A Great Story of a Tiananmen Survivor
From: IN%"Poli-Sci@dartagnan.rutgers.edu" 21-JUN-1989 14:52:31.61
Subj: Poli-Sci Digest V9 #13
From: Charles McGrew
Subject: Poli-Sci Digest V9 #13
Poli-Sci Digest Wednesday, 21 Jun 1989 Volume 9 : Issue 13
Today's Topics: China (2 msgs)
Subject: A Great Story of a Tiananmen Survivor (long)
Date: 11 Jun 89 00:21:36 GMT
The following story appeared in a Mandarin language newspaper
called, "The World Daily Newspaper." Translated to English, we
found it very touching and post it here without the author's
It was told to the editor, Jao Jiang Ching, by an anonymous survivor of the Tiananmen
Square Massacre. Many thanks to them for sharing with us this great story.
Mitchell N. Perilstein
MURDER IN TIANAMEN SQUARE:
A TRUE STORY TOLD BY A SURVIVING STUDENT î
[We received this story last night, so we had little time to
translate it accurately into English. We wish all of you can still
grasp the truth, despite our translation mistakes. Please post and
pass on this information. - Translators]
I am a student from Tsing Hua University in Beijing. I am
twenty years old. On the early morning of June 4th, I was sitting on
the stairs of the Monument of the Peoples' Heroes. I witnessed the
entire event of the army shooting at the peacefully sitting students
Several of my classmates had been shot to death; my clothes
are still stained with their blood. I want to tell about the whole
event as a survivor and a witness. I want to tell peace loving people
all over the world about the shootings that occurred.
ARMY REFUSED ATTEMPT BY STUDENTS TO SURRENDER WEAPONS
Honestly speaking, by the afternoon of June 3rd, we had
already heard the news that the army was really going to clear out
Tiananmen Square and crack down on demonstrators, because there was an
anonymous person who called to a public phone on a small street near
the square at 4:00 in the afternoon. This person, on the phone,
clearly told us that the army would move into Tiananmen Square very
soon. We were very much alarmed by this news. We had an emergency
meeting, in which we tried to take necessary precautions to avoid
bloodshed and killings.
At that time, we had 23 machine guns and some fire bombs. We
captured these from the soldiers who were beating us during the two
previous days. The University Students Union decided that in order to
show the principles of the non-violent democratic movement, we would
immediately surrender those weapons to the army. In the evening,we
contacted the army under Chairman Mao's Picture, and the officer said that he
had orders not to accept the weapons.
After failing this, at 1:00 in the morning, the situation had
already become very dangerous and tense. So the students destroyed the
weapons by smashing the machine guns, and pouring the gasoline out of
the fire bombs; preventing the government from accusing students of
STUDENTS STILL HAD HOPE
After that, the university student union, through megaphones,
told everyone that the situation was very serious, and that it
probably difficult to avoid bloodshed. So they advised the students
and citizens to leave Tiananmen Square. But there were still forty to
fifty thousand students and about one hundred thousand citizens who
insisted on staying in the square to continue the demonstration. I
was one of them.
Even now I can remember. The atmosphere was very tense.
For all the young students, it was the first time in their lives that
they confronted such a dangerous and serious situation. They would be
lying if they said they were not afraid. But all of us were already
prepared psychologically for this. Of course, there were some
students who believed that the army would not really shoot to kill us.
All in all, at that moment we were afraid, but there was a very noble,
spiritual feeling to support us -- it is worthwhile for us to
sacrifice our lives for the democracy and freedom in China.
After two tanks quickly rolled through the square, the
situation got more and more serious. The government repeatedly
broadcasted through the square. Helmeted soldiers, packed densely,
moved into the square from all directions. In the dark, we could see
on the top of the History Museum unhidden machine guns pointed at
people. At that time, all the students packed up around the Monument
of the Peoples' Heroes. Then, I counted in heart, among the students,
two-thirds boys, one third girls, and thirty percent of the students
were from Beijing, but mostly from other cities. At exactly 4:00in
the morning, suddenly, all the lights in the square went off. The
government broadcasted one more time orders to clear the square.In
the dark, I felt very nervous and tense. As if there was a voice
repeating over and over again, "The moment has come, the moment has
MORE THAN TEN MACHINE GUNS IN A ROW
At that time, there was a famous singer, Ho Deu Chien. He and
some other people negotiated with the army to let the students leave
the square peacefully. But at 4:40, when the students were about to
leave the square, at that moment, red flares crossed the sky one by
one. Immediately, the lights were turned on over the entire square.
