Horror Built by History


How Sujiatun fits into the violent legacy of the Communist regime

By Simon Veazey
Epoch Times UK Staff


Trucks carry condemned prisoners past thousands of spectators who turned up to watch their executions at a stadium in Chengdu, China's southwestern Sichuan province. (AFP/Getty Images)

How could human beings create and sustain an abomination such as the concentration camp at Sujiatun? For those of us living in normal free societies, its very existence beggars belief. What kind of society can give birth to such horror?

The camp at Sujiatun has been in existence since 2001, according to one eyewitness. But its real foundations go back much further—laid through 50 years of tyranny under the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)

Over the last half-century, the CCP's numerous mechanisms of persecution and control have thrust their roots deep into the minds of the Chinese people and into China's culture and social structure. To try to understand the horrors of Sujiatun—and the persecution of Falun Gong—from the perspective of the present alone doesn't tell the whole story.

The violent, open mass-slaughter of the political movements such as the Great Cultural Revolution that tore through China may have passed, but they have moulded and shaped the culture and even the mindset of Chinese people into a mechanism of persecution itself that remains to this day. Indeed, such restructuring of the society was arguably the ultimate goal these campaigns.

To describe the mechanisms of persecution and control developed by the CCP in brief is impossible. The CCP's perfection of espionage, deception, propaganda, information control, incitement to hatred, killing, etc. are each a vast topic in its own right.

Perhaps the most obvious mechanism to understand in the case of Sujiatun is the mechanism of killing. Examining the CCP's history of killing, the horrors of Sujiatun remain shocking—but come as no surprise.

Sixty to eighty million people have died of unnatural causes under the CCP. For the CCP, killing is in the blood. Chairman Mao once gave the following order: "In rural areas, to kill the reactionaries, there should be over 1/1000 of the total population killed…in the cities, it should be less than 1/1000."

In his book Enemy Within , Father Raymond J. De Jaegher tells the story of some Chinese children led to the local square from school during the Sino-Japanese war. After they are gathered together, the Teacher is ordered to make the children sing. But this is not an occasion of entertainment—it is a public execution. The children's singing turns to screams as the first head rolls. The teacher tries to keep the singing going. When all thmarked for death have been executed, the soldiers cut open the victims and pull out their hearts.

The real purpose of such executions and the presence of the children was not to remove from society those elements that threatened the CCP. Its real purpose was to lay the foundations of terror deep in the psyche of the Chinese people. Public slaughters were by no means uncommon during the first decade or so of Communist rule.

The other purpose was to numb people to the horrors of murder and violence. To turn them to violent revolutionaries, unmoved by the sight and thought of murder and gushing blood.

Father De Jaegher goes on to add that after this occasion, he often saw children being forced to watch killings. The gruesome spectacle—which on the first time had made the children vomit and turn grey—eventually became a normal event to them, and they became numb to the killings. Some would even become excited about the prospect.

Killing under the CCP has often appeared random, irrational and without pattern. This was deliberate. Unpredictable, irrational, random killing is the most terrifying. It is the most effective means to control people through fear. Never knowing who could become the next target of the next movement, people only worried about surviving.

The Chinese people have become self-censoring. The generation brought up to witnesses the full-blown, open terror of the political movements in China is now the generation who would form the workers and doctors in hospitals like the ones attached to Sujiatun. With their thinking tempered by years of propaganda and the horrific memories branded onto their psyche, the first response to a hint of trouble, hearing rumours or witnessing things is reflexive and almost subconscious—say nothing and stay out of trouble.

The CCP's history holds horrors equal to those of Sujiatun. The following extract from Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party describes the most repulsive killing of all: cannibalism.

"Veteran killers had gained experience in how to remove hearts and livers while the victim was still alive, and they taught others, refining their techniques to perfection. For example when cutting open a living person, the killers only needed to cut a cross on the victim's belly, step on his body (if the victim was tied to a tree, the killers would bump his lower abdomen with the knee) and the heart and other organs would just fall out. The head killer was entitled to the heart, liver and genitals while others would take what was left. These grand yet dreadful scenes were adorned with flying flags and slogans."

Referring to incidents 40 years in the past, perhaps such passages no longer seem relevant. At first impression, present day China does indeed give the impression that it has shaken off its heritage of butchery. But the reality is that it is still the same CCP in power. And its nature has not changed.

It is not moral restraint which holds the CCP back from mass campaigns of slaughter—it is sheer pragmatism. After half a century of terror, the CCP has intimidated the Chinese people to the point that they are obedient to its will and there is no longer any need for such campaigns. The CCP also needs money from the human rights-conscious West. The CCP's bloodlust and capacity for slaughter remain the same: it is just half-dormant, played out behind the closed doors of concentration camps such as Sujiatun.

For those who have come to understand the nature and history of the Chinese Communist Party, the news about Sujiatun was not beyond belief. In the words of Chinese human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng: "Don't be a bit surprised that the CCP established such a place, especially for those who have experienced or witnessed its crimes. There is nothing it would not do. Even exterminating a whole group seems reasonable to the CCP."


Mar 23,2006
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