Sunday, August 16, 2009

Son of Heaven a Prisoner of Atheists

It was on this day in 1945 that the last Emperor of China, "Henry" Pu-Yi, lately Emperor Kang Teh of Manchukuo, his brother Prince Pu-Chieh and his attendants were arrested by troops of the Soviet Red Army as they attempted to fly to Japan in order to surrender to the forces of the United States. After being called as a witness at the Tokyo war crimes trials he would spend five years in Soviet captivity before being handed over to the Chinese communist government in an effort by the dictator Joseph Stalin to improve relations with Chairman Mao Tse-tung. The Emperor's recent abdication was actually his third. His first had been in 1912 when the Empress Dowager Longyu abdicated on his behalf to the Chinese republic. He abdicated again in 1917 after a brief restoration effected by the Qing loyalist Chang Hsun. His 1945 abdication as Emperor of Manchukuo would be his last.

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