March 5th, 2009
Never Forget the Massacre of Nanking
Almost every individual in the Western World, and most of the world, remembers or knows about the Holocaust and the murdering, inhumane, and utterly unspeakable manner of what the Jews had to endure. We might have known an individual in the concentration camps, had a parent or a grandparent who served in World War II, read The Diary of a Young Girl: Anne Frank, been taught in school, or simply just seen a documentary on television. Regardless of how we learned about those atrocities, most of us know the basics of what had taken place. If I was to ask you what the Nanking Massacre, also commonly referred to as the Rape of Nanking, was about, I would be willing to bet that most of you would have not an inkling of an idea of what or who the Nanking Massacre was about. You may be thinking my initial thoughts prior to reading the book, “Who was Nanking and why was she raped?”
From the months of December 1937 thru February 1938, sources estimate anywhere from 200,000 to 300,000 thousand Chinese were tortured and slaughtered by the Imperial Japanese Army. In the New York Times bestselling book The Rape of Nanking, Irish Chang, the author, brings us three points of view on what had taken place: the Chinese, the Japanese soldiers, and the Westerners who had established and actively protected hundreds of thousands of Chinese in the International Committee for the Nanking Safety Zone. Irish Chang has two main reasons for writing this book. First, she wanted to make sure that everyone remembers what had taken place in the three months following the Japanese invasion into Nanking. Secondly, and possibly more important to the Chinese civilians, was to put pressure on the government of the Japanese to openly accept responsibility for the rape, murder, torture, and mutilations that had occurred in the Nanking Massacre.
From the beginning of Chapter 10, we quickly understand...