged several times before the Cultural Revolution, there were always some people who could be taken as the new targets with various excuses, even though they did not intentionally oppose the Party or Mao.
The three categories above were the designated targets of the Cultural Revolution and they were attacked accordingly.
(4) Teachers who had offended a student who happened to be a violent Red Guard.
After the Cultural Revolution started, the phrase "ox ghosts and snake demons" was frequently used to refer to those who should be struggled against. The editorial of the People's Daily on June 1, 1966 was entitled "Fiercely Sweep away All the Ox Ghosts and Snake Demons." This phrase, which was from a poem from ancient times and referred originally to characters in a masked parade, was not clearly defined as a criminal title. In fact, the ambiguity of the title caused many teachers to be beaten arbitrarily.
At Beijing Fifteenth Middle School, a female teacher crawled on the ground and howled miserably, while being beaten by an eighth grader whom she had criticized when she once substituted for one hour of class before the Cultural Revolution. At the Girls Middle School attached to Beijing Teachers University, an old but healthy custodian in his seventies, who had been tough and coarse to students, was beaten black and blue so that he could not get out of bed for weeks. At the Middle School attached to Beijing Teachers College, a young female teacher, who had published several poems and was pretty, was "struggled" against, according to interviewees, out of jealousy. At Nanjing Second Middle School, on the other hand, a teacher who was ugly was beaten by students who thought he looked like the villain from the movies.
At middle schools, each class had a teacher called "class director" (ban zhu ren). Disciplining the students was a major part of this job. In the summer of 1966, this kind of teachers was more likely to be beaten than others, even though they were neither the head of the school nor "academic authorities." For example, in Beijing Eighth Middle School, some students shaved half of the head of the "class director" of the seventh grade, Zhao Zunrong, a single woman in her twenties. In Beijing Second Middle School, some students shaved half of the head of a "class director" of the twelfth grade, a woman in her fifties. For similar reasons, quite a few teachers who had given some students poor grades were beaten.
5. Who Beat Teachers?
In the summer of 1966, beating teachers was considered to be "revolutionary actions," and as such was not restricted by law, regulation or convention. However, only the members of the organized "Red Guards," not all the students, were allowed to participate in violent actions against teachers in school or against "enemies" outside school.
At that time, participating in a beating was considered an honor or a privilege. An interviewee, a former student of Beijing Fourth Girls Middle School said: "My mother is a 'revolutionary cadre' but my father was labeled as a 'rightist' in 1957. Because of this I was not qualified to become a Red Guard or to search the enemies' homes. I really felt sorry for myself at that time."
The Red Guard organization stipulated that only students from five categories of families were qualified to become members. The five were "revolutionary cadres," "revolutionary military men," "revolutionary martyrs," "factory workers" and "poor and middle-low peasants." Only cadres who joined the Communist Party before 1945 could be considered "revolutionary cadres." In the city of Beijing there were neither peasants, who were absolutely not allowed to move into the cities according to the government policy before and during the Cultural Revolution, nor were there many factory workers. In this case, from the very beginning the children from high-ranking cadres acted as the leading force and played the major part of the Red Guard in Beijing, and only around twenty percent of middle school students were allowed to become Red Guards in Districts such as Xicheng, Dongcheng, and Haidian, where the Red Guards arose earlier and were more active than in the rest of Beijing. For example, at the Middle School attached to Qinghua University (Haidian District), the birthplace of the Red Guards, the number of Red Guards was less than three hundred in a school of more than 1,500 students. The ratio of Red Guards to other students in other schools, such as the Second Middle School attached to Beijing Teachers University (Xicheng District), or Beijing Fifth Middle School (Dongcheng District), was about one fifth, and was even less in Beijing Thirty-first Middle School (Xicheng District). These four schools include two elite (zhongdian) schools, as well as two ordinary schools, and the ratio of the Red Guards was to a certain extent representative.
Students from families which could be considered neither "red" nor "black," such as the store clerks, average office workers, technicians, engineers, and teachers (if they had not become the "ox ghosts and snake demons"), who constituted the largest part of the population of the city, were allowed to join only the organization called the "Red Periphery"(hong wai wei), established to support and assist the Red Guards. At Beijing Sixth Middle School, for example, Red Guards established a jail on campus and sometimes assigned students who were not qualified to be Red Guards, but were members of an organization entitled "Red Allied Force," ("hong lian jun") a kind of "Red Periphery" organization, to serve as the jail guards at night.
Students from "bad family backgrounds" were called "children of dogs" (gou zai zi) and many of them were physically humiliated or tortured. I will have more to say about them in the next section.
