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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 25, 1962

CERTAIN MATERIALS ABOUT XINJIANG CARRIED IN SOVIET NEWSPAPERS (ISSUE II)

This document was made possible with support from the MacArthur Foundation, Henry Luce Foundation

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    An Uyghur newspaper carries a feature commemorating a revolutionary poet, and summaries of related articles are included in this memorandum.
    "Certain Materials about Xinjiang Carried in Soviet Newspapers (Issue II)," September 25, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 118-01408-01, 9-15. Translated by Charles Kraus. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/121620
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[…]

Confidential

[To the] Secretary of the [Xinjiang Uyghur] Autonomous Region Party Committee and the Propaganda Departments of the Central Committee and the Northwest Bureau

Certain Materials about Xinjiang Carried in Soviet Newspapers

(Issue II)

Contents

1. An Account of the Feature Commemorating Li Mu-te-li-fu’s [sic] Birthday in Banner of Communism

2. Editorial Office’s Commentaries on Li Mu-te-li-fu in Banner of Communism

Propaganda Department of the Xinjiang Autonomous Region Party Committee

25 September 1962

An Account of the Feature Commemorating Li Mu-te-li-fu’s Birthday in Banner of Communism

On 22 July of this year, Banner of Communism, a Uyghur-language newspaper published in the Soviet Republic of Kazakhstan, carried a feature commemorating the 40th anniversary of the birth of our Uyghur revolutionary poet Li Mu-te-li-fu. The second and third pages of the newspaper on this particular day were full of articles commemorating Li Mu-te-li-fu. The headline of the newspaper read, in a large font which ran across two pages, “Li Mu-te-li-fu is a passionately inspirational man.” Both sides and the bottom of the pages were embellished with floral patterns. The upper part of the second page featured a commentary on Li Mu-te-li-fu by the newspaper’s editorial office, followed by an article entitled “A Revolutionary Poet of the Uyghur People,” written by Bi Er-xi-ding-nuo-fu [sic], a member of the Academy of Sciences of the Kazakh Republic. Further down the page, there was an article entitled “A Monument” written by He-zi-mai-ti A-bu-du-lin [sic], head of the Uyghur language branch of the Poetry Research Society of the Kazakhstan Writers Association, as well as an article entitled “On the Poem Collection ‘An Reply to the Years’” written by Jia-ma-le Bu-geng-ke-fu [sic]. A number of poems by Mu-te-li-fu were also printed on this page—“When the Dark Night Is Breached and Footprints Are Created,” “Spring,” “Pursuit of Ideals,” etc. On the third page, there was an article entitled “Founder of Uyghur Poetry,” written by Mo-qin Hai-tai-la-you-fu [sic]; another article entitled “Lutong,” written by Ai-wai-er Nu-ke-ma-luo-fu [sic], former deputy director of the Uyghur language editorial office of Xinjiang Daily; a poem entitled “The Poet” written by Ke Tu-li-ba-you-fu [sic]; a political commentary entitled “Panic Before Death” written by Mu-te-li-fu; and an excerpt of drama, “Green Peony.” A portrait of Mu-te-li-fu and a photo of the cover of Mu-te-li-fu’s poem collection “A Reply to the Years” (published earlier this year in Kazakhstan) appear on this third page as well.

The following is a brief summary of the aforementioned articles:

“A Revolutionary Poet of the Uyghur People,” written by Bi Er-xi-ding-nuo-fu, gives an account of Mu-te-li-fu’s life. The article begins with the following words: “The Uyghur people, the owners of the boundless fertile land stretching all the way from Mt. Altai to Mt. Kunlun, become trained and fostered many of their outstanding sons and daughters in the revolutionary torrent from the 1930s through the 1950s. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the birth of Lu-ti-fu-la Mu-te-li-fu, an outstanding son of the Uyghur people and one of the quintessential figures of the new Uyghur literature.” The article then gives an account of Mu-te-li-fu’s youth and his creative writing activities, asserting that “when fascist bandits treaded on the doorstep of Moscow, warlord Sheng Shicai seized the opportunity to realize his plot of having the Uyghur people trampled by Jiang Jieshi’s Guomindang. Henceforth, the Uyghur people made up their minds, once again, to take their fate into their own hands. At that moment, the poet’s courage surged like never before. His independent political opinion was then formed.” The article goes onto to state that during that period of time, the poet, in many poems, “repeatedly expressed his love for the people, and in that age, these poems were a spiritual force resisting ethnic oppression and awakening the people.” It also stated that “the words ‘revolution,’ ‘struggle,’ and ‘equality’” used by the poet in his later poems are fundamentally different from the words that he had used before. They [these words] awoke the people to a direct struggle against the Guomindang’s oppression and colonial policies and called upon the people to engage in revolution.” The article ends with following words—“our Lutong, Mu-te-li-fu, a passionate poet of the Uyghur people, completely devoted his short life to struggling and literary creation” and “his extraordinary contributions toward a new literary art and national liberation revolution are etched into our minds; his aggressive poems are again radiating light.”

