:: I recently had the opportunity to chat with an ex-Red Guard. This ex-Red Guard kindly allowed me to photograph some documents and things from his experience during the Cultural Revolution as a middle school student, and his participation in the national “down to the countryside, up to the mountains” (下乡, 上山) campaigns as a teenager / twenty-something. I have done some photoshop’ing on these photos to conceal the identify of this ex-Red Guard, but I can assure you, these are genuine artifacts straight from his scrapbook. // AjS
:: below is a patch that was sewed onto the clothing (chest) of Red Guards, it reads: “Red Guard, Shanghai City Middle School Red Guard Representative Meeting, Yangpu Military Zone.” (Before the Cultural Revolution, Yangpu was, and is now, simply referred to as a “district,” it was “militarized” for purposes of the 10 year campaign.)
:: below is a certificate stating this ex-Red Guard’s participation in the Shanghai City, Wusong Middle School Red Guard Representative Meeting. The handwritten / cursive Chinese script to the left and right of Chairman Mao’s bust reads: “Rely on the helmsman when sailing the seas, rely on Mao Zedong thought when carrying out revolution (大海航行靠舵手, 干革命靠毛泽东思想).”
:: below is the outside front and back cover of a Red Guard passbook. The front cover (right) simply says: Red Guard (vertically), and Shanghai City Wusong Middle School Team / Unit (horizontally). The back cover (left) says: “The Three Main Rules of Discipline (三大纪律): 1) obey orders in all your actions, 2) do not take a single needle or piece of thread from the masses / people, and 3) turn in everything captured. The Eight Points for Attention (八项注意): 1) speak politely, 2) pay /price fairly for what you buy / sell, 3) return everything you borrow, 4) pay for anything you damage, 5) do not hit or swear at people, 6) do not damage crops, 7) do not take liberties with women, and 8) do not ill-treat captives.”
:: below is the inside front and back cover of a Red Guard passbook. The inside front cover (left) is a quote from Lin Biao (essentially second in command during the first half of the Cultural Revolution, 1966 – 71) that reads: “Read Chairman Mao’s books. Listen to Chairman Mao’s words. Follow Chairman Mao’s instructions on how to handle affairs. Be Chairman Mao’s Good Soldiers.” The inside back cover reads: “August 20, 1966. Red Guard certificate. Second year of middle school (the handwritten “中二” just above the photo).”
:: below is a public transit pass for this ex-Red Guard / “sent down educated youth” to use when returning home (Shanghai City, Yangpu District) from the countryside; dated May 12th, 1973.