In each school, the "ox-ghost and snake-demon team" was placed under the charge of a student, who usually was one of the leaders of the Red Guards at the school. This person, who was 14-24 years old, had the power to control the fate of many teachers. To a certain extent, the degree of the torture, which Red Guard students could decide arbitrarily, depended on this person's moral or psychological character under those circumstances.
Both boys and girls participated in the beatings. According to Han Jia'ao, the vice principal of the Middle School attached to Qinghua University, a co-ed school, the male students were more fierce than the female, when both female and male students beat him and other teachers. But there were quite a few female Red Guards who were very fierce, cruelly beating and whipping teachers. The first victim, Bian Zhongyun, was murdered by a group of entirely female students. From the list of schools I investigated, one finds four deaths in four girls middle schools in Beijing which happened at the hands of female Red Guards. At Beijing Third Girl School, students not only beat the principal, Sha Ping, to death, but also invented various ways to torture the other thirteen teachers who were put in the "team of labor reform," including bending the body to the floor, kneeling on the slotted clothes-washing board, crawling on the ground, slapping the face with a plastic shoe sole, and so on. At Beijing Eighth Girls School, some students ordered teachers considered "ox ghosts and snake demons" to line up, and then used a hammer to hit their heads one by one. Some Red Guards at Beijing Fifth Girls School used a rope to tie the Principal, Li Yiru, and hang her from a tree to beat her. They loosened the rope suddenly so that Li fell to the ground heavily. Three of Li's ribs were broken by the beating.
The degree of violence varied among schools. According to the interviewees, in the big cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, the earliest and most serious violence took place in the middle schools with many cadres children, such as Fuxing Middle School and Nanyangmofan Middle School in Shanghai, the Girls Middle School attached to Beijing Teachers University (two people were beaten to death on campus), the Sixth Middle School (three were beaten to death on campus), and the 101st Middle School (one was beaten to death on campus) in Beijing, Bayi Middle School, Guangzhou Sixteenth Middle School, and the Middle School attached to Huanan Teachers College in Guangzhou. At those schools, the children of high-ranking cadres were in the leadership of the Red guards and the Red Guard movement there was more aggressive. For example, in early 1967, when a schoolmate asked Liu Tingting, one of the leaders of Red Guards at the Girls Middle School attached to Beijing Teachers University and the daughter of President Liu Shaoqi who had just been purged in public, if it was true that she had beaten three people to death in the summer of 1966 as rumored, she said: "It was glorious to beat people to death at that time. So I exaggerated and said that I had beaten three people to death."
Two cases were related in interviews in which children of teachers joined other students in attacking their own parents. On August 25, 1966, at the Second Middle School attached to Beijing Teachers University, when many Red Guards were beating Jiang Peiliang, the head of the school, his son, a seventh grader of this school, hit his father with a club. After Jiang was beaten to death, his son became mentally ill. According to an interviewee who saw him in 1994, he had still not recovered sanity and could not function as a normal person. The other case involved the head of Beijing Drama School, Jiang Feng, who was beaten by her adopted child after Jiang was denounced by her students. Jiang committed suicide the next day.
6. How Did Teachers React to the Violent Prosecution?
When interviewing teachers, I asked what their reaction was to the beatings at that time. In fact, all of them silently endured the brutality and cruelty. Guo Shengming, a history professor of Huadong Teachers University, said that when he was dragged away from his home and paraded on campus with a high hat and without shoes, he thought all those actions nonsensical and tried not to take them seriously. His Taoist philosophy helped him to bear all insults. Guo was not the only teacher who, in order to protect himself psychologically, deceived himself into believing that the violence was just an absurd farce.
Gong Haoran, a teacher of Guangzhou Twenty-fifth Middle School, said that he had learned some martial arts before the Revolution and knew how to protect himself in such a case. When students beat him, he squatted and held his head with two hands, adjusting his breath in the way of martial arts. Fortunately, he was not hurt very seriously. A physics professor of the Beijing Architecture Material Institute, Sun Jusheng, was locked up at his home and beaten by Red Guards from Beijing Eighth Girl Middle School and Beijing Thirty First Middle School for several days. He said he learned to keep his body as still as possible while being beaten in order to reduce pain and damage.
Han Jia'ao, vice principal of the Middle School attached to Qinghua University, was wounded and could not get treatment from a hospital. He treated himself with "Yunnan white medicine," a traditional herbal remedy for traumatic ailments. Pervious to this, he did not drink, but the herbal medicine needed to be taken with liquor so he started drinking regularly from the summer of 1966, first for the wounds and later simply out of habit. He is a drinker to this day.
