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Many books about China's Great Famine of the 1960s
have been published.
Sichuan has reportedly ranked the province
with the most fatalities.
12 million people died in the Great Famine.
In Xingjing County, 50,000 out of a population of 90,000
died of starvation.
At the time, people ate people.
Cannibalism was a common phenomenon.
It was like a hell in the human world.
However, such a serious incident in China's history has never
been reported by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
China-based blog writer Shi Fenggang has done research
in Xingjing County about the Great Famine.
Shi gradually revealed the shocking death figures.
Recently, Shi published articles on canyu.org
about a conversation with a 68-year-old Hu Qingsheng
in Shiyang Township, Tianquan County, Ya'an City.
Hu recalled appalling facts about the Great Famine.
Hu said that he was 14 years old and completely mature
when the "people's commune" launched.
His family belonged to the "Sixth Canteen of Shiyang
Commune Labor Management District."
At the beginning, there was food in the Canteen.
In late 1959, the food diminished more and more
and many people starved to death.
What left the deepest impression on him was when,
in late 1961 his neighbor killed his spouse and ate her.
Then on a boat his neighbor shouted, "Good-bye forever!"
and plunged into the river, drowning himself to death.
Hu says, at the time, the most severe area was not in Tianquan
County, but in Xingjing County and Lushan County.
Xingjing County was the worst.
50,000 out of a population of 90,000 died of starvation.
Hu says that according to his investigation,
he can refute the propaganda which says, "No people died
of starvation in Sichuan, and less than 1 million people died
in the entire country."
Hu believes that, with the passage of time memories
of the three year Great Famine recede into the distance.
Some of the survivors have passed away, some were aging
but rarely did any publicize the facts.
Thus society gradually forgot the incident.
However, as witness and survivor, he takes responsibility
to tell young generations about his experiences of hardship.
Hu collected names of the deceased in the Sixth Canteen
during the three year Great Famine.
The list is a collection of names from the fifth, sixth
and seventh villages in Shiyang Township.
Tie Liu, China-based writer and a "Senior rightist" told NTD
that he was held in a labor camp during the Great Famine.
Tie Liu: "At that time, half the population
in the whole county died.
50% of people survived.
I was in a labor camp at Shatian farm.
My weight went from 60 kilograms to 40-45 kilograms.
In the beginning, one corpse had one designated hole
to be buried in.
Later, a dozen people were buried in one hole.
A friend of mine's job was to bury corpses,
and he buried a dozen people a day.
Some people died of starvation,
it was a common phenomenon."
Frank Dikotter, a Dutch historian and professor
at the University of Hong Kong published a book entitled,
"Mao's Great Famine: The History of China's Most
Devastating Catastrophe, 1958-1962."
The book reveals that 45 million Chinese people died
during the famine years caused by Mao Zedong.
The book won the Samuel Johnson Prize in 2012
Soon, his assistant Zhou Xun, who was born in the 1970s
in Sichuan, wrote another book "The Great Famine in China,
The book was published by Yale University Press.
During Zhous research between 1996 and 2000,
he collected real data from tens of provincial-level
and county-level archive museums.
The data includes the cannibalism tragedy.
The great Chinese famine is still taboo amongst the CCP.
At present, officials are silent or even attempt to cover it up,
and even civilians are reluctant to mention this history.
Many families choose to remain silent although
their members died in the great famine.
Zhou Xun wonders, "Why do the world's people know about
the Holocaust, but few people know about the great famine?
Being a historian, it is my duty, it is very important
to let people in the world know what happened in China."
Although the CCP doesn't want to admit how many millions
of people starved to death during the three year great famine,
Hu Qingsheng's list told us that those people really
had been here in this world, but they died quietly.
Hu hopes the modern Chinese people can be honest
and bravely face history.
He hopes the victims can rest in peace.