I saw that the area right in front of the square was packed with
soldiers. From the Great Hall of the People was quickly emerging
another army, wearing camouflage uniforms and gas masks, and holding
machine guns. But here I want to jump to another topic. On June
third, around 6:00 in the evening, we negotiated with an army officer
near the West gate of the Great Hall of the People. He said they were
not the army who would make direct contact with the students. The army
who will make the contact will be the army from Szechuan Province,and
they promised that they would not shoot at students. But now,maybe,
those soldiers running out are from Szechuan Province. These
soldiers, once outside, immediately put down more than ten machine
guns in a row, pointed at the students. As soon as the machine guns
were in place, soldiers and police moved forward with electric rods
and other weapons I couldn't name. They moved forward, beating their
way through the students, cutting a path towards the monument. I
witnessed forty to fifty students with blood running down their face.
At this moment, soldiers and tanks, previously waiting outside the
square, began surrounding the students. The tanks formed a large
circle around the students, only leaving one opening, in the direction
of the History Museum.
POLICE AND SOLDIERS BEGAN SHOOTING
When the soldiers and police, who were beating their way
through the students, reached the monument, they destroyed our
broadcasting devices, printing equipment, and our drinks. Then they
started beating students down, away from the monument. We were just
sitting there, hand in hand, singing the international song, and
shouting, "The People's Army shouldn't beat the people!" But
eventually, under the rain of beating, we had to surrender the
monument. At this moment, the machine guns started. Some soldiers
were on one their knees, spraying their machine guns back and forth.
The bullets were whistling by our heads. Other soldiers were lying on
the ground, shooting right at students' chests and heads. In this
situation, we had to retreat back up to the monument again. As soon
as we reached the stairs of the monument, machines guns stopped,but
the soldiers who were at the top began to beat us down again. Once we
were on the ground, the machine guns started again.
At this time, the workers and the civilians could not contain
their anger anymore. Holding bottles and wooden sticks, they ran
toward the army. At this moment, the university student union ordered
people to leave the square. It was not yet 5:00 am.
STEPPING ON DEAD BODIES TO BREAK THROUGH THE TANKS
And then, lots of students tried to run towards the opening
left by the tanks which was in the direction of the History Museum.
When the students reached the opening, the inhuman tanks suddenly
sealed it off. Even worse, thirty more tanks began rolling toward the
crowds. Some students were crushed under the tanks. Even the flag
poles around the monument were crushed. This moved the whole square
into chaos. But it was beyond my imagination that our students were
so brave. One group of us moved forward to push away the tanks,but
they all fell in a rain of bullets. Another group of us stepped on
the dead bodies to run towards the tanks. Eventually one tank was
pushed away and an opening appeared. Three thousand students and I
were able to escape through this opening. But by the time we reached
the history museum, only one thousand were left.
At this time, there were already lots of civilians in front of
the museum. We emerged together. In this terrible situation, we
immediately headed North, that is, in the direction of the Forbidden
City. But as soon as we started running, gunshots were heard from the
trees in the North. In the dark, we couldn't see any soldiers, but we
could see flashes from the guns. So we immediately turned to the
South. That is the direction of Chian Men.
MACHINE GUNS SHOOT CONTINUOUSLY FOR 20 MINUTES
At that time I was crying while I was running. We saw a
second group of students who were breaking out from the circle of
tanks in a rain of machine gun bullets. The path was covered with
dead bodies. We all started to cry. We were crying and running at
the same time. As soon as we reached Chian Men, we ran into more
soldiers. The were coming from the Ju Bau Shi. They didn't shoot at
us. They all had large wooden sticks. They started to brutally beat
us. At the same time, lots of civilians were running from Chian Men,
fiercely fighting with the army to protect us. This allowed us to
escape to Beijing Train Station, with the soldiers running after us.
It was then around 5:00 am. The gunshots were slowly fading away in Tiananmen
Square. Later, I met my classmate at the International Red
Cross. He told me that everyone that was able to run had gotten out.
The machine gun shooting had lasted about 20 minutes.
