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Voice of China

  • Kind of Object:
    Magazine
  • Name:
    Voice of China

    Word Count: 3

  • Creator (Person):
    Agnes SmedleyRichard Paulick
  • Year Start:
    1936
  • Year End:
    1937
  • Material:

    Bi-weekly political magazine

  • Known addresses in Metromod cities:

    Eastern Publishing Co., 749 Bubbling Well Road, International Settlement (Nanjing Xi Lu, Jing’an Qu) Shanghai

  • Language:
    English
  • City:
    Shanghai (CN)
  • Introduction:

    Song Qingling, widow of the founder of the republic, Sun Yatsen, supported the political magazine Voice of China in 1936, which appeared in Shanghai in English. After the Japanese army invaded China in August 1937, the magazine had to cease publication.

    Word Count: 39

  • Content:

    In the run-up to and parallel to the publication of the bi-weekly magazine Voice of China, an informal Marxist study group met secretly on Sunday mornings to discuss the problems of ‘historical materialism’ and the ‘dialectical way of thinking‘, as well as Karl Marx’s Das Kapital and the Communist Manifesto. The organiser was the German communist and journalist Heinz Grzyb, who worked under pseudonyms such as Asiaticus, Heinz and Erich Möller, Hans Shippe and M.G. Shippe and was published in various magazines and newspapers, including T’ien Hsia Monthly, The China Critic, Pacific Affairs, China Weekly Review and Weltbühne, among others. The study group included the American Talitha Gerlach, the Austrian-born Ruth Weiss, the American doctor George Hatem, the wife of Heinz Gryzb, Trudy Rosenberg, Agnes Smedley, Richard Paulick and others.

    Song Qingling, Sun Yatsen’s widow, commissioned the American journalist Agnes Smedley in the second half of 1935 to develop a new political journal to replace The China Forum that had collapsed the previous year. The China Forum was founded in 1932, appeared weekly in English in Shanghai, was ideologically close to the Trotskyists and openly criticised the Guomindang’s policies.

    The new magazine should also publicly criticise the activities of the Guomindang, present the communist movement in the country positively and appear in English in order to draw the attention of other countries to conditions in China. The publication had to be produced by foreign journalists and be located in the concession areas in Shanghai, as the national government there had no legal recourse against the publishers. But the magazine was also a thorn in the side of the American government. The American consul in Shanghai tried several times to stop publication. Song Qingling sponsored Agnes Smedley three times to launch the magazine. The latter used the money, however, for ‘emergencies’ such as escape aid and the publication of a book about Käthe Kollwitz. In early 1936 the American communists Grace and Max (Manny) Granich reached Shanghai and took over the editing of Voice of China.

    The first issue of Voice of China came out on 15 March 1936 under the direction of Grace and Max Granich. Thereafter, the magazine appeared every two weeks until November 1937, after the occupation of Shanghai by the Japanese army. Most foreigners wrote for the magazine under pseudonyms. Agnes Smedley was nicknamed ‘Rusty Nails’ in Shanghai because of her violent arguments – e.g. with Heinz Grzyb about equal rights for women. She herself put a K in front of Nails and published articles under the pseudonym Rusty Knails in the first four editions of Voice of China. Ruth Weiss wrote under the name Lucie Vey, Rewi Alley under many different names such as Han Su-mai, Chiao Ta-chi, Kate Dawson, Richard, Howard and Ming Fu. Allegedly Grzyb also wrote for Voice of China, but nothing was published under his well-known pseudonyms. Richard Paulick published one article under the pseudonym Peter Winslow. The editors Grace and Max Granich appear with their real names, and Edgar Snow, Mao Dun, Lu Xun and Sun Fo also wrote without pseudonyms. The art of Käthe Kollwitz was so important to Lu Xun that he featured it in Voice of China.

