"Gang of Four"

The founder of the Chinese Communist Party, or the Great Helmsman, as the Soviet press called him, Mao Zedong often appeared in the company of young beauties. Before meeting with Qing, he married three times, the third wife was He Zizhen. This girl proved to be a capable fighter; in the art of shooting she surpassed many men. Having been injured, Zizhen went for treatment in the USSR. Meanwhile, Zedong wasted no time and spent evenings in the company of pretty Jiang Qing (her real name is Lee Shumen). The girl became an actress in 16 years. Escaping from the beatings, she ran away from home and joined the troupe of roving artists. By the 1930s, viewers appreciated her lively, direct style of play; the actress received movie roles. To her came wealth. The girl married an actor who held communist views. In 1933, she joined the Communist Party. Family idyll stopped suddenly: her husband was arrested, the girl fled to Shanghai. Ms. Qing was arrested and spent several months in prison, but was then released. She continued her acting career and played, in particular, in the play “The Doll House” by Henrik Ibsen.

The actress met Mao Zedong in 1937, and the next year they were married. At first, Qing did not show any political ambitions, she practically did not appear in public and worked as an assistant to the Great Helmsman. For 10 years, Mao’s wife did not participate in public life, but over time she began to attend her husband’s lectures and become acquainted with specialized literature. It is curious that the former actress destroyed the details of the biography that could interfere with a successful political career. The family had a daughter. And if earlier, at the dawn of their novel, the leader of the Communist Party reported that Qing could be a spy, now no one would dare to speak out against his spouse.

Poster 1970s. Source: Wikipedia.org

The former actress was one of the initiators of the Cultural Revolution in China. When the Stalin personality cult was exposed in the USSR, comrade Mao's worship in China was brought to the absolute. A cyclist, driving around the streets without a portrait of the leader, could easily be beaten. Mao's huge images looked at the Chinese from everywhere, collections of his quotations were published in millions of copies. Under the pretext of opposing a possible "restoration of capitalism," the head of the Chinese Communist Party launched a "cultural revolution." The goals were set vague - the struggle with the old way of life, remnants of the past and so on. In fact, the leader conceived of cracking down on dissidents, to whom he, in particular, ranked the intelligentsia.

The bookstores were closed, it was forbidden to sell any books except Mao's quotation book, which became a means of not only ideological, but also physical struggle. In addition to the persecution of the intelligentsia, As the Minister of Culture, Qing also dealt with theatrical productions - she staged “revolutionary” plays. Actors and directors perceived these innovations negatively.

Cultural Revolution in China. Source: topwar.ru

After Mao’s death, the widow was arrested on charges of state crimes along with other top party leaders from the “gang of four”. The arrest occurred almost immediately after the death of the Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. Jiang Qing did not admit her guilt. She remained in prison until 1991, by which time she was seriously ill. After the release of freedom committed suicide.

Sources
  1. Image for lead: wikipedia.org
  2. Image for the announcement: zhihu.com
  3. Kulturologia.ru

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