THE NANKING MASSACRE - Page 1

THE NANKING MASSACRE

This story is about the brutality and torture against innocent people, the greatest mass extermination ever recorded in the history of mankind. In November 1937, after their successful invasion of Shanghai, the Japanese launched a massive attack on the newly established capital of the Republic of China. When the city fell on December 13, 1937, Japanese soldiers began an orgy of crualty seldom if ever matched in world history. Tens of thousands of young men were rounded up and herded to the outer areas of the city, where they were mowed down by machine guns, used for bayonet practice, or soaked with gasoline and burned alive. For months the streets of the city were heaped with corpses and reeked with the stench of rotting human flesh. As many as 350,000 died at the hands of the Japanese.

The Rape of Nanking should be remembered not only for the number of people slaughtered but for the crual manner in which they met their deaths. Chinese men were used for bayonet practice and in decapitation contests. An estimated 20,000 – 80,000 Chinese women with raped. Many soldiers went beyond rape to disembowel women, slice off their breast, nail them alive to walls. Fathers were forced to rape their daughters, and sons were their mothers, as other family members watched. Not only did live burials, castration, the carving of organs, and the roasting of people became routine, but more diabolical tortures were practiced, such as hanging people by their tongues on iron hooks or burying people to their waists and watching them get torn apart by German shepherds. So sickening was the spectacle that even the Naxis in the city were horrified, one proclaiming the massacre to be the work of “bestial machinery.” You must read THE RAPE OF NANKING BY IRIS CHANG for an experience you will never forget.

The Nanking Massacre, commonly known as "The Rape of Nanking," was an infamous war crime incident committed by the Japanese military carried out by Japanese troops in and arounNanjing (then known in English as Nanking), China, after it fell to the Imperial Japanese Army on December 13, 1937. The duration of the massacre is not clearly defined, although the violence lasted well into the next six weeks, until early February 1938.

The Massacre remains neglected in most of the historical literature published in the United States. Just like the Holocaust, over a period of time both will be denied that it ever happened. The Japanese have been working for years to change some of the numbers and happenings

During the occupation of Nanjing, the Japanese army committed numerous atrocities, such as rape, looting, arson and the execution of prisoners of war and civilians. Although the executions began under the pretext of eliminating Chinese soldiers disguised as civilians, a large number of innocent men were intentionally identified as enemy combatants and killed, or simply killed in any event as the massacre gathered momentum. A large number of women and children were also killed, as rape and murder became more widespread.

Nations outside Japan generally agree that the non-combatant death toll was 300,000. This number was first promulgated in January of 1938 by Harold Timperly, a journalist in China during the Japanese invasion. It has been corroborated by contemporary eyewitnesses and recent excavations. This number includes massacres in the neighboring regions outside the city walls of Nanking for the duration of the Japanese occupation.

The extent of the atrocities is hotly debated, with numbers ranging from the claim of the Imperial Japanese Army at the International Military Tribunal for the Far East that the death toll was military in nature and that no such atrocities ever occurred, to Western eyewitnesses at the International Military Tribunal for the Far East who had personally witnessed civilians being murdered and women raped by Japanese soldiers, to the Chinese claim of a non-combatant death toll of 300,000. The West and other nations outside Japan have generally tended to adopt the 1938 estimates of 300,000, with many sources now quoting 300,000 dead. This is partly due to the evidence of extensive photographic records of the mutilated bodies of women and children, as well as the commercial success of Iris Chang's The Rape of Nanking, which has renewed interest in the massacre.

In addition to the number of victims, some Japanese critics have even disputed whether the atrocity happened. While the Japanese government has acknowledged such an incident did occur, the extremists presented their case starting with the Imperial Japanese Army's claims at the International Military Tribunal for the Far East that the death toll was military in nature and that no such civilian atrocities ever occurred. However, an overwhelming amount of evidence contradicts this. The existence of such an atrocity has been repeatedly confirmed by statements of Westerners at the International Military Tribunal for the Far East as well as eyewitnesses who had personally witnessed civilians being murdered and women raped by Japanese soldiers. There is also an extensive collection of photographic records of mutilated bodies of Chinese women and children. Recent archaeological findings further support the existence of this massacre having taken place.

Condemnation of the massacre is a major focal point of burgeoning Chinese nationalism. In Japan, however, public opinion over the severity of the massacre remains widely divided - this is evidenced by the fact that whereas some Japanese commentators refer to it as the 'Nanking massacre' others use the more ambivalent 'Nanking incident' .The event continues to be a point of contention and controversy in Sino-Japanese relations.

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