Saturday, 24 May 2014

Tiananmen: How Wrong We Were - by Jonathan Mirsky


... ... The next morning, Sunday, June 4, I cycled back to the edge of the square just in time to see soldiers mow down parents of students who had come to look for those who had not returned home and who were feared to have been killed and their bodies burned. While I lay in the grass at the side of the avenue, doctors and nurses from the Peking Union Hospital (where my father had briefly worked in the early Thirties) arrived in an ambulance and in their bloodstained gowns went among the fallen; the soldiers shot them down, too. I managed to fly back to London later that day. Hundreds were shot in the square that night and the following morning, or crushed by tanks, and the shooting up and down the streets and avenues of the capital continued for several days. Long red and gold signs hanging outside buildings that had said, “Support the Students,” were quickly replaced with others proclaiming, “Support the Party.” A decree went out: “No Laughing in Tiananmen Square.” Tank tread-marks scarred the main roads for a year and bullet holes pockmarked the buildings along those roads. Those scars remained until 1990 when the center of capital was scoured clean for the Asian Games. ... ...

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