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China Daily Website


Complete works of late Chinese altruist published

Updated: 2012-03-01 10:36

The complete collection of works by the late Chinese icon of altruism, Lei Feng, has been published for the first time in China, offering the public a chance to closely trace the mind of the selfless soldier 50 years after his death.

A result of long-term personal and voluntary research and compiling efforts led by compiler Xing Huaqi, the 200,000-character Chinese anthology is the most complete collection of Lei's works to date, according to the publisher.

In addition to some 330 diary entries, 12 articles, 18 speeches and 13 letters, the book also contains 30 poems, three novels and nine pieces of prose, all written between 1958 and 1962, Sino-Culture Press said at a press conference Wednesday.

Born in late 1940 in central China's Hunan province, Lei was orphaned at the age of 7. He started working in a steel mill in 1958, and became an army recruit in 1960 at the age of 20. Lei is known for devoting almost all of his spare time and money to selflessly helping the needy.

He died from injuries sustained from being hit on the head by a pole while helping a fellow soldier direct a truck on Aug. 15, 1962.

In a diary dated just five days before his accidental death, he wrote, "From now on, I will love and respect people more, always learn from the masses with a humble heart like a primary student, and be a servant of the people."

A year later, late chairman Mao Zedong called on the entire nation to follow Lei's example, and March 5 of every year is designated "Lei Feng's Day".