Depictions of Proud Revolutionaries, Men and Women from all corners of the Nation who carried the banner for their Chairman and Leader Mao. (Photo November 2003).
View of the closed Gate and empty North Face of Mao's Monument with details of fencing and communist statues of workers and soldiers united under the banner of the Communist Party.
View of the empty North Face of Mao's Monument clearly showing the security camera's which always keep a big brother-like watch at Mao Mausoleum and the National Square of Tian'AnMen.
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Close-Up of the Peasants, Workers and Soldiers - peoples from all walks of life, United under the Banner of Socialism and the Communist Party of Mao Zedong.
One of the especially plain uniformed members of the designated Guard Detail of the Mausoleum on a lonely watch outside the North Facade in 2003.
The whole complex building of the Mao Zedong Memorial Hall is inspired by the turbulent Life of Mao Zedong and the great successes of the Communist Party and the Nation of China under his Leadership. As a Memorial to his war-time travels and many battles fought throughout nearly all provinces of the Nation, for his unification of Chinese hearts for a common goal and for the inspiration he carried to all corners of the new Nation of the Peoples Republic of China, materials were used from many regions and places. It is said that common peoples from all over China participated in the design of this Memorial, which is true although a lot of them only performed symbolic actions like handling bricks.
After his Death in 1976 AD, a fitting Monument had to be bestowed in Memory of this Greatest Political Leader of China in Centuries. Not only had Mao Zedong been Chairman of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China from 1943 AD onwards, and had been the Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China from 1945 AD until his Death. No, this was a Great Leader who had United the Nation under one common cause and flag to fight against Foreign Domination, the Japanese and against the wrongs of Chinese Feudal Society. At least that is roughly how things are held even today in the official party line of the history of the new China created by Mao and his Communist Party.
As such, even during his life time, Mao Zedong could compare himself directly to
Apart from using rare and expensive materials from all over the Nation and having a complicated inner mechanism involved in the optimum preservation and exclusively lighted display of Mao's Body, the Mausoleum has a Guard Detail assigned exclusively to the protection of this National Monument. Guards are found inside the Building at regular intervals and stand outside the building as an Honorary Guard to the Chairman's Shrine. The exterior of the Building is Grandiose yet Solemn, surrounded by large and magnificent statues depicting and commemorating the many nameless brethren of the Revolution that Mao fought with and later had under his Command.
As described by discussions of the Communist Party itself during the Rise of Deng XiaoPing and the resulting denouncement of Hua GuoFeng who had been Party Secretary at Interim as it would turn out, total costs of the construction of the Mao Zedong Mausoleum were
According to a so far unique publication on the subject by China Pictorial in 1977 AD one of the few publications that have ever dealt in depth with the construction and architecture of the Mao Zedong memorial Hall, among the materials used are granite from Sichuan Province, porcelain plates from Guangdong Province, and pine trees from Yan'an, Shaanxi Province and so on, representing both all Provinces of the new Chinese Nation and the significant places as witnessed by Mao during his life and career.
Yan'An was the remote home of the War Time legendary headquarters of the resilient Communist Party established at the end of the Long March in 1936, a place were Mao lived for years, the red armies facing off against Japanese and mostly Chiang Kai Shek.
It was at Yanan in the arid Ordos desert of north Shaanxi Province surrounded by ruined sections of the Great Wall of China and the great bend of the Yellow River, where Mao eventually met and married his 3rd wife Jiang Qing (Li Shumeng a.k.a. the Shanghai actress Lan Ping (Blue Apple)), and where he wrote his greatest political works.
It was however also the place where Mao first established and perfected a regime of terror, which would later come to ravage the nation and its very soul, all crimes of which Jiang Qing and her Gang would later
Abandoned and closed North Facade of Mao Zedong Memorial Hall on a sunny but cold afternoon in November 2003.
Among the other memorable construction materials also earth from the quake-stricken Tangshan, the city hit and destroyed by a devastating magnitude 7.8 sized earthquake at 3:42 am on July 28, 1976 only weeks before Mao's Death leading to the death of well over a 100 thousand and the toppling of housing in the Houhai Area while shaking the already ailing new Emperor in his bed at Zhongnanhai.
(Mao was rushed to safety in the only quake proof building available the No. 51 building).
Further items merged with the shrine building, color pebbles from Nanjing - the old Ming Dynasty Capital and home of the United National Government of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen as well as the conquered base of the loathed KuoMinTang National Government defeated in 1949 AD, and milky quartz from the Kunlun Mountains - the Taoist Mythical Paradise.
Still other construction materials and elements used include pine logs from Jiangxi Province - the Province where Mao had helped build a First Communist Base Area and Government and from where the
A last noteworthy detail to complete the shrine and mausoleum building of the Grand National Hero has been provided through the use of Water and Sand extracted from the Taiwan Straits, again at considerable expense.
