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China: The Nanking Massacre

In December 1937 the Japanese Imperial Army marched into Nanking, China (also known as Nanjing) and killed around 200,000 to 300,000 people. People were tortured and murdered in various ways. This went on for six weeks and during that time period between 20,000 and 80,000 women and girls were raped or sexually assaulted; some were gang raped and shot or stabbed to death. Stores were looted and buildings were set on fire. This became known as the Nanking Massacre or the Rape of Nanking. It took decades for the city of Nanking and it's people to recover from the attacks.

History Channel

Three survivors from the Nanjing Massacre remember their experiences very vividly; all three have memories of brutal deaths. Wen Sunshi was raped by a Japanese soldier and would have been killed otherwise. After that she was released and went into hiding in a cellar for several months, then returned to live with her parents. She remembers seeing many people murdered by the troops. Chen Jiashou escaped to a refugee camp after the Japanese invasion, but eventually was taken by the soldiers. As they started to shoot everyone she faked dead to survive, and then later on was captured again by the soldiers and had to work in a Japanese factory. She also witnessed several deaths during the massacre. Chen Deshou recalls seeing bombs and fires and witnessed his aunt being stabbed to death after fighting with a soldier so she wouldn't be raped. He refers to the soldiers as "Japanese devils".

Facing History

Tamaki Matsuoka is a former Osaka history teacher who spent almost 30 years researching the Nanjing massacre. She believed there were contradictory assertions and wanted to learn more about it so she could teach her students. Tamaki traveled to China over 80 times to find out the truth. She interviewed over 300 survivors and spoke to over 250 Japanese veterans as well. The soldiers were more unwilling to talk and from the ones she spoke to only a few of them regretted what they had done; in the military they were taught to obey commands without any questions. She says in Japan it's still taboo to talk about Nanjing and it's a political issue. Tamaki has also made a documentary "Torn Memories of Nanjing".

YouTube - CGTN

At the beginning of this year Chinese tourists found a copy of a controversial book about the Nanjing massacre written by the Japanese hotel chain APA Group's chief executive officer. The book "Theoretical Modern History" which is placed in many of APA's hotel rooms denies the atrocities of the Nanjing massacre and that it was a fabrication by the Chinese. The tourists posted a video of the book online that has since gone viral; causing even more disagreements about Nanjing between China and Japan.

Bloomberg