Netizens stunned by revelation that Einstein once pleaded to KMT to free Chinese revolutionary Chen Duxiu
Published: Jul 01, 2021 12:04 AM
Chen Duxiu photo:IC

Chen Duxiu photo:IC

The revelation that German-born physicist Albert Einstein once pleaded for the freedom of Chinese revolutionary Chen Duxiu, one of the founders of the Communist Party of China (CPC), in 1932 has gone viral on China’s social media, prompting Chinese netizens to comment that truth and humanity are borderless. 

A post uploaded on China’s Twitter-like Sina Weibo on Monday drew lots of reactions, and the related hashtag “Einstein helped Chen Duxiu” has been viewed more than 290 million times as of Wednesday.

The post pointed out that when Chen was arrested in 1932 by the Kuomintang, Einstein and other academicians from different countries including UK and US wrote letters to Chiang Kai-shek, head of the Kuomintang, to plead for his release.

Einstein wrote that Chen should not be a prisoner and asked Chiang to release him. His words showed his appreciation for Chen’s achievements in literature.

However, Chiang refused their requests due to Chen’s identity as one of the founders of the CPC, and the fact that he wanted to punish Chen as a lesson to other CPC members and revolutionaries.

Many netizens were surprised to hear the story and said that they had not realized Chen and Einstein lived at the same time.

Some praised both men in their comments, saying that it reflects Chen's contribution and influence in the world’s cultural circle at that time, and as one of the pioneers of China’s New Culture Movement, Chen did much to spread Marxism. Einstein is also worthy of respect as he had a grand view of history and humankind that transcended nationality.

Chen’s image has become strengthened in many young Chinese people’s minds after a revolution-themed TV drama The Awakening Age, the story of how the CPC was founded in 1921, became a hit among young audiences.

As one of the lead characters in the drama, Chen, played by Chinese actor Yu Hewei, had large numbers of fans because of his strong faith, loyalty to the country and people, as well as erudition, qualities shared by his two sons, Chen Yannian and Chen Qiaonian.

“They have never just been profile photos on textbooks, they are vivid and outstanding people who live beside us. This is what I felt when I watched the TV drama,” a Beijing high school student surnamed Fang told the Global Times on Wednesday.

The TV series, which celebrates this year's 100th anniversary of the founding of the CPC, has won high praise on Chinese media review platform Douban. It has been rated from 8.3/10 to 9.3/10 on the platform, with over 75 percent of the more than 150,000 reviewers giving it full marks.