Today in history: November 12, 1939 - Norman Bethune dies. Bethune was a Canadian communist and a doctor dedicated to serving oppressed people and people fighting to create a new society.
During the Spanish Civil War in 1936, Bethune went to Spain to care for wounded anti-fascist fighters. After that he went to China to accompany the Communist Eighth Route Army during the Chinese revolution. Bethune performed emergency battlefield surgical operations on war casualties and established training for doctors, nurses and orderlies. He revolutionized military medicine, developing the first mobile blood-transfusion service in Spain in 1936.
His spirit of internationalism and sacrifice for the people was made famous by Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Zedong in his essay “In memory of Norman Bethune” (here:http://bit.ly/s1p1Np) — an essay that is still widely read around the world and by Chinese schoolchildren today. Bethune died in China, and there are numerous memorials to him there and in Canada.
Mao said of Bethune: “What kind of spirit is this that makes a foreigner selflessly adopt the cause of the Chinese people’s liberation as his own? It is the spirit of internationalism, the spirit of communism, from which every Chinese Communist must learn.”
Pictured: A Chinese poster commemorating Dr. Norman Bethune
From Freedom Road Socialist Organization (Fight Back!)