No one took action to protest the brutality or criticize the violence in public. This was not because the teachers were all cowards but because such protest was impossible. There were three obvious reasons: (1) Police had received an order to ignore the student violence. None would help those who were mistreated. (2) The violent students were members of the "Red Guard" organization which was supported by the authorities, while the teachers were isolated individuals. (3) Any personal resistance could bring serious revenge and cause more deaths. For example, in Beijing, on August 25, a man named Li Wenbo, who was locked up and beaten at his home, took a kitchen knife and attacked a Red Guard from the Beijing Fifteenth Girls Middle School, and then committed suicide. Following his death, Red Guards launched a campaign of violence on a larger scale. Starting the next day, August 26, the number of people who were beaten to death per day in Beijing jumped from a two-digit to a three-digit number. Faced with unprecedented humiliation and violence, the teachers had no choice but to endure and find psychological refuge in self-deceit.
Nor was hiding or escaping possible. Without resident registration (hukou) a person could not stay anywhere, and Red Guards were everywhere. One teacher interviewee explained that the thought of secretly leaving Beijing or the country came to his mind, but he realized that it was too difficult and dangerous to do very quickly. Sun Jusheng, a physics professor mentioned above, was beaten by Red Guards from Middle Schools near his home, when his sister Sun Qikun came to say good-bye. She was escaping from the Beijing Steel Institute where her husband was a professor and where he had been beaten. She was caught but refused to tell these Red Guards where her husband was hiding. She was beaten to death on August 27, 1966. The only teacher in Beijing who succeeded in leaving for Hong Kong was Ma Sicong, a professor of Central Music College. Having been beaten and insulted, he secretly left Beijing in November of 1966. After he left, people who were thought to be close to him were interrogated and persecuted.
In one case, a locked cage had been built so that teachers could not escape. Zhang Baolin, a geography teacher of the Middle School attached to Qinghua University, saw many of her colleagues badly beaten. In fear she knelt on the floor at her home and asked her son to beat her in order to practice how to endure pain. She felt she could not bear torture without rehearsal.
Teachers were divided into four categories by the "working groups" in June, as mentioned above, and to a certain extent retained their political status after the "working groups" departed. The declared policy (zhengce) of the Cultural Revolution, which emphasized "distinguishing" (qu bie) those who "had committed serious errors" (fan le yanzhong cuowu) from the "enemies," efficiently prevented teachers from protesting the violence. After Bian Zhongyun was beaten to death, one teacher wrote an anonymous letter in disguised handwriting expressing her condolences to Bian's husband. The remaining teachers kept silent.
Some of those teachers, who were not considered to "have problems," "struggled" against other teachers along with students. The fact that such teachers incited students to beat other teachers out for the sake of personal revenge emerged during the interviews.
IV. Simultaneous Persecution Against Classmates
From late July to early August, a couplet spread quickly in the schools in Beijing and then across the whole country. Pasted up by the Red Guards everywhere, the couplet read "the son of the heroic father is a warrior; the son of the reactionary father is a rotten egg." In the context of the Revolution of the summer of 1966, this couplet meant that students whose fathers were "revolutionary cadres" were naturally the driving force of the Revolution, whereas students from "bad families," such as "landlords", "rich peasants," (they were labeled "enemies" and deprived of property in the early 1950s) and "counterrevolutionaries," "bad elements," "rightist" (so-labeled in 1957) and "capitalists," were counted as "rotten eggs," an epithet for the target of the Revolution. Eventually, this couplet was the criteria of the Red Guard organization for qualification for membership. On one hand, this couplet privileged the Red Guards. On the other hand, it victimized the students from "bad families," who then suffered violent persecution from their peers, as their teachers had.
For example, on the morning of August 4, 1966, Red Guards from the fourth class of the seventh grade, the Girls Middle School attached to Beijing Teachers University, held a "struggle meeting" against their classmates. Among the 45 students in the class, ten were Red Guards and sat on chairs; ten were from "bad families" and stood in front of the classroom; the rest of the class sat on the floor during the struggle meeting. A huge slogan "Down with the children of dogs," which was the term used to refer to those from "bad families," was pasted on the wall. A long rope went around the necks of the ten students who were "struggled" against and tied them together. All of them were ordered to "confess" their "reactionary thoughts" and their parents' "crimes," then repeat "I am a child of a dog. I am a rotten egg. I deserve to die." Red Guards beat them with fists and poured ink on them. Similar struggle meetings took place in several classes at the school. The principal, Bian Zhongyun, was also beaten that day and was beaten to death the following day.
At the Middle School attached to Beijing University, the birthplace of the couplet, a seventh grader named Wan Hong, whose father was a "rightist," was "struggled" against in the classroom. She was forced to stand on a chair and beaten with leather belts. During the "struggle meeting," a classmate pulled the chair away and she fell down to the cement floor. Zhu Tong, a twelfth grader and a son of a "rightist," was beaten badly. One night he had to crawl home because he was hurt so seriously he could not walk.
