Comrade foot soldier

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The Independent Online
PEKING (Reuter) - The Maoist martyr Lei Feng, a propaganda hero hailed as 'the rust- proof screw' of Chinese Communism, was honoured yesterday with the opening of a renovated memorial hall.

The Communist Party, desperate to present a role-model for millions of Chinese disillusioned with Marxism, has resurrected the fresh-faced soldier who, according to legend, was killed, aged 22, when a telephone pole fell on his head in 1962. Lei was posthumously canonised for his unquestioning faith in the party and tireless energy that earned him his nickname. One of his immortal acts was secretly washing his comrades' socks by night.