The Rape of Nanking

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The Rape of Nanking

Most American schoolchildren have been taught of the gas chambers at Auschwitz and have read at least part of The Diary of Anne Frank. Many are taught about the atomic bombs that the United States dropped on the Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But ask them about the horrors of Nanking and they do not even recognize the city's name. Many adults, even educated adults, are not familiar with this massacre.

In December 1937, the Japanese army invaded the then Chinese capital of Nanking. They systematically raped, tortured, and murdered more than 300,000 Chinese civilians in a few weeks. Despite the amazingly large death toll and convincing evidence many of the Japanese to this day deny the events ever occurred. Iris Chang, the author of The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II, describes the silence of this atrocity as a "second rape".

This book describes the torture of the women in Nanking, how the Japanese could do such acts, and the heroes who risked their lives to save the Chinese.

The local women, no matter what age, were raped. To reduce the number of rapes the Japanese government provided "military brothels". They lured, purchased, and kidnapped between eighty thousand and two hundred thousand women (most were from Korea, but many also came from China, Taiwan, the Philippines, and Indonesia). The women were used to reward soldiers for fighting on the battlefront for long periods of time. An unknown number of women (who were nicknamed "public toilets" by the soldiers) committed suicide when they learned of their fate. Other women died from disease or murder.

Understanding the motives, the state of the Japanese mind, behind Nanking is difficult. The Japanese soldier was hardened for battle by many means. Various games and exercises...