At the Middle School attached to Qinghua University, the birthplace of the Red Guards, a student named Guo Lanhui, whose father was a "rightist" of 1957, could not bear the insults and committed suicide by drinking insecticide. She died at the age of 19. Yang Ailun, an eighth grader from a "bad family," tried to commit suicide by throwing herself on the railway near the school. She was hurt badly by a moving train but did not die.
At Beijing First Middle School, there was not only an "ox ghosts and snake demons team" for teachers, but also a "team of the children of dogs," which had about two hundred students from families with "problems." They were separated from other students and were forced to "work for self-reform" (lao gai). One evening a tenth grader was beaten at a "struggle meeting." When the meeting finished, several Red Guards put a cat in the pants of this student. The cat scratched and bit him, and the student cried miserably all night. Many students heard his cries, but none spoke up for him.
On August 25, Cao Binghai, a twelfth grader of the Second Middle School attached to Beijing Teachers University, fought with the Red Guards, his classmates, who were searching his home. Cao picked up a kitchen knife and hurt one of his classmates. As a result, Cao's mother, Fan Ximan, was beaten to death that day. Cao became insane and never recovered.
At Beijing Thirteen Middle School, Wu Supeng, a student from a "bad family" was taken to the "Red Terror Interrogation Room" established by the Red Guards and locked in school. One day during the interrogation Wu disagreed with the Red Guards, Wu was put into a gunny sack. Several Red Guards tied the sack and beat him to death.
At Beijing Sixth Middle School, a twelfth grader named Wang Guanghua from a "small capitalist" family left Beijing to engage in "revolutionary networking" without permission from the Red Guards of his school. When he came back to Beijing on September 27, 1966, he was immediately kidnapped and taken to the former music classroom which had been remodeled into a jail since the middle of August. There he was beaten by more than ten Red Guards. He died the next day in the jail at the age of 19. Several teachers who had been imprisoned there for a month carried his corpse out of the jail.
The couplet spread to the whole country. In every school covered by my investigation, students from "bad families" were verbally insulted or physically attacked by their classmates. In the summer of 1966 in Beijing, no single person who was victimized by the couplet opposed it in public; whereas no single person who benefited by the couplet refused to join the Red Guard organization in opposition to their organizational principle.
V. Why Did the Violence Against Teachers Happen?
1. Mao Zedong's Leadership and Encouragement
From the very beginning Mao determined that the educational system and educators should be the target of the Cultural Revolution. On May 7, 1966, in a letter to Lin Biao, who was designated as Mao's successor three months later, Mao said: "The capitalist intellectuals will not be allowed to rule our schools any longer." The major part of this letter was quoted in the editorial of People's Daily, August 1, 1966. On May 16, 1966 Mao issued the "Notification" in the name of "Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party," which was circulated only among high-ranking (the county level and above) cadres of the Party in May of 1966 and was published in the People's Daily on May 16, 1967. In the "Notification," Mao wrote: "Completely denounce the capitalist representatives in the academic, educational, journalist, artist, and publication circles. Take the power of leadership back from these cultural realms." Several high cadres then went to Beijing University and organized seven people there to write a "big character poster" to attack the authorities of this University. Mao ordered the Central People's Radio to broadcast the content of this poster to the whole country on June 1, 1966 and later called it "the first Marxist-Leninist big character poster." With the publication of this poster, all schools ceased their regular curriculum and students immediately started a wave of verbal attacks on school authorities and teachers.
In July of 1966, Mao ordered the withdrawal of the "working groups" from schools and criticized them for making the Cultural Revolution movement "cold and clean" (leng leng qing qing)," even though the violence had taken place during the period when the "working groups" controlled the schools. Mao also claimed that the violent attacks that occurred at Beijing University on June 18, 1966 were a "revolutionary action," which the "working group" opposed.
On July 28, 1966, a formal notice about the withdrawal of the working groups was issued. On the same day, Jiang Qing, Mao's wife, related Mao's comments on violence to the student representatives of the middle schools of Haidian District at a rally: "When good men beat bad men, the bad men get what they deserve. When bad men beat good men, it is an honor for the good men. When good people beat good people, it is just a misunderstanding which could not be cleared up without the fight."
On August 1, Mao wrote a letter to support a student group named the "Red Guards" at the Middle School attached to Qinghua University and a student group named "Red Flag Small Battling Group" at the Middle School attached to Beijing University, giving them his "enthusiastic support." In this letter, Mao also mentioned the name of Peng Xiaomeng, the head of "Red Flag Small Battling Group." Peng had publicly beaten Zhang Chengxian, the head of the "working group" at Beijing University, in front of Mao's wife and more than ten thousand people. As mentioned above, the students of the Middle School attached to Beijing University incited violent attacks in their school earlier than other schools in Beijing.
