The rape of Nanjing

25 04 2010

The main reason for us to visit Nanjing was to visit the aerie Memorial Hall of the Nanjing Massacre.  The memorial hall was build to document the terrible deeds committed in Nanjing by Japanese soldiers in WWII.  Nanjing was the capital of the Republic of China, the predecessor of the Peoples Republic of China, and served as the capital until 1949. 

In six weeks towards the end of 1937, the Japanese Army captured Nanjing and carried out the systematic and severely brutal Nanjing Massacre.  Rape, torture, murder, theft, arson and other crimes were all a part of the program.  Death toll estimates vary but the official Chinese number is 300,000 murders of civilians during that time in Nanjing.  You can read more about the massacre here.

The memorial hall was build in 1985 and is very tastefully designed.  It consists of a museum, memory square, meditation hall, open graves and other displays.  It was a very nice and peaceful place to visit but the museum that displayed texts and photos from the period was quite disturbing.

Before going to China I had never heard of this event in world history and the Memorial Hall was well worth the visit. 

We didn’t do much of other stuff in Nanjing and this morning we’ll catch the train back to Beijing.  

I can’t believe that there are only five days left of our adventure (if the volcanic eruption back home allows us to return).  We are though very much looking forward to going home to meet friends and family and to enjoy all the things that we had taken for granted – like hot shower, fresh tab water, closets full of clean clothes, kitchen to cook in and the like.

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One response

29 04 2010
Stevo

Great post. I really want to get to Nanjing. I did visit the graves of some of the Nanjing soldiers that had been moved to Heng Shan in Hunan province.

It’s a shame that few people in the west know about the Nanjing Massacre, or the heinous details of WW II in Asia. After living in China for 5 years I have been “schooled” on the war.

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