Saturday, September 24, 2011

Longhua Martyrs Memorial (9/25/2011)

Saturday, September 24, 2011
Today we had lunch at Spicy Joint on Caoxi Road. We had to take a number and wait. The menu looked like a glossy magazine. We had spicy lamb and eggplant:
Nearly half the eggplant dish is hot peppers!
We walked north on Caoxi Road to IKEA to shop. The beds looked like there had been a wild slumber party the previous night! Here people lounge on the entrance display:

Sunday, September 25, 2011
We headed to the Longhua Martyrs Memorial. We had tried to go once before, but they would not let me in wearing flip flops. Today I made sure to wear shoes.
Laundry along Longshui road:
The entrance and "Red Rock" at Longhua Martyrs Memorial.
This large park opened in July 1995 to commemorate the heroes of the People's Republic of China. It is built on the site of the Songhu Security Headquarters of the Kuomintang, with its prison for communist revolutionaries.
I'll call this the Spirit Path, but of course the Chinese are not religious, so there are no statues of animals, etc.:
However, the avenue is lined with huge Chinese junipers.
The first of many monumental sculptures, this one comes in two parts:
Titled "Independence, Democracy, Liberation, Construction," it was made by sculptor Yushan Ye.
Simply called the "Monument:"
This inscription reads "Red Heart Fresh Blood for the People," a quote written by Jiang Zemin (Secretary of the Shanghai Municipal Party Committee who headed the efforts to build the memorial, and later became President of PRC 1993-2003) in 1990.
The Memorial Museum:
The museum contained photographs and some artifacts of the over 500 martyrs who now rest here. Martyrs included those who lost their lives in the War of Japanese Aggression and later incidents. There were martyrs who fought in the War to Resist U.S. Aggression and Aid Korea (1950-1953)/Korean War. Some of the martyrs died in 1981. Research shows that 154 Chinese martyrs died in capturing Mount Faka on the Vietnam-Chinese border in 1981, when China attacked Vietnam in retaliation for Vietnam overthrowing the CPC-backed Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.
The Tomb of the Unknown Martyr with an Eternal Flame, and the "Unknown Martyr" sculpture:
This sculpture was done by He Pan.
Members of the SSSC were practicing marching in groups of ten:
The Shanghai Security Service Corporation (SSSC) offers guard and security services to the government and private companies. These guys (and girl with the red tie) still needed a lot of practice!
Around a small hill, you could still see the "Unknown Martyr!"
The graves of the known martyrs:
I was fascinated by the tops of the Chinese junipers:
The Memorial Hall:
This building was not open to visitors and may be used for special events.
A quiet spot:
"Aggression With One Mind" sculpture:
Cascading fountain:
Uh, oh, another hand in the air:
"The Massacre on May 30th" sculpture:
By sculptor Keqing Wang. On May 30, 1925 students and others held anti-imperialist demonstrations on Nanjing Road, and 15 ringleaders were arrested by the police. A crowd gathered to demand the release of the prisoners and they started overrunning the police station. The police fired into the crowd, killing 6 (or 9 or 11) and hospitalizing 14 (or 40) and wounding many more.
"Dancing for the Loyal Soul:"
Sculpture by Xunfa Liu.
The Steles Garden:
Steles are the stone tablets with inscriptions.
"Martyrs Who Died on April 12:"
The Shanghai Massacre of April 12, 1927 came after the joint declaration of the Kuomintang and the Communist Party of China agreeing to cooperate. On April 11th Chiang Kai-shek secretly ordered the purge of Communists and on April 12th members of the Army disarmed the workers' militias, killing more than 300. This incident was the start of the civil war (1927-1949).
A peek into the prison museum shows the typical photo and artifact displays:
Most artifacts were letters, papers, and books, but also included seals/chops, eyeglasses, watches, pens, wallets, coats and scarves.
A prison transport:
Detention Hall:
Corridor to the men's cells:
Men's cell:
(There were only two women of the 24 martyrs, kept in a separate building.)
Underground tunnel:
It is not clear whether prisoners were taken through a tunnel, or if this was built to bypass private property.
The tunnel leads to the execution ground:
"Sacrificing in Longhua:"
Sculpted by Yonghao Zhang. In 1950, the remains of 24 martyrs were discovered buried in the execution ground of the prison. They had been secretly killed and buried in a mass grave, apparently on February 7, 1931. One artifact was a woolen vest with bullet holes and bloodstains. Also handcuffs and leg chains.
"Young Heroes" sculpture:
By Souren Tang.
"Liberating Shanghai:"
Sculpture by Gukui Chen.
We are not sure why the sculptures include all these buff Soviet -types, when they were made by Chinese sculptors and in an age past the strong Soviet influence.
On our way back to the Metro station, Kent stands beneath a large tooth:
marking a dentist's office on Longshui Road.

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