He Zizhen

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He Zizhen
贺子珍.jpg
Born 1910
Yunshan, Jiangxi, Qing Empire
Died 1984 (aged 73–74)
Shanghai, People's Republic of China
Political party
Communist Party of China
Spouse(s) Mao Zedong
Children Yang Yuehua (b. 1929)
Fourth son (b. 1930)
Mao Anhong (b. 1932)
Second daughter (b. 1935)
Li Min (b. 1936)
Sixth son (b. 1938)
This is a Chinese name; the family name is He.
He Zizhen
Traditional Chinese 賀子珍
Simplified Chinese 贺子珍

He Zizhen (simplified Chinese: 贺子珍; traditional Chinese: 賀子珍; pinyin: Hè Zǐzhēn September 1909 – April 19, 1984) was the third wife of Mao Zedong from May 1930 to 1937.

Sinologist Stuart Schram records her name as Ho Tzu-chen.[1]

Biography[edit]

Mao with his third wife, He Zizhen, in 1928

He Zizhen was born in Yunshan (云山, now Yongxin County), Jiangxi, during Qing Dynasty China, and joined the Communist Youth League in 1925. She graduated from the Yongxin Girls' School and joined the Communist Party of China in 1926. He Zizhen was introduced to Mao Zedong at Jinggangshan by Yuan Wencai, a classmate of her elder brother, in the spring of 1928. An expert in guerrilla warfare and a capable fighter, He Zizhen was also an excellent shooter whom earned the nickname of "Two-Gunned Girl General."[2] When they married, Mao didn't divorce Yang Kaihui and Yang was not arrested yet.[3][4]

In 1937 she travelled to the Soviet Union to treat a wound sustained earlier in battle, later attending the Moscow East University.[citation needed]

He Zizhen had three daughters and three sons with Mao Zedong, but except for their daughter, Li Min, all of them died young or were separated from the family. Their eldest daughter, who was left to a local family in Fujian, was found and recognized by He Zizhen's brother in 1973, but never had the chance to meet Mao or He.[5] Two English researchers who retraced the entire Long March in 2002–2003 located a woman whom they believe might be a missing child left in the care of others by Mao and He in 1935.[6][7] Ed Jocelyn and Andrew McEwen hope a member of the Mao family will respond to requests for a DNA test.[8]

In 2007, a memorial hall was opened in Yongxin for He Zizhen with her daughter, Li Min, present as a guest.

References[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

Karl, Rebecca. Mao Zedong and China in the Twentieth-Century World. (2010). Durham: Duke UP. ISBN 978-0-8223-4795-8