The most unforgettable thing is that one of my classmates in
Tsing Hua University (he was from Jiang Su Province). He was wounded
by a machine gun. But he was still trying to run together with us. On
the way, he couldn't stand anymore. He fell on my back from behind
me, saying, "Please hold me up!" At that time, I was holding up one
girl with each arm, so I couldn't hold him because my hands were
occupied. He fell to the ground. The crowds stepped on him, and he
disappeared... He must be dead. See, on my back, I still have his
blood. At that time half of his body was soaked with blood.
STUDENTS RISK LIVES TO RETRIEVE DEAD AND WOUNDED
I can never forget that after some of my classmates were shot,
everybody risked their lives to get the bodies and rescue the wounded.
Some girl students took off their shirts to bind wounds, leaving
little to wear...
After our group of people reached the Beijing Train Station,
me and the other two classmates returned to the square. It was 6:30
in the morning then. Many, many civilians were around the Chian Men.
I followed them, walking towards the square. When we reached the Mao
Tse Tong Monument, we had to stop. Several rows of tanks blocked the
way, and soldiers formed a wall of people. So I climbed up a tree on
the roadside, and I saw into the square. Soldiers were putting bodies
of students and civilians into big plastic bags: one body, one bag.
And then, they covered the piles of bodies with tarps.
SOLDIERS WON'T ALLOW DOCTORS TO SAVE PEOPLE
I met another classmate near the square. He was in the second
group of people to break through. He told me the death toll was very high.
Soldiers wouldn't let the International Red Cross ambulances
into the square to rescue wounded students and civilians. This
classmate and I immediately went to the International Red Cross
emergency center. We saw many wounded people that were carried here by
tricycle. The doctors here told me that one ambulance which entered
the square was shot at by soldiers and caught fire. At the Red Cross
I met the second, third, and fourth groups of students who escaped
from the square. They said many wounded students were still lying on
At around 7:20 am I went back to the square again. I asked
about the situation. Especially, I asked more than ten senior
citizens. They all said that the crosswalk in the square was covered
densely with dead bodies. The soldiers had set up tarps so the
civilians could not see the bodies. They also told me that many army
trucks had moved in and taken away the wounded students lying in the
square; to some place nobody knows.
Around 7:30 soldiers in the square suddenly threw teargas at
the crowds of civilians. More soldiers ran towards them. At this
time I ran again towards Beijing Train Station. On the way there, I
saw the first and second group of students. They were all crying.
CIVILIANS SHELTER STUDENTS
The University Students Union asked students who had families
in Beijing to be responsible for sending students from other cities to
the train station. I brought these students to the waiting room,and
tried to send them back home, but an officer in the station said that
all the trains had stopped. We had to leave Beijing train station.
At this time, many civilians came to us and said they were willing to
shelter students in their homes. Many citizens were very sad. They
were all crying. Civilians in Beijing are really great people. They
are really great.
Totally, how many people have died? I'm not sure. But, I do
believe that some day people will clear this bloody debt! Pessimistic?
No, I am not pessimistic because I saw the hearts of people. I saw the
justice. I saw the hope of China! Some of my classmates are dead.
More peoples' wounds are still bleeding. I am a survivor. I know how
to live my life. I won't forget my dead classmates. I also deeply
understand that all those just people will understand us and support
Edited by Jao Jiang Ching.
Mitchell N. Perilstein
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Herbert Kanner)
Subject: Situation in China
Date: 12 Jun 89 23:34:13 GMT
Organization: Development Systems Group, Apple Computer
The following was posted on an Apple internal electronic bulletin board
with the request that it be disseminated as widely as possible:
Sub: Situation in China
The following is a report of the events in China that I received from
a friend at Digital Equipment Corp. Please distribute this to anyone
From: APLNET::JULIET::SMIEHOROW_DI "07-Jun-1989 1026"
Subj: News from China
From: CADSE::JOHNSON "CTC Support, Customer Consulting"
Subj: FYI - Situation in China
*Many headers have been removed *
From: GIAMEM::HETRICK "06-Jun-1989 1420" 6-JUN-1989 14:20:10.54
Subj: IF YOU'RE INTERESTED...ACCOUNTS OF THE SITUATION IN CHINA
OUR PEOPLE IN THE FAR EAST HAVE REQUESTED THAT THIS BE DISSEMINATED AS
WIDELY AS POSSIBLE.
