The Nankin Massacre in China: Historically Forgotten

1399 WordsJul 17, 20186 Pages
Absolute historical fact is impossible to obtain. Although history tends to be thought of as based on facts, data and past happenings, history in its very nature subjects itself to human biases, personal interpretations, personal interests, national interests, and cultural values. The occurrence of the Raping of Nanking continues to be subjected to such interpretations. On December 12, 1937, an outbreak of mass murder and rape was committed by the Japanese troops against Nanking China during the Second Sino-Japanese War. This incident, which came to be known as the Nanking Massacre or the Rape of Nanking, lasted for six weeks during which the Imperial Japanese Army murdered tens of thousands of Chinese civilians and disarmed combatants.…show more content…
Iris Chang, the author of The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II states, “Denial is an integral part of atrocity, and it’s a natural part after a society has committed genocide. First you kill them, then the memory of killing is killed”. This distorted historic memory of the Rape of Nanking has China yearning for an official apology from Japan and desiring the world to know about the largest single city massacre in the history of the world. Unlike the Japanese, the Chinese do not view the rape, death, mutilation and torture of what some suspect to be more than 300,000 civilians and surrendered soliders in a city of less than 650,000 inhabitants to be a hazy, forgettable past (Stanford). In motivation of her own grandparents’ stores about the escape from the massacre, Iris Chang wrote The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II. She details atrocities committed against Chinese by forces of the Japanese Imperial Army and includes rare interviews with victims. Chang describes in gruesome detail the types of cruel torture thrust upon the people of Nanking including mutilation, live burials, “death by ice”, “death by fire” and “death by dogs” (Chang 88). She also illustrates a brutal killing contest amongst the Japanese soldiers to determine who was the quickest. On the rapes that took place during the massacre she states that “certainly it was one of the greatest mass

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