The Revolutionary Martyrs Cemetery of the Huangan-Macheng Uprising and the Hubei-Henan-Anhui Soviet Area

During 1927, several uprisings were initiated by the Communist Party (CCP) against the Guomindang (GMD) after the First United Front collapsed, such as the Nanchang Uprising 南昌起义 in August or the Autumn Harvest Uprising 秋收起义 in September. 

In addition, the CCP started to establish Soviet Areas 苏区 that should consolidate the communist influence in local areas. According to Tony Saich, the CCP considered the foundation of the Soviet Areas as a significant measure to give an own government to the masses of workers and peasants (Saich 1996: 338). 

The Huangan-Macheng Uprising 黄麻起义 was an important insurrection launched by the CCP to foster the control over the area, which would become part of the Hubei-Henan-Anhui Soviet Area 鄂豫皖苏区. On 13th November 1927, armed forces consisting of peasants were mobilized to conquer the county seat of Huangan 黄安 (today’s Hongan 红安), Hubei Province 湖北省. Five days later, the newly founded Peasants’ Government 农民政府 of Huangan held its inaugural meeting, in which the new chairman Cao Xuekai 曹学楷 (1896-1931) was elected (Guo 1987: 83,170). After the Nanchang Uprising and the Autumn Harvest Uprising, the Huangan-Macheng Uprising was the largest armed peasant uprising in areas north of the Yangtze (People’s Daily 2007). 

In 1956, the first steps to establish a martyrs cemetery dedicated to the fallen CCP soldiers during the Huangan-Macheng Uprising at Hongan were taken. Between 1956 and 2010 the Revolutionary Martyrs Cemetery of the Huangan-Macheng Uprising and the Hubei-Henan-Anhui Soviet Area 黄麻起义和鄂豫皖苏区革命烈士陵园 was expanded regularly and several memorial sites were added to the site, such as the Hongan Generals Hall 红安将军馆. In addition thematic exhibition halls dedicated to CCP founding member Dong Biwu 董必武 (1886-1975) and former PRC president Li Xinnian 李先念 (1909-1992) were built.  

As stated on the website Yi qi zhui ji, the Memorial Hall of Revolutionary History in the Huangan-Macheng Uprising and the Hubei-Henan-Anhui Soviet Area 黄麻起义和鄂豫皖苏区革命历史纪念馆 was added to the site in 2006 and officially inaugurated on the 13th November 2007. The memorial hall opens with the Prologue Hall 序厅that features a large-scale sculpture “Heroism of the Dabie Mountain 大别山雄风” Six thematic exhibitions are on display, such as “The Thunder of Huangan-Macheng 黄麻惊雷” and “The New Appearance of the Red Area 赤区新貌” which are portraying the history of the Huangan-Macheng Uprising and its impact on the communist rule in the Hubei-Henan-Anhui Soviet Area. 

The site appears to occupy a significant place in the CCP revolutionary history, because several prominent party leaders such as former CCP chairman Jiang Zemin 江泽民 (born 1926) or Li Xiannian donated inscriptions to the memorial (People’s Daily 1992). The relevance of the site for the struggle of the CCP against their nationalist opponents might also be the reason it was added to the first list of Bases for Patriotic Education 爱国主义教育基地 in 1997.

Bibliography: 

Fang Zhengjun 方政军 and Xin Xiandong 辛向东 (14.11.1992): Huangma qiyi he e yu wan suou geming lieshi jinianguan luocheng 黄麻起义和鄂豫皖苏区革命烈士纪念馆落成 (The Revolutionary Martyrs Memorial of the Huangan-Macheng Uprising and the Hubei-Henan-Anhui Soviet Area has been completed). In: People’s Daily 人民日报. 

Guo Jiaqi 郭家齐 Ed. (1987): Huangma qiyi 黄麻起义 (The Huangan-Macheng Uprising). Wuhan 武汉: Wuhan daxue chubanshe. 

Saich, Tony (1996): The rise to power of the Chinese Communist Party. Armonk: An East Gate Book.

Tian Doudou 田豆豆 (14.11.2007): “Hubei longzhong jinian huangma qiyi, 80 zhounian 湖北隆重纪念黄麻起义80周年 (Hubei solemnly commemorates the 80th anniversary of the Huangan.Macheng Uprising)”. In: People’s Daily人民日报. 

Xiao Han 肖晗 (13.01.2017): “Hongan xian Huangma qiyi he e yu wan suou geming lieshi lingyuan 红安县黄麻起义和鄂豫皖苏区革命烈士陵园 (The Revolutionary Martyrs Cemetery of the Huangan-Macheng Uprising and the Hubei-Henan-Anhui Soviet Area at Hongjun County)”. Found on: http://www.hbdysh.cn/2017/0113/28534.shtml (latest access: 28.11.2021). 

Website “Yi qi zhui ji”: https://www.iwenbo.fun/museum/3481.html?keyword=%E9%BA%BB%E8%B5%B7%E4%B9%89%E5%92%8C%E9%84%82%E8%B1%AB%E7%9A%96%E8%8B%8F%E5%8C%BA%E9%9D%A9%E5%91%BD%E7%83%88%E5%A3%AB%E9%99%B5%E5%9B%AD#

List of Pictures:

Featured Image: “Communists being rounded up in one of the purges” (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shanghai_massacre#/media/File:Communist_purge.jpg, author: Unknown author.


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