Nanjing, which was formally known as Nanking or Nankin, was the capital of China until August of 1937. At that time, Japanese forces had effectively attacked and captured Shanghai and were on a march to attack Nanjing. After losing the battle of Shanghai, Chiang Kai-shek made the decision to take his army into the countryside as opposed to losing much of his force in a hopeless battle to defend the capital.
To understand some of the hostility between China and Japan today, one needs to understand the ramifications of the results of the Second World War, or as it is known in China, the Japanese War of Aggression.
While Germany as a country has profusely apologized and each year shows national contrition for its atrocities committed against the Jewish people, there are many Japanese politicians, including President Shinzo Abe, who refuse any sign of remorse. Some even claim despite overwhelming documentation, that the events documented did not happen.
On December 13th, 1937 the Japanese army captured the city of Nanjing in eastern China. Their occupation began one of the most horrific massacre’s that occurred during the fight against Japanese aggression, commonly known as World War II.
During the occupation of the city over an approximate six week period, it has been said that 300,000 persons were brutally murdered and countless women raped.
Last year the Chinese government established this day as a National Memorial Day to remember the sacrifice and loss of life that occurred during the occupation. In announcing the commemoration of this holiday, special efforts were made to indicate it was not a day to foster hatred, but a solemn day of remembrance by the world in hopes that something like this would never happen again.
Unfortunately, with the continuing violence of events happening on the African continent, as well as the atrocities taking place in the Middle East, it appears humanity has yet to understand or learn lessons for the Respect for Life.
For more information regarding this forgotten massacre obtain the book, The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II by Iris Chang.