The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II

The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II

Iris Chang

Language: English

Pages: 360

ISBN: 0465068367

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


In December 1937, the Japanese army swept into the ancient city of Nanking. Within weeks, more than 300,000 Chinese civilians and soldiers were systematically raped, tortured, and murdered—a death toll exceeding that of the atomic blasts of Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined. Using extensive interviews with survivors and newly discovered documents, Iris Chang has written the definitive history of this horrifying episode.

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indignant or even concerned parents. The pressure to conform to authority intensified if the schoolboy decided to become a soldier. Vicious hazing and a relentless pecking order usually squelched any residual spirit of individualism in him. Obedience was touted as a supreme virtue, and a sense of individual self-worth was replaced by a sense of value as a small cog in the larger scheme of things. To 31 32 THE RAPE OF NANKING establish this sublimation of individuality to the common good,

They all walked in droves, like ants crawling on the ground. They looked like a bunch of homeless people, with ignorant expressions on their faces. A herd of ignorant sheep, with no rule or order, marched on in the darkness, whispering to each other. They hardly looked like the enemy who only yesterday was shooting at and troubling us. It was impossible to believe that they were the enemy soldiers. It felt quite foolish to think we had been fighting to the death against these ignorant slaves. And

west and the Purple Mountain to the east shielded the city “like a coiling dragon and a crouching tiger,” to borrow an ancient phrase describing Nanking’s natural strength. But sadly, three times Nanking has been an invaded city. The first invasion occurred more than a millennium ago, at the end of the sixth century, when barbarian hordes demolished every important building in the city and even plowed up the land inside the walls. The second came more than one thousand years later, between 1853

the louder punctuated sounds of Japanese cannon fire. Then there was the sight, the sight of Nanking on fire. The conflagration lit the dark sky bright. T H E FA L L OF NANKING One can only imagine the thoughts of the humiliated Tang as his launch moved across the river. His last glimpse of Nanking was of a city in flames, its people frantically trying to save themselves, his own troops hanging onto driftwood to stay afloat in the dark cold waters of the Yangtze. He would later tell friends

the louder punctuated sounds of Japanese cannon fire. Then there was the sight, the sight of Nanking on fire. The conflagration lit the dark sky bright. T H E FA L L OF NANKING One can only imagine the thoughts of the humiliated Tang as his launch moved across the river. His last glimpse of Nanking was of a city in flames, its people frantically trying to save themselves, his own troops hanging onto driftwood to stay afloat in the dark cold waters of the Yangtze. He would later tell friends

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