Sidney Rittenberg was a Jewish American journalist, scholar, and Chinese linguist who lived in China from 1944 to 1980. He worked closely with Mao Zedong, Zhu De, Zhou Enlai, and other leaders of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) during the Chinese Communist Revolution, and was with these central Communist leaders at Yan’an.He witnessed first-hand much of what occurred at upper levels of the CCP and knew many of its leaders personally, approving of the crackdown on dissidents and the policies which led to the Great Chinese Famine which caused the deaths of approximately 30 million Chinese.
Later, he was imprisoned in solitary confinement, twice.On his release in 1957 Rittenberg remained a strong supporter of Mao and actively and enthusiastically supported the Great Leap Forward. Later he was a supporter of the Cultural Revolution and briefly associated with Made Mao’s inner circle – leading a group of rebels to take over the state broadcasting institution. He was the first American citizen to join the CCP.
Source:1. Michael Bristow, ‘Sidney Rittenberg: Chairman Mao’s Favourite American’, BBC, 30 June 2011.
2. MARK MCDONALD (2012-07-10). “The Man Who Stayed Behind in China Comes Into Focus”. New York Times. Retrieved 2012-07-10.
3.McFadden, Robert D. (August 24, 2019). “Sidney Rittenberg, Idealistic American Aide to Mao Who Evolved to Counsel Capitalists, Dies at 98” – via NYTimes.com.