WHO IS HIS­TORY'S MOST EVIL DIC­TA­TOR?

TORTURE MASS MUR­DER HU­MAN EX­PER­I­MENTS

World of Knowledge (Australia) - - Front Page -

MAO ZE­DONG CHINA, 1945-1976 45-60 MIL­LION KILLED RE­FORMER WHO STARVED MIL­LIONS INTO OBLIV­ION

Sky­scrapers spear to­wards the clouds. De­signer stores hug the city pave­ments be­low. Sports cars purr around the streets. Wel­come to mod­ern China, the world’s new eco­nomic pow­er­house, driv­ing global growth and cre­at­ing a new wealthy mid­dle-class in the kind of num­bers the ‘com­mu­nist’ coun­try has never wit­nessed.

Yet rewind just two gen­er­a­tions and the dif­fer­ence is chill­ing. The pop­u­la­tion is starv­ing to death. Slave labour is wide­spread. Peo­ple are be­ing sys­tem­at­i­cally tor­tured and ex­e­cuted by the state. And one man is driv­ing al­most one bil­lion peo­ple into a liv­ing hell: Mao Ze­dong, Chairman of the Com­mu­nist Party of China, and founder of the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic.

Chairman Mao’s atroc­i­ties were com­mit­ted un­der the ban­ner of The Great Leap For­ward, a plan de­vised in 1958 to mod­ernise China both eco­nom­i­cally and so­cially.

To do so, Mao’s regime ini­tially co­erced mil­lions of peas­ants into a vast ir­ri­ga­tion pro­gramme to build dams and reser­voirs. Prob­lem was, this meant that their lands were un­tended, and crops rot­ted in the first year, cre­at­ing food short­ages. Farm­ers then planted seeds ear­lier to feed their fam­i­lies, but this just meant the next har­vest was even smaller.

By the end of the decade, as peas­ant land was be­ing na­tion­alised and put into state hands, China was in the grip of full-blown famine. The de­prived were eat­ing mud pies

(which warded off hunger tem­po­rar­ily, but ended up block­ing their in­testines or bow­els) or feast­ing on the straw roofs of their houses. Some even re­sorted to can­ni­bal­ism. In­sanely, Mao con­tin­ued to ex­port tons of food in a bid to show the world how pro­duc­tive com­mu­nism could be.

In the midst of this cri­sis, the mili­tia and state of­fi­cials ruth­lessly en­forced the party line. Any­one caught steal­ing or hoard­ing food – even chil­dren – were beaten or ex­e­cuted. There are re­ports of par­ents be­ing forced to bury their chil­dren alive, or risk be­ing set alight them­selves. Work­ers were made to work naked dur­ing the cold depths of win­ter.

Many of these and other hor­rors only came to light in 2010 when Hong Kong-based his­to­rian Frank Diköt­ter gained un­prece­dented ac­cess to of­fi­cial Com­mu­nist Party ar­chives. “It ranks along­side the Gu­lags and the Holo­caust as one of the three great­est events of the 20th cen­tury.... It was like [the Cam­bo­dian com­mu­nist dic­ta­tor] Pol Pot’s geno­cide mul­ti­plied 20 times over,” he said. Dur­ing his re­search, Diköt­ter dis­cov­ered that the Com­mu­nist Party saw ru­ral farm­ers as mere “dig­its”, a face­less work­force. All up, be­tween 45 and 60 mil­lion peo­ple died dur­ing Mao’s Great Leap For­ward. In the prov­ince of Sichuan, which is about three­quar­ters the size of New South Wales, half the pop­u­la­tion van­ished be­tween 1958 and 1961. >

“IT IS BET­TER TO LET HALF OF THE PEO­PLE DIE SO THAT THE OTHER HALF CAN HAVE THEIR FILL .” MAO ZE­DONG

DY­ING OF HUNGER Mil­lions of peas­ants were put to work dur­ing Mao Ze­dong’s Great Leap For­ward, but this cre­ated famine on an un­prece­dented scale.

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