On August 5, "the Center of the Party" voided the Statement of June 20, 1966 approved by Liu Shaoqi,. which had said that the "working group" at Beijing University was right to stop the violence on campus. By contrast, the Statement of August 5, 1966 supported violence against teachers. On the same day, Bian Zhongyun, the principal of the Girls Middle School attached to Beijing Teachers University, became the first person who was beaten to death by the students.
On August 18, 1966, after Red Guards in Beijing beat some people to death, Mao met with a million Red Guards who came to Beijing with free train tickets, in Tiananmen Square to celebrate the Cultural Revolution. Song Binbin, a Red Guard of the Girls Middle School attached to Beijing Teachers University, put a Red Guard armband on Mao Zedong's sleeve. Their photograph was published and symbolized Mao's support of the Red Guards. On learning her name ("Binbin" means "refined and courteous") Mao said: "Being violent." ("yao wu") Then Song published an article to tell the story of meeting Mao and changed her name to Yaowu.
Actually, Bian Zhongyun's death was reported immediately to high level authorities, and the Beijing Public Security Bureau reported the number of deaths in an "internal report" everyday, but Mao never said anything specific to criticize the violence that was spreading rampantly while he expressed his enthusiastic support for the Red Guards. Mao's wife Jiang Qing even called the Red Guard students "little suns" (xiao tai yang). In Beijing, the violence escalated rapidly in August and reached its height in late August, between the first and second of Mao's meetings with millions of Red Guards in Tiananmen Square, August 18 and 31. No one who was close to him has provided any information about what Mao said about the huge number of deaths in August, but from the published instructions above, we know the violence was the result of his leadership and encouragement.
In early August of 1966, Mao demoted Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping, while Lin Biao, the highest leader of the Army, had become second in power with a new title "Mao's closest comrade." In addition, the college entrance examination system had already been abolished two months previously, in June of 1966. For the political goal that Mao Zedong claimed, namely taking back power from the "capitalists in the Party" and having an educational revolution, there was no need to use violence to attack teachers, a powerless group, in such unprecedented and brutal ways. Revolution ideals are insufficient to explain Mao's motivation for the prosecution.
2. The Rise of the Red Guards
As described above, it was Red Guard students who conducted attacks against teachers in the summer of 1966. The attacks were considered a part of the "revolutionary actions" of the Red Guard movement. The organization of Red Guards played an important role in the violence. In most cases, beatings were a collective activity, conducted not by single students but by a group of Red Guards. A group of Red Guards acted together, inciting each other and encouraging hostilities. Sometimes, a beating happened in front of hundreds of people. On such occasions, everyone just wanted to show his/her sympathy for brutality and cruelty against the "enemies." On the other hand, when a person was beaten to death, the group of beaters would not take it as his/her own responsibility and did not fear committing murder. For example, Bian Zhongyun, the first victim of the violence of 1966, died after being beaten by many students. During the several hours of torture, no one at this school of more than 1,600 students tried to dissuade the beaters from these inhuman actions. In the evening after the beating, at the student dining hall some talked loudly about how they forced her to eat dirt from the toilet or how they fetched hot water to scald her. There was no sense of guilt, but rather an excited, giddy atmosphere.
The Red Guards and similar student organizations appeared in middle schools after Mao ordered the Central People's Radio broadcast the "big character poster" from Beijing University on June 1, 1966. On June 2, 1966, the first poster made by Red Guards at the Middle School attached to Qinghua University was entitled "Pledge to fight to the death to defend the dictatorship of the proletariat! Pledge to fight to the death to defend Mao Zedong's Thought!" It said further: "Whoever disobeys Mao Zedong's thought, no matter who he is, no matter how high his position is, no matter what banner he flaunts, will be smashed to pieces." This kind of exaggerated, violent tone, which was the typical style of public expression broadly employed during the Cultural Revolution, was developed to a great extent by the Red Guards.
On July 26, Peng Xiaomeng, the head of the "Red Flag Fighting Group" at the Middle School attached to Beijing University, beat Zhang Chengxian, the head of the "working group" at Beijing University on the rostrum during a rally. Afterwards, according to several interviewees, Peng's school became "a corporal punishment camp," (xing fa chang) where they beat teachers, students from a "bad family background," and "ox ghosts and snake demons" outside. Many were injured and two people who were residents around the school were beaten to death at the school. After Mao wrote a letter to support the Red Guards and Peng Xiaomeng on August 1, Red Guard organizations sprung up everywhere. At many schools, the rise of the Red Guard movement and the large scale attacks against teachers started simultaneously. For instance, at the Girls Middle School attached to Beijing Teachers University, the Red Guard organization was established on July 31 and the Principal Bian was beaten to death on August 5. With Mao's eight meetings in Tiananmen Square with a total of ten million Red Guards from Beijing and provinces, the wave of physical attacks against teachers expanded from Beijing to the whole country.
