The Cultural Revolution, 1966-1976, is a unique and turbulent period in the history of the People’s Republic of China. Chairman Mao Zedong initiated the Cultural Revolution to strengthen his position within the communist party and to get rid of political opponents. Students, peasants and workers were called upon to identify enemies to Mao’s political line – so-called revisionists, rightists or counter-revolutionaries. Armed with Maoist quotes, a feverish worship of the chairman, and the slogan “To Rebel Is Justified”, citizens were allowed to organize, publish information, and revolutionize society. The Michael Schoenhals Collection – China during the Cultural Revolution tells the local and national story of how the Cultural Revolution unfolded.
The collector and donor, Michael Schoenhals, collected the material during the 1990’s by visiting flea markets in Beijing, Shanghai and Nanjing. A smaller part of the collection was gathered by the cultural attaché at the Swedish embassy in Beijing 1966-1967 and was later donated to Michael Schoenhals. The collection contains unique materials, including newsletters, criticism material, posters, caricatures, vinyl records, pictures, diaries and crime investigations made by Red Guard factions.
The collection has been digitally archived and the contents can be searched at Alvin, a Swedish platform for digital collections and digitized cultural heritage.