After the Japanese army occupied Hong Kong in December 1941, it ordered Chinese intellectuals who had previously fled to the city to surrender. To evacuate these patriotic figures and prevent them from being put under arrest by Japanese troops, forces led by the Communist Party of China carried out a mission called the "Great Rescue".
In about 200 days, CPC guerrillas helped more than 800 people, including foreigners from several countries, escape an intensive hunt by the Japanese in Hong Kong, and escorted them to safety. Among these cultural luminaries there were He Xiangning, the social activist and avid advocate of women's rights, and Mao Dun, writer who later became New China's first culture minister.
In memory of this historic mission, the For the Culture Succession exhibition in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong province, shows documents, vintage photos and other items to review the course of the "Great Rescue".
The exhibition at the He Xiangning Art Museum until Sept 15 also shows paintings by prominent artists of the 20th century China, including some who experienced the "Great Rescue". They were donated by Liao Anxiang, a Party member who participated in the mission, to Jiaying University in Meizhou, Guangdong.