At Mao's Death, the only remaining part of the Nation that had not been "re-united with the motherland", as Mao used to put it, was the island of Taiwan. It was Mao's unfulfilled dream to have the island base and refuge of his main opponent liberated.
In 1953 Mao had already been at the sea-side at BeidaHe proclaiming "We must Liberate the Island of Taiwan" and, according to his body guard(s), in later Life, when at the sea-side Mao's eyes would often dwell on the Horizon as if searching for the Island of Taiwan and a way to regain it. Even the defeated Chiang Kai-Shek had agreed, Taiwan is "an inalienable part of China", but the island nation remained de facto independent and always just out of reach. Mao's artillery corps had bombarded its outermost islands but, especially with American protection, it was factually impossible to take, a hated last bastion and fortress of Imperialism on the new China's doorstep and a missing part of the envisioned unified motherland.
To make a point, the sands and waters from the Taiwan Straits were used to symbolically emphasize this Dream and Wish of reunification with Taiwan (under Communist Party Rule), and of course to subtly affirm the People's Republic of China's claims to
As a result of various materials used and the wasting of funds on various ploys to symbolically involve The Peoples in the Construction and design of this Grand Memorial, the construction of the mausoleum of Mao cost ten times more than that of the Great Hall of the People, even with price adjustments calculated in.
Dwell around the North Face to have a look at the Gargantuan Stone Carvings declaring with Pride the Success of the Chinese Communist Revolution and/or have your picture taken in front of the impressive North Facade guarded by Plain Uniformed Guardians of the Revolution.
It is a coming and going of visitors and camera's here as this is the favorite photo-op on the large yet often crowded Tian'An Men Square.
To visit, Line up at the Eastern Flank of the Mao Zedong Memorial Hall.
Life and Achievements of Mao Zedong
Mao was born on December 26Th 1893 AD and grew up as the son of peasants in a remote city village in Hunan Province. After an active life as a young political thinker in his native home - among things enlisted in the Army during the 1911 AD National Revolution to fight on the side of the Revolution, Mao saw his Rise to political and historical greatness start in earnest with his travels to and stay in Beijing.
Grandiose Stone Carved Statue's decorating Mao's Monument .
by revolutionary thoughts and many were inspired by the success of the Communist Revolution in neighboring Russia. From Beijing onwards developments would move swiftly, with Mao Zedong always at the forefront of Revolutionary Action. Through his participation in political developments brewing at Beijing University Mao Zedong had become a radical thinker, one of many in the New Nation arising from the ashes of failed Feudal Rule.
Mao went on to be among the founding Members of the Communist Party of China, established during the First Session of the National Committee of the Communist Party of China in July of 1921 AD in Shanghai.
Through the years 1921 to 1924 AD Mao moved swiftly up in rank, already becoming one of the five main Commissars of the Party Central Committee in 1923 AD, receiving his assignment back to his native Hunan Province in order to organize and sustain
his own party branch of the Communist Party in Hunan (at the Time the Communist were still a part of the larger National Party Chinese KuoMinTang), and become a Delegate to the First KuoMinTang National Congress in Shanghai in 1924 AD.
Although Mao certainly was not in a position of moral leadership or authority within the core of the Communist Party which was strictly under guidance from "Moscow" (Joseph Stalin and the ComIntern), this short stint in Hunan did provide him the opportunity to strike out for himself and learn a few basic lessons that would come to serve him greatly in the future. Among things Mao learned that the multitude of Chinese were ignorant peasants, who were powerless but by the many millions. He also learned that the peasants would follow anyone who would reward them and take up their case against the corruption of the rich and powerful, of land-owners and money lenders. Crucially Mao also learned the exhilaration of Revolutionary violence and the brutal techniques of intimidation practiced by street thugs and common criminals. Intimidation and murder worked to overpower those who had doubts, which was a lesson which would be put to its use many times over in the coming decennia throughout China. That revolutions needed to be violent and were "No Tea Party" would later often be proclaimed by Mao, and it would be a commonly held view encouraged in the "Red Guards" during the ultra-leftist, fascist and destructive "Cultural Revolution" Era (1958 - Officially 1966 - September 1976).
Furthermore, apart from learning the techniques of revolt, intimidation and thuggery, Mao Zedong was finally able to establish his own party group, which could later serve as his alternative center of political thought and leadership. In due time, over many years, Mao Zedong would build this Hunan Party Branch into his own power-clique to serve his political goals and idea's for a new China, naturally - he felt- under his leadership.