I N T E R O F F I C E M E M O R A N D U M
Date: 6-Jun-1989 07:30am EDT
From: NIGEL KWOK
NIGEL KWOK AT A1 at HKOV04
Tel No: -0-6499728-X323
TO: See Below
Subject: NEWS FROM CHINA
HERE BELOW ARE SOME HORRIBLE ACCOUNTS OF WHAT HAPPENED IN BEIJING FROM
OUR SALES PEOPLE WHO STATIONED THERE.
We just received a phone call from Beijing.
The caller is living near Mou-Xue-De where most killing happened.
1) The killing is MUCH MUCH worse than you can think of.
The bullet is explosive kind ( Zha4 Zi3).
Five of his neighbours were killed while sleeping at home.
2) He visited Fu-Xing Hospital where he saw blood
was flooding in the hallway. The youngest killed is seven years old.
The youngest wounded is 3 years old.
3) The killers are 27th army.
Some of them were Sino-Vietnam war veterans and they killed
our people very effectively (i.e. to shoot right in the head and
heart). As they were shooting at the people, they laughed and yelled
at the people, "Pekingnese (bei3 jing1 de0), show your guts!! (Ni3 Men2 Bu2 Shi4
You2 Zhong3 De0 Ma1)".
4) The 38th army came in later on.
They saw this horrible scene and refused to move.
The helicopters from 27th forced them to fire at
people and said that was the order from Central
The 38th replyed that they ONLY took orders from
their own commander and their commander did
not order them to fire. Later on, some of
38th soldiers fought bare-handedly with 27th
to protect Beijing people.
5) A wounded 27th soldier told the doctors that
the order was from Central Military Committee,
saying that "We would rather destroy the
whole Beijing city in order to keep the
stability of the nation".
6) In the daytime, anybody who dared to complain loudly
to the soldiers was shot by them.
7) The soldiers in 38th abandoned their tanks volunteerly
and let the people burn them.
An officer of the chinese embassy in East-Berlin told the students
last night (4 May ), up to 10000 people were killed by the army alone
in Beijing. 7 journalist were executed by the army on the TAM-square.
According to a telephone call to Beijing, there were many people didn't
now that tanks rolled on the Beijing streets, even they are employees
at National College ( Zhong Yiang Min Zhu Xue Yuan).
The chinese students in West Germany will demostrate [sic] in several
big cities today, Hamburg, Bonn, Stuttgart, Munich and West Berlin.
Following are shocking news obtained a minute ago and are considered
to be very reliable ( don't ask me the source):
1. Deng Xiaoping had died of heart attach before the military action
and was said left a word 'Do not use military force' before his death.
[ Obviously, this is inaccurate, since Deng has been seen since.- CWM]
2. Now the government is under the control of Chen Yun, Wang Zhen,
Yang Shangkuen, Li Xiannian, Li Peng.
3. The actual military action was ordered by Qing Jiwei and was
carried out by 28th and 38th army. Soldiers were forced to kill by Du2
Zhan4 Dui4 on the back of them.
4. Situation is much more worse than we can imagine. There should
be more than 10,000 students and civilians have been killed.
A latest phone call to Beijing Normal University , at 3:00 pm Alberta
time (Canada), has revealed that the government has opened fire on
people demonstrating on Beijing streets. A group of graduate students
and professors from Beijing Normal University were on their way to TAM
and were stopped by armed forces in XiDan Avenue. Machine guns were
used against the demonstrators, streets are covered with blood and
bodies. According to a professor in Beijing, the death told in Beijing
has totaled over 7,000!!!
According to TV news tonight, 9 doctors are killed by PLA
because they are trying to care for wounded students, 5 others
wounded. Unconfirmed news says PLA men even run into hospitals,
killing wounded in hospital beds. This is more atrocious than Hitler.
China is in some animals' hands.
According to tonight's NBC news, Deng ordered the massacre in
hospital bed. He is suffering from prostate cancer. It will be better
if he died earlier. NBC quotes Deng's words: "In China, a million
could be a small number."
7 a.m. Monday June 5
According to TV news civil war has started between various
factions in the military.
I hope the students and workers will stay out of the line of
fire. Better to live to fight another day than to get killed
by random gunfire. Let the enemy become martyrs instead.
[ Again, this would now seem to have been inaccurate, though full
information is still not available - CWM]