1926: Shao Piaoping, journalist

On this date in 1928, Chinese journalist and social activist Shao Piaoping was shot at Beijing’s Tianqiao execution grounds — fulfillment of his lifelong motto, “To die as a journalist.”

The intrepid Shao blazed a trail for print media in his native country, bucking a prejudice that mere journalism was a bit on the declasse side.

He co-founded and edited Hanmin Daily in 1911, just in time to get his support for the Xinhai Revolution into newsprint.

But Shao was no propagandist, and, post-revolution, was repeatedly arrested for his scathing critiques of Yuan Shikai and the various other illiberal strongmen taking roost. He had to duck out to Japan twice during the 1910s; there, he kept cranking copy, now as a foreign correspondent for Shanghai’s top newspapers. As the decade unfolded, he also became a theoretician of journalism without abating his prodigious ongoing output.

“I saw my role as that of helpful critic and believed it wrong to praise petty people simply to avoid trouble,” this pdf biography quotes Shao saying of himself. “I was determined not to dispense with my responsibility.”

By the late 1910s, he was publishing his own capital-city newspaper, Jingbao (literally “The Capital”) and developing his academic thought as a teacher at Peking University. He was perhaps China’s premier journalist; even so, he still had to slip into exile in Japan in 1919 after openly supporting the May Fourth student movement.

Shao left an impressive mark on his students, perhaps none more so than a penniless young leftist working in the university library, Mao Zedong.

As a guerrilla, Mao — still at that time an obscurity to most of the outside world — remembered Shao fondly to journalist Edgar Snow. In contrast to many other Peking University scholars who gave the provincial twentysomething short shrift, Shao “helped me very much. He was a lecturer in the Journalism Society, a liberal, and a man of fervent idealism and fine character.” Word is that Shao even loaned Mao money.

Shao’s acid pen and unabashed sympathy for agitators led to his arrest in 1926 by the warlord Zhang Zuolin — whose wrath Shao incited by denouncing bitterly a horrific March 18 massacre of students.

But the martyr journalist’s heroic career — not to mention his accidental link with the future Great Helmsman — insured his elevation into the pantheon, even though Shao’s underground membership in the Communist party was not known for decades after his death. Mao personally declared him a hero of the revolution, and intervened to see that his widow and children were cared for. China has any number of public monuments in Shao’s honor.

On this day..

2 thoughts on “1926: Shao Piaoping, journalist

  1. Did any of the authors of this great Executed Today material get through a third grade English grammar class? There appears to be two to three simple errors in every sentence (or at least every paragraph)!!! It seems as though much of the text was written in a foreign language and then mechanically translated (sort of) into pigin English.

    Love to learn history here but the syntax drives me crazy.

  2. Perhaps you should mention some of the many executions by impalement in Sweden during the 1600’s.

    Impalement was a death sentence in Sweden, specifically designed for resistance fighters in Scania. Impalement was not practiced in other conquered provinces. A pointed stake was inserted between the spine and the skin so it stuck out behind the neck. In this way, it could take 4-5 days before death came as a liberator. The poles were erected along the roads so that as many people as possible would see them and be deterred from committing crimes. According to an eyewitness, Swedish Governor General Magnus Gabriel de la Gardie, the roads in Scania were sometimes lined with spiked “snapphanar”.

    Below is an article by Swedish historian Jonny Ambrius, interpretated by the Google translator tool:

    The three former Danish provinces Skåne, Halland and Blekinge (Scania) had in 1658, as some malicious Swedish historian said, “ceased to exist as a dropped belt at Sweden’s feet.” From this year the provinces were with brutal methods with or against the inhabitants, incorporated into the Swedish kingdom. The fight between Scanians and Swedes were merciless. Snapphanarna, the Scanian resistance movement, conducted guerrilla warfare against the occupying forces from the southern coast all the way up in the backwoods of Småland, and the Swedish war soldiers murdered, burned and raped wherever they thought snapphanar was helped by the population. No quarter was given by either party. Captured snapphanar was hanged scorewis in stout oaks along the beaten path, and the Snapphanar responded by shooting them or cutting the throat of most Swedes who fell into their hands.

    During the Scanian War 1675-79 the Snapphanar was a constant and difficult scourge of the Swedish Armed Forces. The Swedish soldiers found it difficult to defend themselves against the Snapphanars guerrilla warfare, and Charles XI tried, with the end purely barbaric methods, quell these “insurgents.” In the beginning he tried to hook or by crook including promising amnesty to those who fought in the Danes’ side, provided they are returned to peaceful work. However, it was not many, who trusted the Swedish king promises, and soon tightened Charles tone. In 1677 he threatened the Snapphanar with “gruesome reprisals.” In one of the royal placards provides in which, among other things, that if any of the Swedish king or kingdom service was killed, would the parish, where this occurred, fined 1,000 crowns for each death, and would every tenth man in the parish hanged. Eventually tightened it to every third adult man would be hanged. In a parish with 600 men would in the given case, 200 death row! Who would suffer death, had to be decided by drawing lots.

