This was a political movement in China in the late 1960s. Chairman Mao Zedong had lost power due to the failure of the The Great Leap Forward, and he was concerned that he was losing his grip on the Communist Party. He began the Cultural Revolution by stirring up fears that capitalists had infiltrated the country.
The Cultural Revolution gave rise to “Red Guards,” which were informal groups of students who fought each other in a battle to “purify” the Communist Party. The result was widespread chaos, including mass murder, rape, and even cannibalism in some areas.
The program official started in 1968. The active period was 1968 and 1969, though it didn’t officially end until Mao died in 1976. In 1981, the Chinese Communist party condemned the Cultural Revolution.
The total death toll – directly and indirectly – is estimated from the hundreds of thousands, up to 20 million.