During the May the 4Th Protest of 1919 AD Mao traveled to Beijing with his high school teacher and benefactor Professor Yang Changji, a Man who held a faculty position at the University and who arranged for Mao to be in an important position for further developments in his Life. Before all of that could occur however Mao briefly lived in a shared dwelling in Doufuchi (Beancurd Pond) Hutong Lane not far from the ancient Beijing Bell Tower. As another, more miniature and less visited shrine to Mao Zedong this building can still be visited today although all nearby Hutong lanes are now to be considered endangered under the rule of a new zealous Communist Party leadership (Aug. 2014).
Not only did Mao marry the Professors Daughter (Yang Kaihui), with whom he lived elsewhere in
Apart from having his Job at the Library Mao became a part-time student of the University, mainly engaging himself in readings on political thought and theory, and taking lectures from famous intellectuals of the time, Chen Duxiu, Hu Shi, and Qian Xuantong. It was here, during a tense, sometimes dangerous time in the City, that Mao was introduced to the idea's of Communism through works of Marx and Lenin. The Chinese Nation was stirred throughout
Soundbonus: The Red Army misses Mao Zedong, from the Revolutionary Modern Opera "The East is Red".
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Further building Mao Zedong's already inflated legend even after his death, the Communist Party of an at the time poverty stricken China spared virtually no expense to include more significant and symbolic materials for both building and myth. Among other materials used in the construction of Mao Zedong Mausoleum were saw-wort seeds brought to Beijing from the forever snow-capped Tian Shan
Although Mao never reached as far west as that (he only skirted eastern Tibet), this fact was more or less over-ruled by the important notion of all Chinese Communist Leaders that Mao Zedong had reconstituted the dead Manchurian Empire of the Qing Dynasty (1644 AD - 1911 AD), replacing it with a new Communist and Han led "Dynasty" of sorts, hopefully to last forever.
As the Tianshan Mountains represented the Western Most Borders of the New Nation established under Mao items from there had to be included into the holy shrine of what amounted to Mao the Immortal.
after Mao's death conveniently be blamed for as a monster.
In Yanan, the Leadership surviving the epified Long March regrouped, gather their strength and new recruits, and in essence - through their very own style of rule and manipulations- forged the unified army of workers and peasants that would later become victorious against the main opponent in the game for China as a whole, the Kuomintang Nationalist Party.
In Yanan also. Mao and the Communist Party evolved to become the destroyer of lives, livelihoods and culture, and where political lies were perfected until they became truths.
Many of these so called truths later became of what can be seen as China's new national faith Maoism which still, to quite some extend forms the core of Chinese political thinking as part of the official historic legacy of the Communist Party.
When it came to brutality and drastic action destroying culture, Mao could and can compare to Emperor Qin, who as most people will know was responsible for massive manpower consuming public works such as diversion of the Yellow River (Huang He) and more well known the creation of the first version of the Great Wall of China out of mud. That Emperor Qin was willing to pay the price of enslaving an entire nation in order to complete his chosen goal an entire nation fascinated Mao Zedong, who at several moments in history referred to the brutal Emperor Qin. At other times Mao famously downplayed the notorious book burnings supposedly performed on orders of the Qing Emperor and about the killing of 100's of Confucian Scholars by the same man, Mao boasted that the matter was nothing as the Communist Party led by him had executed no less than 10 thousand of the well educated and were about to kill some more (he never mentioned the many who went before them under the rise of the Communist Party).
When the subject of Poetry arises Mao Zedong might -in ways- compare himself to the Kangxi Emperor, who was a truly prolific poet leaving a multitude of poems, phrases and verses strewn throughout his Imperial Provinces. Possibly, Mao might also have hoped that the longevity of the reign of this Emperor might reflect down positively upon his own person and rule over "the masses" of the Peoples Republic.
Mao famously wrote and left poems, documenting among things scenery and events during the Long March (1934 AD - 1935/36 AD).
Mao Zedong in front of the now famed cave houses of Yanan in the loess hills of the Yellow River basin in Shaanxi Province.
On the north side, facing the largest part of Tiananmen Square, the Pillared monument to the Heroes of the Revolution and the Gate of Heavenly Peace far behind it two massive sets of statues depict the revolutionary soldiers, workers and peasants who united under the flag of Chinese styled Marxism-Leninism marched to victory in the revolution to free China from the yokes of colonialism and capitalism.
legendary Long March had departed. Last but not least notable, in another claim to Empire rather than strict National Chinese borders the building decorations include rock samples from Mount Everest, the Top of the Earth in Tibet Autonomous Region, a part of the larger peaceful Nation of Tibet invaded in 1951 under the direct knowledge, planning, guidance and control of Mao Zedong (or those directly responsible to him and reporting via his desk first) and "United with the Motherland" to put in the drippingly euphemistic language of that era.
