Today, December 7, is known as Pearl Harbour Day in the United States. Many people
know what happened on that 'day of infamy' back in 1941. But few readerss may remember
another black day in the history of the human race.
Dec 13, next Thursday, marks the 64th anniversary of the day the Japanese army marched
into Nanjing, the capital of the then-Republic of China, and initiated what has come
to be called the Rape of Nanjing.
What follows comes from Iris Chang's The Rape of Nanjing: the forgotten holocaust
of World War II.
"Japanese soldiers began [on Dec 13, 1937] an orgy of cruelty seldom matched
if ever 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 machineguns, 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 flesh."
"...the International Military Tribunal of the Far East (IMTFE) estimated that
more than 260,000 noncombatants died at the hands of the Japanese soldiers at Nanjing
in late 1937 and early 1938, though some experts have placed the figure at well over
"The Japanese out-did the Romans at Carthage (only 150,000 died in that slaughter),
the Christian armies during the Spanish Inquisition, and even...Timur Lenk, who killed
100,000 prisoners at Delhi in 1398."
"An estimated 20,000-80,000 Chinese women were raped. Many soldiers went beyond
rape to disembowel women, slice off their breasts, nail them alive to walls. Fathers
were forced to rape their daughters, and sons their mothers, as other family members
watched. Not only did live burials, castration, the carving of organs, and the roasting
of people become routine, but some 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."
"...no photograph on the event, not even one word, appears in The American Heritage
Picture History of World War II (1966), which for many years was the best-selling
single-volume pictorial history of the war ever published."
Take a moment of silence this coming Dec 13 to remember the victims of this tragedy.
Some survivors in Nanjing are still wrestling with their own horrific memories even
to this day.