In Beijing, Red Guards established jails in some schools and Red Guard Police Corps (jiuchadui). On August 25, 1966, the Dongcheng District Red Guard Police Corps beat 46 teachers of the "ox ghosts and snake demons team" at Beijing Twenty-sixth Middle School. Gao Wanchun, the principal of this school, had his hands tied behind his back and was forced to kneel on sharp stones placed on the seat of a stool. Gao fell to the ground under the blows of clubs several times and was pulled up on the stool again and again. After the Red Guards of this school beat a writer, Su Su, on campus, Gao was forced to touch Su's corpus. Gao committed suicide by by jumping from the top level of the school's classroom building. The Xicheng District Red Guard Police Corps issued thirteen "general orders," (tong ling) which instructed their members on how to search the homes of "enemies" and ordered the banishment of certain categories of people from Beijing to the countryside. According to Beijing Daily, December 20, 1980, the number of the people expelled in the summer of 1966 from Beijing was eighty-five thousand. Those people could not return to their home until 1978. These "general orders" were also posted and distributed in other cities such as Shanghai and Guangzhou and directed the Red Guards' violent actions there.
The Red Guards espoused an essentially destructive philosophy. At the Girls Middle School attached to Beijing Teachers University, in August 1966, students picked and ate all the unripe pears and apples from the trees on campus, even the green persimmons that were bitter and completely inedible. "Ta ma de," literally "fuck his mother," started being frequently used by even girl students on campus. In addition, the Red Guards destroyed books and paintings on campus. After the vice principal, Bian Zhongyun, was beaten to death on campus, three seventh graders beat an eighteen-year-old waitress of a restaurant near the school to death in the chemistry laboratory, merely because she was rumored to be a "bad woman." These kinds of pointless yet destructive actions were romanticized as "revolutionary behavior" and no one dared to stop them. Ironically, these actions, which consisted for the most part in destroying objects and in beating innocent people, were called "rebellious actions," but they were actually carried out with the support of the highest authority.
Red Guards' emphasis of family background to an unprecedented extent distinguished it from the other youth organizations in China, such as the Communist Youth League, which was replaced by the Red guards for years during the Revolution. The Red Guards took family background as the first and almost only condition for membership, and absolutely excluded students from some kinds of families. At the Middle School attached to Qinghua University, some eighth graders from various family backgrounds formed a group named "Plum Blossom" (meihua) in order to participate in the activities of the Revolution. Red Guards from this school forced the group to disband because of their "unclear class alignment." As mentioned above, the couplet "the son of the hero is a warrior; the son of the reactionary is a rotten egg" split students into three categories: "red," "black" and "gray," which formed three strata so distinct that students in different categories did not even talk to each other during the summer of 1966 and afterwards. The "rotten egg" students were humiliated and insulted by their classmates, while the Red Guards received huge privileges, which could include the opportunity to meet Mao Zedong on the top of the Tiananmen Gate and the power to kill their teachers, peers, and other people.
The name "Red Guards" indicates that they were the Guards of Mao Zedong and would defend him. I will not discuss whether Mao needed to be defended at that time, but I will point out that the Red Guards indeed instigated the first wave of massive worship of Mao during the Cultural Revolution. From the pictures and documentary films published by the authorities in 1966, the "reported side" of the Revolution, one can see that the Red Guards started a set of new rites: wearing a Mao badge on the chest, carrying Mao's little red book at all times, waving the little red book during parades and rallies, singing the song of Mao's quotations, dancing in honor of Mao, hanging Mao's portrait and quotations everywhere, starting all speeches with Mao's quotations and ending by shouting "May Chairman Mao live for ten thousand years, ten million years" in as loud a voice as possible.
As a youth organization, the Red Guards had three main characteristics: taking an innate condition, family background, as the criteria of membership, leader worship, and collective violence. The former two features provided support for the latter.
3. Personal Factors
To explain the brutality and cruelty the students directed against the teachers, personal factors should also be considered. In fact, there was not any official order calling on students to beat their teachers; some students started or invented the methods of torture by themselves. According to interviewees, in many schools there were a certain number of students who were very active in all violent actions and seemed to enjoy the violence, regardless of whom they were beating. The beatings were often life-threatening, but those doing the beating did not care. They took advantage of the opportunity that the Red Guard movement brought to attack those who were helpless and resistless.
In some cases, personal resentment was a crucial factor. For example, at Beijing Sixth Middle School, when vice principal Shan Chengzuo was denounced as a "member of a black gang," one student beat him fiercely and told him: "Do you remember how you disciplined me? It is your turn for punishment now." Qiu Jingyu, the principal of Beijing Jixianghutong Elementary School, was beaten to death by a student who had graduated but returned to the school to get revenge.