Beijing. More importantly, still through the recommendations of his older Friend the Professor who was now his father in law, Mao was employed as a Library worker at the renowned Beijing University, a bulwark of political thought and activities. Accepting the position brought Mao in contact with new people and circulated among ranks he had previously never encountered. Although apparently, Mao would feel ignored and put down at times by the high intellectuals of the University circles (some of whom entirely ignored his presence), it was the beginning of a period of great learning in all respects.
In Beijing , regarded as the intellectual Capital of the ailing Chinese Empire annex emerging Nation, the now famed Li Dazhao, together with other renowned intellectuals co-founder of the New Cultural
The 1976 earthquake laid waste to the city of Tangshan and surrounding villages situated just a 100 kilometers east of Beijing in adjacent Hebei Province. The occurring of the quake was generally taken as an ill omen in an already paranoid political situation in the Nation. Behold, only weeks later the Communist Emperor was dead and China entered a new Era remarkably different from the one lived by Mao Zedong.
A now historic and often recalled image of Mao Zedong riding on horseback among his footsoldiers during the later stages of the Long March in 1935 AD. Although a humiliating retreat with a huge human toll, by virtue of speech alone Mao managed to turn it into a great victory, an epic march that would only form the very beginning of the march of the Chinese peasants on power in China. An enormous and memorable feat, the Long March still speaks to the imagination of many of the younger generations and following in the footsteps of Mao (and the marchers of the Red Army) is a popular way of doing pilgrimmage. Yanan, its ending point, is a popular tourist destination.
staggering, especially taken the economic of the impoverished albeit thanks to Mao nuclear armed, peasant nation of the time.
The overrunning costs affair, as with other perceived faults of Hua, was turned into quite the public scandal, the aim of which mostly to make possible the removal of Hua Guofeng to be replaced by Deng Xiaoping, the man Mao had often counted on for doing the various dirty jobs in his home Province of Sichuan and who was equally guilty as Mao of all the atrocities that had taken place since the earliest days of the Communist Base in Yanan.
Deng, the old Long March survivor, (in)famously three times removed by Mao prior, was no match for the virtually inexperienced ad-Interim Party Secretary with only a Provincial base. As was chosen Hua had served his purpose of filling the gap appearing after the orchestrated counter-coup of the core following of Mao after his death in September of 76.
The move by Deng Xiaoping was turned into the "Fall of the Gang of Four" for convenience, squarely putting the blame of all previous suffering of the people and party on the least powerful and most resented, Mao Zedong's estranged wife Jiang Qing and a few cronies. In the process, by having Hua as Party Secretary of the time, Hua was made historically responsible for the coup performed on orders of Deng. Although one may question the legality of all political processes in the Mao Era, lasting well after his death in fact, one may be certain that the removal of Jiang Qing was a political plot rather than a process of Justice. The plot had been hatched by Deng and his associates at least many months before Mao had died.
Much later, with calm having returned to the Nation after the death of the Great Helsman and the decapitation of his remaining Government the real Leadership would emerge with Deng Xiaoping.
People flock about in Tiananmen Square in sight of the Mao Zedong Memorial Hall during a dangerously air polluted day in December 2013 while a detail of the abundant armed ceremonial guards look on creating a classic scne of the Square of Heavenly Peace.
There was however much resistance among hardliners against the new economic liberizations proposed and put through by Deng, asking for a further transitional period. Eventually, with a much broader political support among both the army and the high ranking party cadres Deng moved Hua Guofeng easily out of the way by 1980. His political career was over in effect, although the Deng side breaking with Mao Era tradition did not have him stripped of rank and sent to one of the Labor Camps then still active throughout the lands. Hua never emerged a driving force in the politics of the Peoples Republic again. As a result of the propaganda campaigns of the Deng Era, most Chinese today hold Hua Guofeng to have been a useless person, the least important high up politician in recent historic events of the now past century.
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ultimate Sovreignty over the Island Nation of Taiwan, an issue which remains high on the agenda of the Communist Party of China and its leadership even today in the year 2014.
Former Residences of Mao Zedong and other Mao related sites in Beijing :
Former Residences of Mao Zedong are in the correct order of Time; His 1st modest quarters at Beancurd Pond Lane, secondly Mao Zedong Former Residence in Caishikou, now the Hunan Guild Hall. Much later upon his victorious return to Beijing Mao and other Leaders resided in the Fragrant Hills before moving on to Zhongnanhai in the Xicheng District.
Of the many Mao Zedong related sites the first and foremost might be Mao Zedongs personal train parked at the China National Railway Museum in northwest Chaoyang. Equally thrilling and ever popular the so called Beijing Underground City, a Mao Zedong inspired underground complex built in the 1960s to have Beijing citizens survive a direct nuclear attack and aftermath.