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Remembering the Nanking Massacre

David Ren, '21, Staff Writer

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 For many Americans, the month of December is a month of joyous celebration and rightfully so—December is when children receive gifts from Santa Claus and everyone celebrates the start of a new year. However, for the Chinese, the month of December is a month full of many somber acknowledgments for many tragic events, where the many atrocities committed on the Chinese people are remembered and the victims mourned by the hundreds of millions.

    This year’s 13th of December is no different, as it commemorates the 80th anniversary of the Nanking Massacre—one of the most brutal and devastating atrocities in human history. The Nanking Massacre began on the 13th of December 1937, when the Imperial Japanese Army marched into present-day Nanjing (previously known as Nanking) and proceeded to brutalize the city’s population.  

    The unrelenting Japanese soldiers conducted mass murder, torture, rape, looting, and arson on the inhabitants of Nanking (most of them helpless civilians and prisoners of war). The results of this massacre were the deaths of an estimated 400,000 civilians and unarmed soldiers, along with the obliteration of Nanking’s architecture, economy, and government. These results are especially horrifying when one realizes that the massacre lasted for about 6 weeks— meaning that an average of 9524 people were killed every day. Unfortunately, the inhabitants of Nanking had to suffer for another 8 years before they were liberated from Imperial Japanese rule in September 9, 1945 after Japan surrendered to the Allied Powers (following the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki).

    The horrors of the Nanking Massacre essentially remain unknown to most people outside of Asia. This is due to the victims themselves remaining silent, the Japanese government’s denial/downplay of the massacre, and an ensuing Chinese Communist Revolution (set off by the Japanese Invasion). Thus, as to not forget the results of this atrocity and to spread awareness, hundreds of millions of grief-stricken Chinese will remember the victims of the massacre as they will on every 13th of December, on every year since the massacre.

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Remembering the Nanking Massacre