About 100 official documents concerning the “The Great Famine in China, 1958-1962” have been published by the historian Zhou Xunwrites Helmut Dahmer.
In her review of this work (“Uncovering a great leap into an abyss,” Sept. 6), Didi Kirsten Tatlow says that, compared with Hitler’s Holocaust or Stalin’s gulag, Mao Zedong’s organized famine has until now been one of the more or less forgotten crimes against humanity. I should add that the Chinese famine has been the biggest one in the history of mankind. This was the result of the second endeavor of a Stalinist party to enslave the peasant majority of a huge country to accelerate its industrialization. Karl Marx remarked that important historical events tend to be repeated: What happened the first time as a tragedy, in the second edition comes back as a farce. During the 20th century we have learned that the repetition of a tragedy may surpass all we can imagine. The enforced collectivization in Russia, especially in Ukraine, claimed about six million victims. The Chinese re-enactment of this tragedy surpassed the Russian death toll at least five times.