    Councillor John Gyllenstierna sent by the king on a edkrävarfärd by Scania. A tragicomic element of this consists of an open letter, which Gyllenstierna sounded send out to the peasantry. The letter begins with a claim about total submission, that one must make himself available to the Swedish army’s disposal, surrender their arms and ends with, “But would anyone dare to go against me and proved recalcitrant, the Swedish military, these farmers too root out and destroy with fire and fire. ” The comic is in the signature, “Eder samptelige til all friendship prone John Gyldenstierna.”

    Uno Röndahl writes in Scania without Mercy (1993) among others about an event that occurred in Osby in September 1678, when fifteen captured snapphanar faced Swedish martial. All were sentenced to immediate death and the punishment was executed by their limbs, arms and legs, joint by joint were broken, then the chest finally wrapped. Then the executioners took up axes and divorced snapphanarnas heads from the bodies. These were then added as a deterrent, up on poles around the neighborhood in conspicuous places.

    Charles Sorensen says in The Little War (1880) on “that one of the Swedish king most barbaric punishment consisted of spiking on hot iron.” With such punishment in view, it is understandable that snapphanar sometimes committed suicide rather than fall alive into Swedish hands. In Mince district, writes Röndahl, captured a handful snapphanar by the Swedes. Four of these were put on rack and wheel, while the fifth, the leader, got the genital cut open so that the intestines fell out – “at snaphanen got benene in them.” Röndahl refer to other sources, who mentions that his stomach was squeezed up into the chest to the neck, until the unfortunate choked. Other snapphanar hit man hole in the side and let them “run the bowel out of life.”

    Sthen Jacobsen says in The Nordiske Kriigs Krønicke about the brutal punishment that befell captured snapphanar, or others who rebelled against the Swedish domination. “When the Swedes this winter (1678-79) got hold of some snapphanar, they tormented them in a horrible way. Firstly burnt the soles on them with hot iron. Then drove up a laced interfere in the rectum of them, right up to it came out of my nose. now nailed to attach them to a tree and let them hang there until they died. ”

    In August 1678 executed a Snapphane, Jon, at Getinge sconce in Skåne. The file shows that he was subjected to torture, and that he thereby indicated two people from Gårdstånga, namely peasant Pehr Mansson and shoemaker Oluf Michelsen. It states in the documents that Jon from Ash was nailed to a pole, which means he was spiked. Delikventen was cut, like a pig, raised at the tailbone and then run a sharp pile up between the skin and the spine, and then re-emerge through the skin of the neck.

    In February 1679 arrested friskyttekaptenen Hans Severin. He confessed under severe torture, he killed ten and wounded eleven people. Swedes mentions with horror and disgust, “It is not to describe how stubborn they are, they watch either priests or other” According to the Swedes were Severin to be a rare ruthless Snapphane and when he finally captured, it was not a question of he would be executed, but the manner in which the killing would take place. The Swedish court martial sentenced consistent Hans Severin to death, but in the judgment emphasized particular method of execution would be carried out by “he impaled alive, not visceral but between spine and skin through the neck, then put on the post, feet nailed and hands tied in a new hanger with a rope around his neck, not to move. His name turns on the gallows. ” This was effected on Feb. 15, 1679 outside the Swedish camp in Trolle-Ljungby. Besides Severin was another seventeen snapphanar simultaneously executed, hence a mere thirteen year old boy, who under torture, confessed that he killed two people. All spiked and was living on rack. Two snapphanar however managed to fool their Swedish executioners. A shot himself in the forehead, and, another, Nils Wasp, cut his throat instead of living fall into enemy hands.

    This bleak period in Scania’s history has also been reproduced by several literary authors, from CA Cederborghs romantic Göinge governor to Sven Edvin Saljes Man from house to house, and not least Artur Lundkvist Snapphanens Life and Death (1968) in which he gives an eerie and realistic example of how the Swedish law practiced in Scania during this time: “A pile of oak is finished, laced reeds, with the bark peeled away throughout its length, close to a hole dug in the ground, with a high reddish earth thrown up next. drum roar, muffled and slowly, Lars spent on the ground, resting on her stomach, several men grabs him and holds him tightly, his clothes peeled up, a knife incision is made at the lower lumbar and there goes the pointed pole inserted under the skin, pushed upward by short bursts , care to stake neither shall penetrate too deeply into the body or come out again through the skin. drum cans, a terrible tension shakes the outstretched body, but men hold it down, pressed to the ground, Lars feels the pain as a jet of flame up through the body, He is surrounded by a rödflammande dark, biting their teeth so hard that he hears them krasas apart. / — / He wakes up again when he hangs raised on the pole, his feet are nailed, his arms backward curved and lashed, a hanger is residual stitch him and a repsnara encircles his neck, but so loose that he is not through head movements can be throttled. pain is like a raging fire in his body, as if the flames consumed his flesh in uninterrupted agrepp, he has a mouth full of blood. ”

    Oddly enough, the Swedes rampage in Skåne, Halland and Blekinge in the late 1600s systematically concealed in Swedish history books. If it’s out of shame or in the case of falsification of history is unknown, but the Danish historians have never concealed what happened during this bloody period, when the Swedes with unnecessarily harsh agents put those three provinces under him.

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