China's try at a Holocaust came in 1966 and only ended in 1976. A new book "Bend, Not Break" from Ping Fu tells the story from the point of view of an 8-year old girl. Mao and the Gang of Four unleashed Red Guards and murdered 3-million people. Many millions of families were torn apart. There are parallels to "Night" and to "Diary of Anne Frank" -- including a mini-industry of paid "8-cent" (per posting) deniers.
Elie Wiesel's book "Night" described his existence inside Auschwitz-Birkenau and Buchenwald. With "Diary of Anne Frank" it explained the Holocaust in human terms..
"Night" is a tiny book. It goes one place.
"Bend, Not Break" from Ping Fu lives in the same room.
Ping-Ping, 8, arrives alone after being snatched by the Red Guards, as though at Elie's railroad platform.
Take a deep breath:
We know that the charm is not going to work.
Four hours later, the train came to a squeaking halt at Nanjing Station, where the scene was almost identical to the one I'd witnessed in Shanghai. People fought their way off the train and onto the packed platform, sending their sacks flying through the windows. Fights broke out. Women, their clothes and children wrapped tightly in bundles under their arms, dashed out of sight.
I felt beads of sweat form on my forehead and the palms of my hands. I wondered if everyone except for me knew where to go and what to do. The kind old man who had shared his seat with me had already left; I was alone.
I sat motionless on my seat, trying to make myself invisible. Streetcar Number 24, which stopped in front of our Shanghai house, traveled in a loop. Shanghai Mama always told me that if I ever got lost, I only needed to stay on the same streetcar until it brought me back home. It occurred to me that the train probably worked the same way. If no one found me here, I could simply stay put, and this train would take me back to Shanghai, where I would be reunited with my mama.
Red Guards kill 3-million. That is how many Polish Jews Hitler killed, before he killed a million Hungarian Jews and Romanians including Elie's mother and father, a sister, and the most of his other relatives.
We also have a day ticket for you to Orwellian madness.
This is free. Scroll down the Amazon page for "Bend, Not Break" to the Customer Comments section.
There you enter an inky suffusion of "liar." As with Holocaust denials, this word is written hundreds of times. You can skim through these Group Think insults, the most of 27 pages of them, where plainly the typists doing these "reviews" were not allowed to look anywhere near the book itself.
These non-reading "revieweers" are the 8-cent-a-posting shills paid by the Communist Party of China.
They would rewrite history to defend the Red Guards: the mindless service to Mao, the murders, and then the 20- or 30-million girl-murders and forced abortions that followed on, mirroring their barbarity. These deniers would have us believe that apart from bludgeoning Grandfather to death, the Red Guards were Boy Scouts.
Ping Fu's book and these 1984/Animal Farm Customer Comments, taken together, are the stuff of "Night."
To be noted: I have yet to see an Amazon-pages defense for the Schutzstaffel, the SS. I don't read Pat Buchanan, so maybe I'm missing something.
"Bend, Not Break" might get a "C+" in an English composition class. Same as Fred Smith got a "C+" when he wrote up the concept paper for FedEx. This gal Ping Fu, born in 1958, is as tough as an Emperor penguin holding an egg. Of course, read her book.
There is a little more, a link or two and another free excerpt where she becomes parent-in-place for her little sister, below le chignon d'orange.
Little tiny 8-year old Chinese girl gets hijacked by history -- victim of the Red Guards and Mao the Mad Man. And she has a tinier 4-year old sister Hong. With parents snatched, she keeps the both of them alive. Starvation, bad water, rape, forced labor, seeing infanticide and forced abortions of female children, getting to America (I'm guessing the family hid some gold), and building a top-level tech career -- all of it streams past.
Full excerpt is here:
In the early parts it could be "Night."
Here she has been dropped at the university. Her sister, Hong, is 4 and becomes Ping-Ping's responsibility.
"Mama" reflects the truth of the situation.
Suddenly, I heard my nickname being called by a thin and familiar voice. Standing on my tiptoes and stretching my neck long to make myself taller, I struggled to determine where the sound was coming from.