From the attached list of the schools my investigation reached, one can find that the middle school sudents beat many more teachers to death than college and elementary students. In the summer of 1966, middle school students were from 14 to 19 years old. They had received more than seven years of education -- higher than the average education in China. Therefore, "ignorance" or "innocence" cannot be used as excuses for the cruelty. Nonetheless, the degree of the violent pursecution that students implemented may be related to their ages to a certain extent.
VI. The Consequence and Effect of the First Wave of Attacks Against Teachers
As mentioned above, the massive violent prosecution started in school and proliferated throughout society as a whole. When the violent attacks reached many high-ranking cadres of the Party who were beyond the five circles, i.e. the academic, educational, journalist, artist, and publication circles, that the Party's "Notification" on May 16, 1966 advocated attacking, some middle school Red Guards in Beijing started opposing the new groups of college students who were attacking the Red Guards' high-ranking cadre parents. In this case, the "Central Small Group of the Cultural Revolution" changed their attitude toward the Red Guards in middle schools from unconditional support to supporting their opponents, who were the college student groups attacking the "Capitalist Roaders in Powerful Positions in the Party" (Dangnei zou zibenzhuyi daolu de dangquanpai) in all ministries of the central government and the provinces. Liu shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping were among those attacked.
When their parents were denounced by the new student organizations, the Red Guards fell victim to a movement that they had started. However, the decline of the original Red Guards did not mean the end of the philosophy of violent attacks. On the contary, the massive violent persecution that the Red Guards promoted in the so-called "Red August" of 1966 continued in the following years. In late 1966 and 1967, students in the massive organizations that had dominant status during that period physically attacked the "Capitalist Roaders in Powerful Positions in the Party." For example, students beat Peng Dehuai, the former defense minister, at the "struggle meeting" in Beijing in July of 1967. Two of Peng's ribs were broken by the beating.
When the new student organizations concentrated on "seizing power" (duo quan) and directed their efforts against the high-ranking cadres in 1967, the prosecution of teachers was comparatively, though temporarily, reduced. During the "Cleansing the Class Ranks" (qingli jieji duiwu) movement which started in 1968, however, the teachers became the main target again. Many teachers were detained on campus for months or years and some of them were beaten by students again. The prolonged physical and mental torture resulted in many suicides.
On June 18, 1968, at Beijing University, about two hundred teachers and cadres, who had been imprisoned on campus for months, were beaten and tortured in very brutal ways during a school-wide action. This date was chosen to celebrate the violent event that had happened two years previous, on June 18 of 1966, mentioned twice above. In the attack of June 18, 1968, more educators were beaten more viciously than in the previous attack of June 18, 1966. From 1966 to 1968, it was in part this increasing violent persecution that fueled enthusiasm for the Revolution.
I am not able to calculate how many educators died from the persecutions during the first three years of the Revolution. Anecdotal evidence does, however, give us a glimpse into the extent of the violent prosecution. For instance, according to one interviewee, at the First Gate of No. 9 Building, a dormitory for average teachers and staff of Beijing Agricultural University, where a total of only eleven families lived, five people committed suicide between 1966-1968.
Violent student attacks against teachers were an important part of the Cultural Revolution but have been largely ignored in official accounts and contemporary scholarship. This paper can only attempt to retrieve one corner of the violent persecution during the Revolution and to provoke further research into this tragedy.
