Has Mao Zedong committed genocide?

Big Death Leap: Finally Says That Mao Was The Greatest Mass Murderer

Between 1958 and 1962, 45 million people died above the normal death rate in China. They were victims of a man-made famine. They died in the course of a large-scale human experiment, which its creator Mao Zedong proclaimed as a "great leap forward". In practice, Mao's "Big Leap" was the greatest mass murder in history.

None of the main culprits have ever been held accountable. To this day - not only in China itself, where the cult around the "Great Chairman" Mao is cultivated by his still ruling Communist Party - there is an oppressive ignorance of one of the darkest chapters in the history of the 20th century.

Much ignorance - even with the former Chancellor

This is the only way to understand the statements made by Helmut Schmidt, for example, who does not deny that there were “many millions of deaths” as an “unforeseen consequence of the Great Leap”, “that is, the attempt to get the farmers to turn scrap metal into steel melt instead of harvesting rice or wheat ”, but still says:“ I am not against the Mao system. (...) Mao did not want the dead. "

Whether or not Mao wanted the dead is probably a matter of interpretation. Richard Snyder, for example, showed in “Bloodlands” how the famine provoked by Stalin in Ukraine was supposed to eliminate millions of “useless eaters” in the granary of the Soviet Union, making more grain available for cities and export. Did Mao also consciously pursue the reduction of the rural population and the extermination of the weakest - the old, the sick and children - following Stalin's example?

New study on the full extent

The Dutch sinologist and historian Frank Dikötter has now submitted a carefully researched and factually written report on the "Great Leap". In “Mao's Great Hunger” he avoids any speculation about possible hidden motives of the “Great Helmsman”, he reports on the utopian goal propagated by the party: to lead China to communism in a few years, in which everyone works according to their abilities and according to their needs should consume.

Dikötter documents the widespread failure of this utopia and does not allow himself to ask whether the collateral damage of 45 million dead was possibly seen by Mao as a benefit. Because the cold with which Mao responded to the news of the famine arriving in Beijing speaks volumes: “If there is not enough to eat, people starve to death. It is better to let half the people die so that the other half can have enough to eat. "