    Word Count: 532

  • Signature Image:
    Cover, Voice of China, no.1, 1 April 1936 (© Eduard Kögel 2006).
  • Media:
    Cover, Voice of China, 15 March 1937 (© Eduard Kögel 2006).
    Content, Voice of China, 15 April 1937 (© Eduard Kögel 2006).
    Cover, Voice of China, 1 June 1937 (© Eduard Kögel 2006).
    Grace & Max Granich, photography, China Reconstructs, September 1972.
  • Bibliography (selected):

    Voice of China, 1936/1937.
    Lu, Hsun (Lu Xun). "Written in Deep Night." Voice of China, vol. 1, no. 6, 1 June 1936, p. 6.
    Winslow, Peter (Richard Paulick). "Crisis Education." Voice of China, vol.1, no. 2, 1 April 1936, p. 10–12.
    Kögel, Eduard. Zwei Poelzigschüler in der Emigration: Rudolf Hamburger und Richard Paulick zwischen Shanghai und Ost-Berlin (1930–1955). University of Weimar 2006, doi: https://doi.org/10.25643/bauhaus-universitaet.929.

    Word Count: 57

  • Archives and Sources:

    United States House of Representatives (HUAC),The Role of the Communist Press in The communist Conspiracy, Hearings Before the Committee on Un-American Activities, Eighty-Second Congress, Second Session, January 9, 10, 15, 16 and 17, 1952, Printed for the use of the Committee on Un-American Activities, United State Government Printing Office, Washington 1952.

    Word Count: 45

  • Author:
    Eduard Kögel
  • Metropolis:
    Shanghai
  • Entry in process:
    no
  • Eduard Kögel. "Voice of China." METROMOD Archive, 2021, https://archive.metromod.net/viewer.p/69/2952/object/5140-11304835, last modified: 08-05-2021.
  • Richard Paulick
    ArchitectDesigner

    After studying with Hans Poelzig, Richard Paulick worked in Walter Gropius’s office and frequented the Bauhaus in Dessau before emigrating to Shanghai in 1933. After his return, he became an influential planner and architect in the GDR, from 1950 until his retirement

    Word Count: 41

    Richard Paulick on board ship, en route to exile, photography, 1933. (© private archive, courtesy of Natascha Paulick).Richard Paulick on a weekend boat trip around Shanghai, photography (© private archive, courtesy of Natascha Paulick).Richard Paulick sketches in the landscape, photography (© private archive, courtesy of Natascha Paulick).Richard Paulick (with a pipe) in his office. His brother Rudolf is standing in front of the plan cupboard, photography (© private archive, courtesy of Natascha Paulick).Ye Qianyu, cover print, The Second-class Rail Carriage, Modern Sketch, July 1935.
    Shanghai
    Agnes Smedley
    WriterJournalist

    Agnes Smedley was an American journalist, writer and activist. Between 1929 and 1941, she lived in China, where she wrote reportages for European and American newspapers. As a feminist and socialist writer, she focused on the concerns of rural people and paid special attention to artists and their work during the Chinese revolution.

    Word Count: 51

    Smedley, Agnes. “Chinese Woodcuts 1935–49.” The Massachusetts Review, vol. 25, no. 4, 1984, pp. 553-564.
    Aino Taylor, Agnes Smedley in Kuomintang uniform as worn by Communist troops in central China during the United Front in 1939, Agnes Smedley Collection (© University Archives, Arizona State University Library).Smedley, Agnes. China blutet. Cover, Dietz Verlag Berlin, 1949. The German exiled artist John Heartfield (née Helmut Herzfeld) did a letterpress print for Cina blutet for his brother’s publishing house Malik Verlag during their exile in Prague in 1936. The print is archived at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and belongs to the Jan Tschichold Collection. Jan Tschichold was a calligrapher, typographer, and book designer. In 1933 he fled with his family to Switzerland and stayed for longer periods in London and Hampstead where he was involved in the design of the Penguin Books.
    Shanghai