The List of Schools my survey reached
(Teachers were beaten to death at the schools marked with *)
Beijing Agricultural University
Beijing Architecture Material Institute
Beijing Steel Institute
Beijing Teachers College
Central Music College
Central Art College
Beijing First Middle School
Beijing Second Middle School
Beijing Fourth Middle School
Beijing Fifth Middle School
Beijing Sixth Middle School *
Beijing Eighth Middle School *
Beijing Thirteen Middle School
Beijing Fifteen Middle School
Beijing Twenty-sixth Middle School
Beijing Forty-seventh Middle School
Beijing Fifty-second Middle School*
Beijing 101st Middle School*
Beijing First Girls School
Beijing Second Girls School
Beijing Third Girls School*
Beijing Fourth Girls School*
Beijing Fifth Girls School
Beijing Eighth Girls School
Middle School attached to Beijing Mineral Industry Institute
Middle School attached to Beijing University
Middle School attached to Qinghua University
Middle School attached to Beijing Foreign Language College**
Girls Middle School attached to Beijing Teachers University*
Second Middle School attached to Beijing Teachers University**
Middle School attached to Beijing Teachers College*
Beijing Jingshan School*
Beijing Lishihutong Elementary School
Beijing Jixianghutong Elementary School*
Beijing Kuanjie Elementary School*
Beijing Shijiahutong Elementary School
Beijing Haidian District Laohudong Elementary School
Beijing Yuquan Elementary School
Beijing Zhongguyouyi Elementary School
Beijing Zhongshangongyuan Kindergarten
Xiamen Fourth Middle School
Xiamen Eighth Middle School *
Guangdong Taishan First School
Guangzhou Seventh middle School
Guangzhou Sixteen Middle School
Guangzhou Seventeen Middle School *
Guangzhou Twenty-fifth Middle School
Guangzhou Fifty-seven Middle School
Guangzhou Sixty-second Middle School
Guangzhou Railway Middle School
Changzhou Twenty-sixth Middle School
Elementary School attached to Nanjing Forestry College
Nanjing Sanpailiu Elementary School
Nanjing Nanchanglu Elementary School
Nanjing Middle School attached to Normal School
Nanjing Second Middle School *
Nanjing Foreign Language School
Wuxi City Houbao Elementary School
Yizheng City Experimental Elementary School
Yiancheng County Central Elementary School
Yangzhou City Wantou Commune Elementary School
Nanchang Eighth Middle School
First Elementary School of Lushan
Nanchang City Yangzi Elementary School
Leping Couty Dasishang Elementary School
Second Middle School attached to Shaanxi Normal University
Huadong Teachers University
Shanghai Fuxing Middle School
Shanghai Datong Middle School
Shanghai Middle School
Shanghai Qiyi Middle School
Shanghai Nanyangmofan Middle School
Shanghai Second Girls Middle School
Shanghai Third Girls Middle School
Middle School attached to Huadong Teachers University
Shanghai Foreign Language School
Shanghai Xincheng Middle School
Shanghai Nanhui county Huinan Town Elementary School
Quwo County Chengguan Elementary School
Hongya County Middle School
Luzhou Third Middle School
Middle School attached to Xinan Teachers College
Tianjin Beijiao District Nanchang Middle School
Tianjin105th Middle School
Hongqiao District Jinzhongqiao Elementary School
Hexi District Xinanliu Central Elementary School
Nanshi Elementary School
Xinjiang Autonomous Region
Ku'erle City Second Middle School
Hangzhou First Middle School
Name list of victims mentioned in this article who were beaten to death
Bian Zhongyun, female, vice principal of the Girls Middle School attached to Beijing Normal University, was beaten to death on August 5, 1966.
Chen Baokun, male, art teacher of Beijing 101st Middle School, died on August 17, 1966.
Sha Ping, female, principal of Beijing Third Girl Middle School, died on August 22, 1966.
Jin Zhengyu, male, 1966, Chinese language and literature teacher of the Second Middle School attached to Beijing Normal University, died on August 25, 1966.
Jiang Peiliang, male, secretary of the branch of the Party at the Second Middle School attached to Beijing Normal Universitydied on August 25, 1966.
Guo Wenyu, female, principal of Beijing Kuanjie Elementary School, died on August 27, 1966.
Qiu Qingyu, female, principal of Beijing Jixianghutong Elementary School, died on October 1, 1966.
Li Jingpo, male, custodian of Beijing Jingshan School, died in August 1966.
Yu Ruifen, female, biology teacher of the Middle School attached to Beijing Teacher's college. She was beaten to death in August of 1966 on campus. Her family has left Beijing and I have been unable to determine the exact date of her death.
Zhang Furen, male, Chinese teacher of the Midle School attached to Beijing Foreign Language College, was beaten to death by the Red Guad Students from his school in August of 1966.
Zhang Fuzhen, male, administrative member of the Middle School attached to Beijing Foreign Language College, was beaten to death by the Red Guard Students from his school in August of 1966, the same day Zhang Furen mentioned above was beaten to death.
Xu Peitian, male, custodian of Beijing Sixth Middle School. Xu was beaten to death on October 4, 1966.
Huang Zubing, male, physics teacher of Xiamen Eighth Middle School, Fujian province. He was beaten to death in August of 1966.
Pang Chengfeng, male, a stuff member of Guangzhou Seventeen Middle School, Guangdong province. Pang was beaten to death in September of 1966.
Wu Supeng, male, student of Beijing Thirteen Middle School, was beaten to death in his school in August of 1966.
Wang Guanghua, male, student of twelfth grade of Beijing Sixth Middle School. He was beaten to death on September 28, 1966, in the jail that the Red Guards established on their campus.
Sun Qikun, female, retired accountant. Her husband was a professor of Beijing Steel College. She was beaten to death on August 27, 1966.
He Hancheng, male, resident around Beijing Sixth Middle School, was beaten to death in the school jail in the summer of 1966.