Wu Shiqi (b. 1933) is a resident of Gaogezhuang Village, Yang Town, Shunyi District, Beijing. In this interview, Wu talks about his experience during the Great Famine. Wu was driving cart for the production team in Xiaodian Village, so he did not starve at all. However, because the production team in his village needed to build a kindergarten, the east side of his house had to be demolished.
Gao Yueqi (b. 1928) is a resident of Shaziying Village, Yang Town, Shunyi District, Beijing. Gao joined the communist army during the Civil War. After being demobilized, he was assigned to work on finalizing the Land Reform. In this interview, Gao describes various policies during the Land Reform and how to calculate the exploitation rate for the purpose of class identification. Meanwhile, Gao points out that there were lots of physical conflicts during the Land Reform and many people were beaten to death. The transcript of this interview has been translated into English.
Lu Jiwen (b. 1945) moved to Shaziying Village, Yang Town, Shunyi District, Beijing in 1961 when his parents who were intellectuals but received mistreatment were sent to the countryside for reeducation. In this interview, Lu talks about the life before and after Cultural Revolution. Because most of the work points they earned by working at the production team were used to treat his mom's heart disease, they led a very poor life. His dad passed away when the Four Cleanups Movement just started and his reputation was not rehabilitated until when Cultural Revolution ended. When his mom passed away in 1966 and his four elder sisters all left home because of work or school, he and his younger brother were the only ones left at home and had to support themselves by working at the production team. The transcript of this interview has been translated into English.
Yin Lianrong (b. 1941) is a resident of Shaziying Village, Yang Town, Shunyi District, Beijing. In this interview, Yin recalls the life during and after the Great Famine. Once a pig of the Production Team in Gaogezhuang Village died, so the man who fed the livestock cooked the pig. His son ate most of the pig and was eventually stuffed to death. Because of the edible things her dad found near the reed field, Yin's family did not starve badly. When one of her kids was born, due to malnutrition, Yin did not have milk. She had to buy a goat for 5 Yuan and fed the baby with goat milk. The transcript of this interview has been translated into English.
Zhao Guifang (b. 1926) was married into Shaziying Village, Yang Town, Shunyi District, Beijing when she was 20. In this interview, Zhao talks about her hardship during the Great Famine. Originally Zhao had five daughters and one son, but because the famine was worse in Hebei Province, Zhao's dad asked her to take one of her sister's daughters. Life did not improve until when the kids grew a little older so that Zhao could lead them to make mats for extra money while Zhao's husband went to work in the city.
Ma Shuying (b. 1927) was married into Shaziying Village, Yang Town, Shunyi District, Beijing when she was 17. In this interview, Ma recalls the life during the Great Famine. During that time when Ma's husband went to build the Miyun Reservoir, she had to take care of six children all by herself. However, she still had to work at the production team otherwise they could not eat at the communal canteen. Later Ma led the children to make mats and hats for extra money. They were even disrespected by some neighbors because of their poverty.
Wang Shihua (b. 1926) is a resident of Shaziying Village, Yang Town, Shunyi District, Beijing. In this interview, Wang recalls the life after 1949. After being demobilized from the army in 1954, Wang worked as the leader and then the secretary of the production team. He explains the operation of and differences between elementary and advanced agricultural producers' cooperatives and people's commune. To join the cooperatives, people had to pay a certain amount of money. If one did not have enough money, while poor and lower-middle peasants could borrow money from the credit union with zero interest rate, rich peasants and landlords had to pay the interest. Because of its reed field, Shaziying Village did not suffer as much as others during the Great Famine. Many girls made mats with reeds for extra money. No one starved to death but several old people died of constipation. The transcript of this interview has been translated into English.