June 15, 2010
The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) extends its heartfelt condolences to Fred, Billy, and Karen and other relatives and friends of Joan Hinton on Joan’s passing away last June 8.
The NDFP renders the highest honor to Comrade Joan Hinton, who served the Chinese people and revolution starting in 1948, all the way through the great years of socialist revolution and construction led by the Communist Party of China under Comrade Mao Zedong. After the death of Comrade Mao Zedong, she tirelessly continued her selfless service to the Chinese people while she, together with her comrade husband Erwin “Sid” Engst, strongly opposed the capitalist road taken by the revisionist leadership of China. Joan called the so-called reforms made under Deng Hsiao Ping as “betrayal of the socialist cause”.
Joan Hinton was a promising young nuclear physicist who had been selected by the US government to be part of the elite and secret team called the Manhattan Project which worked on the first atomic bomb. The nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the US in August 1945 shocked her. She decided to leave the Manhattan Project.
In March 1948 she went to China with the intention of going to the liberated area under the Communist Party of China under the leadership of Mao Zedong. There she joined her fiance, Sid Engst, an agriculturist who had gone to China two years earlier and was already an active participant in the Chinese Revolution.
Through numerous twists and turns, Joan and Sid tirelessly worked for the construction of socialism in China. Asked why she and Sid persevered despite wrong policies which adversely affected them, them, they unhesitatingly responded: “Because we believe in socialism!”
Joan was a bubbling irresistible fighter, who, even in her late seventies and early eighties continued to integrate with the Chinese people. She welcomed many comrades and friends from different countries, including the Philippines, and shared her rich experience and unwavering commitment to socialism. She was often invited to speak in international conferences.
Joan was a proletarian revolutionary, whose heart was for the struggling oppressed and exploited peoples. The Filipino people’s struggle for national and social liberation and for socialist revolution was close to her heart. She became very close to Filipino comrades. She had a special interest and close friendship with the Filipino women comrades.
Joan’s enthusiasm and commitment were infectious. She inspired those whose lives she touched. She loved the Philippine revolution and fostered the solidarity and cooperation between the Chinese people and the Filipino people. They took practical steps to foster such solidarity and cooperation.
In 2002, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the National Council of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines awarded a citation to Joan and Sid. The citation given to Sid as he lay ill in the hospital, with Joan at his side, declared: "For more than half a century, you have unselfishly used your unique knowledge and skills in the service of the Chinese people, and of all people struggling for national and social liberation from imperialism and reaction.
“We deeply appreciate your keen interest in the Philippine revolution and your militant support for the Filipino people in their struggle for national liberation, democracy and socialism. Your selfless devotion to the cause of the exploited and the oppressed is a great example to revolutionaries of today and will be an inspiration to future generations of revolutionaries.”
The death of Joan Hinton last week deeply saddens us, as did the death of Sid in 2003. Joan’s and Sid’s revolutionary legacy will live on as a source of inspiration and strength for all who struggle for national liberation, democracy and socialism.
Long live the noble memory and revolutionary legacy of Comrades Joan Hinton and Sid Engst!
Long live proletarian internationalism and international peoples’ solidarity!
On behalf of the National Executive Committee,
National Democratic Front of the Philippines:
LUIS G. JALANDONI
Member, NDFP National Executive Committee
NDFP Chief International Representative