"Ping-Ping!" the voice called again, enabling me to home in on one of the trucks where Red Guards were loading up citizens. Standing there in the truck bed were my Nanjing parents. They furiously nudged their bodies through the crowd to get closer to the edge of the truck bed so that they could wave to me. Their faces were flushed red and drawn tight.
I kept pushing my way toward them through the crowd, but their truck pulled away too quickly. All I caught were a few glimpses of Nanjing Mother, with Nanjing Father's head popping up over her shoulder.
"Ping-Ping, take care of your sister," I heard Nanjing Mother shout as the truck drove off in a cloud of dust.
At their disappearance, I felt numb. My shoulders shook as I doubled over on myself, scared and confused.
That was the first time I felt the falling sensation that was to become so familiar to me over the years. I was falling, falling, and there was no one to catch me. There was no one left here who knew me, and no one to care for me. I got sick to my stomach, nearly vomiting onto the shoes of the people surrounding me.
If only my eighth birthday wish had come true, I thought. If only I could fly. I'd soar like a bird up into the heavens, out of this nightmare, and back home to Shanghai, to my loving mama and siblings and our peaceful home.
The next thing I knew, Red Guards grabbed me and pushed me into a line with other disheveled kids. We walked across the street to the student dormitory area, where a pair of two-story gray concrete buildings stood parallel; not far from them were a scum-filled water canal and a long brick wall. A trail of garbage brought my attention to a soccer field on the west side. This would be my home and neighborhood for the next ten years.
I was handed papers that I couldn't read--the characters were too sophisticated for me. A big, official red stamp decorated the top of each page. Along with several dozen other children who either wept or wore blank expressions, I was escorted up to the second floor of the dormitory. At the top of the stairs, I gazed, terrified, down a long, dark hallway illuminated by a single light bulb that hung by a wire from its socket. Identical rooms lined each side. The door hinges all were smashed, leaving the doors hanging at a slant.
Room 202 was near the stairs. "This is yours," a Red Guard escort told me. "You are forbidden from talking to anyone but your sister." I didn't have time to register what he'd said before he pushed open the creaking door to reveal a four-year-old girl sitting in the middle of a trash-littered room. She was wailing for her mama. A circle of shiny cement surrounded her on the filthy floor. She had flailed there for so long that she had polished it, like a halo, with her clothes, tears, and sweat.
"Mama!" she cried out, reaching her hands out to me.
I recognized her vaguely as Hong. When I had seen my Nanjing parents' little girl during previous visits, I had thought of her as my cousin. Now I realized that Hong was my sister. Still, I wasn't her mother!
In this outstanding testament to the resilience of the human spirit, Ping takes readers on a journey both heartbreaking and inspiring. Eight-year-old Ping is living a privileged life in Shanghai with her intellectual father and loving mother when her world explodes during the Cultural Revolution. With her family seen as an enemy of the state, they are forcibly split up, and Ping is placed in a meager camp with her four-year-old sister. After years of torture as a child, including a brutal gang rape at age 10, Ping is briefly detained after her college thesis on infanticide ends up in the hands of politicians. An exiled Ping immigrates to the U.S. in 1984 with just $80 in her pocket. In 1988, she graduated with a degree in computer science from the University of California at San Diego and worked on the team that created NCSA Mosaic, later known as the Netscape Web browser. Next, Ping and her husband founded Geomagic, a 3D software company, which has counted Mattel and Boeing as its clients. Ping's eloquent prose and remarkable attitude shine through in every word—and her compelling story will remind more than one reader to be thankful for what they have.
Wall Street Journal does a review.
Not quite blind to Murdoch's business interests, WSJ avoids naming infanticide and sex-based abortions as the subject matter that got Ping Fu thrown in jail. They like her entrepreneurial spirit. WSJ is clearly a less valuable moral proposition than the 8-centers.
I recommend "Bend, Not Break: A Life in Two Worlds."
And if you have not read "Night," it comes first in line. Simply, Elie is a great writer. He will set up the moral structure for what you are going to see during the Chinese chapters of "Bend, Not Break." He was older for his Holocaust and it shows. Together these are important books.
Auschwitz-Birkenau and Buchenwald from the inside. And echoes from China in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, still rippling today.
What more could we ask from two books?