In his article “On the Poem Collection ‘An Reply to the Years’,” Jia-ma-le Bu-geng-ke-fu (Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Banner of Communism) wrote that at the 40th anniversary of the birth of Mu-te-li-fu, Kazakhstan published his poem collection “A Reply to the Years.” The article also introduced some of Mu-te-li-fu’s poems and stated that “the publication of the works by a poet loved by all Uyghurs is a significant contrition to our literary development.”

In his article “A Monument,” He-zi-mai-ti A-bu-du-lin said that he had written a script about Mu-te-li-fu’s life and that the script would become a historic monument to Mu-te-li-fu.

In his article “Founder of Uyghur Poetry,” Mo-qin Hai-tai-la-you-fu stated that Mu-te-li-fu bestowed new contents on the old form of poetry and developed creative writing.

In his article “Lutong,” Ai-wai-er Nu-ke-ma-luo-fu reminisced about the days that he spent with Mu-te-li-fu at a Tartar school and at a seven-year Russian middle school. The name “Lutong” is a respectful form of address for Mu-te-li-fu. Nu-ke-ma-luo-fu also mentioned that Mu-te-li-fu was keen on poetry, drawing, and musical instruments in his childhood.

None of the above articles gives a clear indication of Mu-te-li-fu’s nationality and makes no mention of how he learned from Chinese Communist Party members or how Han Chinese Communist Party members helped him. All of the poem lines and articles carried or quoted on the two pages of the newspaper confirm that Mu-te-li-fu engaged in struggles for the Uyghur people, but make no mention of Mu-te-li-fu’s poems “China” or “[illegible].”

Editorial Office’s Commentaries on Li Mu-te-li-fu in Banner of Communism

In each era, people have their own heroes. These heroes live on forever and go down in history as glorious historical images. All heroes, from Prometheus, who stole fire from God and gave it to the human race, to the people who gave their lives to the causes of the people, are always remembered by the people.

Our Mu-te-li-fu (Lutong), just like Ernist Thalmann, Musa Cälil, Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya, Mo-li-ge [sic], and Kao-shi-wa-yi [sic], who died in the harsh struggle against fascist demons, is one of the tens of thousands of heroic martyrs. He also ranks among the famous heroes who bravely stepped forward for national liberation, such as Julius Fučík, Nikos Brutus, Ma-shuang-li-si Ge-li-zuo-si [sic], Jia-mi-la [sic], [illegible], and Castro.

From his life and from his battles and path of creative writing, we can clearly see that Mu-te-li-fu is the greatest and most glorious image in history and that he had the bravery of Qing-tie-mu-er [sic], the loyalty of Na-zi-gu-mu [sic], the extraordinariness of Sadir, and the intelligence of Abdallah Ruo-zi-ba-ke-ye-fu [sic] and Ehmetjan Qasim. Therefore, although he was engaged in creative writing for merely four or five years in his short life, he scored indelible accomplishments in literary art. He is shining like the Venus in the extended dark night which is coming to its end and showing us to more brilliant and glorious prospects.

Undoubtedly, Mu-te-li-fu, a poet with a hot heart in the minds of the Uyghur people, is and will always be one of the infinitely important and sacred images of resistance against colonists and support for national liberation movements. Thus, he ranks among the above historical heroes. We should be proud of his glorious status and his immortal exploits in literary art!

(This article appears in the newspaper below the large-font headline “Mu-te-li-fu is a passionately inspirational man.” It has no title or author’s name.)

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