Destroy the Old! Mao’s Cultural Revolution, China, 1966-1976

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Maoists burning ancient Buddhist statues during the Cultural Revolution in China, 1967

The Cultural Revolution in China was launched by Mao Zedong, then Chairman of the Communist Party of China and started in 1966, right after his historical swim in August.

Statues of Christ and other Christian figures have been defaced and smashed to pieces. 1960s

Later on Mao endorsed the Red Guard movement at a huge rally in Tiananmen Square. He wore the red armband that was to become the badge of the student movement. The Red Guards were encouraged to  “Destroy the Four Olds and Cultivate the Four News”. The Four Olds were: old customs, culture, habits, and ideas.

After that old statues were torn down, smashed and burnt. Streets were renamed. Monuments were defaced. Shops were ransacked. Signs were torn down. Books were burned. Religions were abolished. Tombs were raided. And hundreds of thousands people were executed.

The history of the Cultural Revolution in China ended up with tightening power grip of Mao Zedong. He suppressed all tries to transform the political system into something more liberal. Chinese tried to protest but later in 80s, but they failed miserably and communist party kept all its power.

Peng Dehuai – Chinese Communist military leader.
He was publicly humiliated in numerous large-scale struggle sessions and subjected to physical and psychological torture in organized efforts to force Peng to confess his “crimes” against Mao Zedong and the Communist Party. In 1970 Peng was formally tried and sentenced to life imprisonment, and he died in prison in 1974

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