Museum of the Hubei-Henan-Anhui Soviet Revolution in Xin County
In the late 1920s, the CCP leadership considered the establishment of Soviet areas 苏区 as an important measure to strengthen the masses’ influence on political affairs. As Tony Saich has shown, the main purpose of these areas was to induce “the fast-toiling masses to participate in political rule and to realize the democratic dictatorship of the proletariat” (Saich 1996: 342). In 1927, the Hubei-Henan-Anhui Soviet Area 鄂豫皖苏区 was established, which represented the second revolutionary base after the foundation of the base at Jingangshan 井冈山, Jiangxi Province 江西省 (Zhang 1988: 1). In the following years, an immense struggle between the Red Army 红军 and the GMD troops under their leader Chiang Kaishek 蒋介石 (1887-1975) unfolded in this base area. According to an article published in the Guangming Daily 光明日报, the communist forces at the Hubei-Henan-Anhui Soviet Area employed efficient military thoughts and tactics to prevail over their nationalist opponent. As a consequence, the Red Army was able to win several important battles against the GMD, including the Battle of Sujiabu 苏家埠 in spring 1932 (Guangming Ribao 1981). The Hubei-Henan-Anhui Soviet Area seems to be a significant military operation base for the CCP in its fight against the assaults launched by Chiang Kaishek’s troops. Insofar it is not surprising that a memorial hall was erected, which commemorates this soviet base and its military achievements.
The Museum of the Hubei-Henan-Anhui Soviet Revolution in Xin County 新县鄂豫皖苏区首府革命博物馆, was open to the public in 1984 and is located in Henan Province 河南省. It contains more than 1130 exhibits, mainly consisting of cultural relics, such as military equipments or historical documents related to the Soviet government (Yi qi zhui ji).
As stated on the official website of the memorial, the permanent exhibition “Red Dabie Mountain 红色大别山” portrays the revolutionary history of this region with all its uprisings and military struggles until 1948. In addition, the thematic exhibition “Hall of the Hubei-Henan-Anhui Soviet Area Generals鄂豫皖苏区将帅馆” presents 349 high ranking Red Army officers who worked at and fought for the base, such as the later PLA marshals Liu Bocheng 刘伯承 (1892-1986) and Xu Xiangqian 徐向前 (1901-1990). The hall also displays photos and bronze statues of the generals. The site further offers several temporary exhibitions that thematize the achievements of the base for the communist movement in China.
Due to the military relevance of the site during the communist struggle of survival against the GMD, it was added to the second list of Bases for Patriotic Education 爱国主义教育基地 in 2001.
Saich, Tony (1996): The rise to power of the Chinese Communist Party. Armonk: An East Gate Book.
Zhang Xiangbing 张湘炳 and Zhu Deqi 朱德其 (06.01.1981): “E yu wan su qu lishi yanjiu hui – taolun e yu wan wuzhuang douzheng, tudi geming, sufan deng wenti 鄂豫皖苏区历史研究会-讨论鄂豫皖武装斗争、土地革命、肃反等问题 (The historical research association of the Hubei-Henan-Anhui Soviet Area – A discussion about the military struggle at Hubei, Henan and Anhui, the land revolution and the problem of eliminating counterrevolutionaries)”. In: Guangming Ribao 光明日报.
Zhang Yaolun 张耀纶 (1988): E yu wan su qu jiaoyu shi 鄂豫皖苏区教育史 (Historical teaching about the Hubei-Henan-Anhui Soviet Area). Kaifeng 开封: Henan daxue chubanshe.
Website “Yi qi zhui ji”: https://www.iwenbo.fun/museum/3240.html
Official Website of the site: http://www.eywsqsfbwg.com/
List of Pictures:
Featured Image: “Wind and snow in the Dabie Mountains” (source: https://chineseposters.net/posters/e13-641, designer: Shi Qi 石齐, Call number: BG E13/641 (Stefan R. Landsberger Collection)).