It would be difficult to find anyone who is unfamiliar with unfamiliar with the broad overview of the Nazi Holocaust, in which six million Jewish people were systematically murdered by the Nazi=s, along with almost as many gypsies, POWs, gays, communists, and resistors. But until now, few have been aware that there was a Holocaust in the Chinese city of Nanking in 1937 that was just as brutal. Iris Chang, however, would like to change all that. Her 1997 book The Rape of Nan King not only documents these atrocities but does so in a fashion that bring the human horrors of the story to light.
Chang begins her story with the thesis statement, AThe chronicle of humankind=s cruelty to fellow humans is a long and sorry tale. But if it is true that even in such horror tales there are degrees of ruthlessness, then few atrocities in the world history compare in intensity and scale to the Rape of Nanking during World War II@ (Chang pg.
Her reasons for writing this book are very interesting and eventful. The Japenese government has never gone further than to allude to the massacre as a Amistake@, but its historical veracity is not in dispute (Chen, chinal-9650.html). Japan had invaded and conquered Shanghai in November 1937, and then moved onwards to Nanking. The Japanese citizens of Nanking, predictably, attempted to resist, and therefore the invader=s intent was apparently to make of the city of Nanking some sort of example. Chang=s words describe it most chillingly: A When the city fell on December 13, 1937, Japanese soldiers began an orgy of cruelty seldom if ever matched 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...