"Laogai Research Foundation" Harry Wu Signed Book Page For Sale

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"Laogai Research Foundation" Harry Wu Signed Book Page:

Up for sale the"Laogai Research Foundation" Harry Wu Signed Book Page

Harry Wu(Chinese:吴弘达;pinyin:Wú Hóngdá; February 8, 1937 – April 26, 2016) was aChinese-Americanhuman rights activist. Wu spent 19 years in Chinese labor camps, and he became a resident and citizen of the United States. In 1992, he founded theLaogai Research Foundation. Wu was born into an affluent family inShanghai; his father was a banking official and his mother had descended from a family of well-to-dolandlords. Wu studied at theGeology Institute in Beijing, where he earned a degree. In 1956, theCommunist Partybegan a campaign encouraging citizens, particularly students and intellectuals, to express their true views of the Party and the state of society (known as theHundred Flowers Campaign). Although cautious, Wu eventually voiced some sentiments, by disagreeing with theSoviet Union's armed crackdown in Hungary, and the practice of labeling people into different categories.By the Fall of 1956, China's leader, Mao Zedong abruptly reversed course and proclaimed that the true enemies of the Party had been exposed and 19-year-old Wu was subsequently singled out at his university. Wu later wrote of this experience: "This was the first time I had ever been singled out as a political troublemaker. Most of my classmates were more pragmatic than I, and they just repeated what the Communists wanted to hear." For the next few years, Wu was continuously criticized in Party meetings and closely monitored until his arrest in 1960 at the age of 23 when he was charged with being a "counterrevolutionary rightist", and was sent to thelaogai(China's system of forced-labor prison camps). Harry Wu was imprisoned for 19 yearsin 12 different camps mining coal, building roads, clearing land, and planting and harvesting crops. According to his own accounts, he was beaten, tortured and nearly starved to death, and witnessed the deaths of many other prisoners from brutality, starvation, and suicide. In the camps Wu met a rough, illiterate peasant with the nickname, "Big Mouth Xing". Wu wrote, "I could see how Big Mouth Xing had gotten his name. The corners of his mouth seemed to stretch all the way to his ears."[4]Xing had experienced a lot of starvation in life, first in his rural village, and later in the camps, and had become obsessed with getting enough food. Lean and muscular, with missing teeth and ears that "looked black with dirt",Xing taught Wu how to fight for survival in the camps. He showed Wu how to dig for underground rat burrows in order to find clean caches of grain and beans which could then later be boiled for food to avoid starvation.He also taught Wu how to be aggressive to discourage bullies. Wu came from an urban, educated background and was naive. Xing often repeated to Wu, "Nobody here will take care of you. You have to take care of yourself." Wu later wrote: I was twenty-three, a college graduate raised in an affluent, urban family, and a political criminal. Xing Jingping, three years younger than I, was a peasant from a starving village, a thief with no education and no political viewpoint. The gulf between us was vast, yet I grew to admire him as the most capable and influential teacher of my life.Wu was released from his life sentence in 1979 at the age of 42, as a result of political changes following the death ofMao Zedong. He obtained a teaching position at the Geoscience University in Beijing, but found that the label of having been apolitical prisonercontinued to follow him.Wu also found that those who had played a part in labeling him "an enemy of the people", leading to his imprisonment twenty years earlier, tended to react to his survival and return the same way: "All that has happened is in the past ... the Party has suffered too."Wu left China for the United States in 1985, after having received a chance invitation from theUniversity of California at Berkeleyto be a visiting scholar. (A faculty member at Berkeley had read an article that Wu had written in an academic journal on geology).

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