Tuesday, June 22, 2021

‘Wake-Up Call’ of the First American Who Joined the Chinese Communist Party

The United States presidential election of 2020 is the battleground between freedom and communism. Every example from history affirms that communism has been a tragedy for humanity. Be it the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, Red China, or North Korea, there is no escaping reality: Communism has left a trail of destruction, genocide, famine, and heartache in every country that has had the misfortune of having it imposed upon their people. There is no happy ending for a totalitarian regime.

However, there are still some die-hard, extreme leftists holdouts who will do anything, whatever it takes, to impose a socialist “utopia” upon the U.S. and hold on to the hope that a vote for Biden, obtained by any means necessary, will bring about their “communist dream.”

Is communism idealistic, unrealistic, or just a form of organized crime? An American leftist who has fought for it for decades has now come out to tell people his true experience of pursuing and promoting communism.

Miserable history of the first American Communist Party member

Sidney Rittenberg was born into a Jewish family in the United States in 1921. While studying Chinese in university, he became a member of the U.S. Communist Party. During the Second World War, he was sent to China. After the war ended, he stayed in the country and pursued the revolutionary cause promoted by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

 In 1946, he went to Yan’an, which was the Communist Party’s home base in Shaanxi. There, he worked as an English expert at the Xinhua News Agency’s main office. His job description included tasks such as translating and editing propaganda for the CCP and propagating their doctrine to the outside world.

He met Mao Zedong on the day he arrived in Yan’an and gradually worked his way up to serve the core group of communist leaders. He soon joined the CCP and became the first American in the CCP organization. He once held a high post in China’s Central Broadcast Bureau, polishing English manuscripts and also translating Selected Works of Mao Zedong and the Little Red Book into English.

Rittenberg, also known by his Chinese name Li Dunbai, was imprisoned in 1949 after Joseph Stalin falsely accused him of espionage and counterrevolutionary plotting. He was released in 1955, the year Stalin died.

Sadly, he was one of the typical left-wing youth who was deceived by the communists. He was cajoled by the communist state to follow Jiao Yulu’s example (Jiao Yulu was a symbol of an honest Party cadre who devoted himself tirelessly to the communist state). Rittenberg was so deeply brainwashed that he even hated and regretted his good life to the extent that he offered to have his pay cut and his special car allocation cancelled. However, instead of winning the Communist Party’s favor, it had the opposite effect, as his attitude was considered to be detrimental to the Party’s image.

A young Sidney Rittenberg giving a speech in China.
Sadly, Rittenberg was one of the typical left-wing youth who was deceived by the communists. (Image: Screenshot / YouTube)

He recalled and admitted that the young people at the time wanted to build a new society and that he himself had been looking forward to the task when he joined the Party. He was surrounded by young people who were trying to dismantle dictatorship in order to establish a kind of town hall democracy in China so that everyone had a say in the election of their leaders. Soon, the beautiful feeling of freedom turned into that of violence and factional struggles. 

Finally, he went public to deliver a speech thinking that the Party wanted to hear honest opinions to improve itself: “If we treat people that have different opinions more ruthless than the capitalist roaders, then what legitimate reason was there for us to seize power back then?

“To use tyranny to deal with innocent people, people like us, I feel ashamed. It is very shameful!”

Soon, Rittenberg was labelled as a spy and thrown into prison once more. After 10 years behind bars, he emerged from prison disillusioned with communism. He returned to the United States in 1979 for a three-month visit that he portrayed as a “vacation,” while actually intending to use it as an opportunity to quietly discuss his repatriation with the Carter administration.

Late awakening

In 2016, in a reflective interview with Voice of America, Rittenberg said he felt pain in his heart for taking part in victimizing innocent, good people and admitted that it was institutionalized bullying and scapegoating.

According to Rittenberg: “Once I got out of prison [for the second time], I saw that some of the basic tenets of what was called Marxism-Leninism were wrong.” After experiencing the “people’s democratic dictatorship” orchestrated by Mao Zedong, Rittenberg concluded that even if you can achieve the highest level of democracy through dictatorship, the actual fact is, after passing into dictatorship, all you will have is more dictatorship. It is only by overthrowing dictatorship that you can have democracy.

Rittenberg related in his book The Man Who Stayed Behind, that he, like others, embarked on the path of communism in the hope of building a better new world, but on the way, he witnessed sin, co-existed with sin, and under certain circumstances, even had a hand in it. This made him feel ashamed for the rest of his life.

Cover of Rittenberg
Rittenberg related in his book that he embarked on the path of communism in the hope of building a better new world. (Image: via Amazon.com)

Losing the protection of the US

Han Xiu is a Chinese-American writer. Her mother is Chinese and her father is an American. Her father went to China in the 1940s to support the National Revolutionary Army. Han Xiu was born in New York. When she was two years old, she was sent to mainland China by her mother without her father’s knowledge. As a youth, she was made to go to the rugged countryside and join Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC) for nine years. During her 20 years living in China, she witnessed social changes, a lot of pain, and had to undergo public humiliation. With the help of the U.S. Embassy in China, she moved back to the United States in the late 1970s.

On one occasion after returning, she saw some Americans burning the American flag and became furious about it. Others did not understand why she had such a strong reaction. She said: “You don’t know what it is like to lose the protection of the United States!”

On December 6, 2020, American attorney Lin Wood tweeted:

“We are THE United States of America. Patriots have fought & died for freedom since 1776. In 2020, American Patriots will honor sacrifices of our forefathers & will take ALL necessary action to insure our country remains free. Like Founding Fathers, we do so led by Almighty God.”

In the 2020 U.S election, the evil of communism is destined to have nowhere to escape. We will wait and see.

Translated by Chua BC and edited by Michael Segarty

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Mikel Davis
Mikel serves as editor and sometime writer for Nspirement. He loves foreign cultures and foreign places. They have taught him many lessons. He hopes his work can impact others so they have a better life, or at least a better day.
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