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Thread: The Rape of Nanking, December 1937 - January 1938

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    Politics.ie Member owedtojoy's Avatar
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    Default The Rape of Nanking, December 1937 - January 1938

    Seventy-Five years ago this month, one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century wound down to a close.

    On December 13th 1937, the Chinese city of Nanking fell to the invading Japanese. There followed about 2 months of murders and mass rapes carried out in the most appalling and brutal fashion. It is estimated that some 80,000 acts of rape were committed, many were photographed, and most of the women murdered afterwards.

    The murders and rapes were documented by many westerners who were present, and finally published in a book The Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang in 1997. Westerners escaped interference, though many sensed the hatred of the Japanese towards them.

    Japanese airplanes sank the US gunboat Panay on the Yangtze nearby. Though the military apologised for their "mistake", many interpreted it as a warning against unwelcome interference.

    A few Japanese were tried and hanged after the war for war crimes, but the numbers convicted were far less than the total number of perpetrators. One man who escaped trial was the Emperor's younger brother Prince Asaka, who served as the nominal Japanese military commander, though he was not connected with any particular act (AFAIK). He escaped because of the immunity granted to the Japanese royal family by the Americans in 1945.

    The total death toll was put by Chang as between 250,000 and 300,000. This is contested by Japanese "revisionist" historian who claim the tales of massacres are Chinese propaganda. Iris Chang became so depressed by what she had uncovered, and suffered because of harassment and hate mail from Japanese ultra-nationalists. She eventually took her own life in 2005.

    It is well to remember that Nanking was only the worst of many, many atrocities committed by Japanese forces in China. In total, China lost some 15 million civilian casualties between 1931 and 1945.

    Today, no one denies Japan the right to mourn the dead of Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Tokyo. However, it should also be also recalled that Japan adopts a "never apologise/ never explain" attitude to the atrocities committed by its forces in WWII, and demands to be treated purely as a victim. It is not surprising this causes much resentment in China and other SE Asian countries like Korea and Vietnam.
    Last edited by owedtojoy; 10th November 2013 at 07:54 PM.
    "A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence" - David Hume

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    Politics.ie Member IvoShandor's Avatar
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    To be euphemistic, the Japanese attitude does them no credit and compares unfavourably with the Germans who took it on the chin. There may be some truth to Japanese claims that Chang's number were inflated, but still-what of it? If "only" 100 000,or less died at Nanking, it woud still be a foul crime of extraordinary magnitude. But there is a horrible strain of self-exculpatory denial and self-pity which was never extinguished in the way it was in Germany. The Germans took several decades before they felt able to talk about their own sufferings-the rapes and murders of the Red Army,the firebombings of the Allies,but in Japan, thanks to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the whinging and whaboutery began early and has never ceased.

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    Politics.ie Member Hungry Dodo's Avatar
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    And?

    The Americans have Okinawa despite the 200,000 tonnes of bombs and the Japanese/The Servile State are their allies sabre rattling at China
    “When we deny the evil within ourselves, we dehumanise ourselves, and we deprive ourselves not only of our own destiny but of any possibility of dealing with the evil of others.”

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    Politics.ie Member TiredOfBeingTired's Avatar
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    I read the Irish Chang book and its a terrible story.

    It's possibly the only example of any genuine benefit of waving a Nazi Swastika.
    John Rabe was a Siemens worker and a card-carrying Nazi.
    The party badge was one of the few things that stopped the Japanese soldiers in their tracks.

    Rabe was a bit like a Oskar Schindler.
    Neither fared well after the wall.
    "In 1948, the citizens of Nanking learned of the very dire situation of the Rabe family in occupied Germany and they quickly raised a very large sum of money, equivalent to $US 2000 (US$ 19,000 in 2013). The city mayor himself went to Germany, via Switzerland where he bought a large amount of food for the Rabe family. From mid 1948 until the communist takeover the people of Nanking also sent a food package each month, for which Rabe in many letters expressed deep gratitude"
    John Rabe - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Sometimes there is very little between historical and hysterical. One passes for the other. In time, the former remains forever, the latter is quickly replaced...

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    Politics.ie Member Niall996's Avatar
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    Yep. I always felt that the Japanese more or less got away with Nanking. It remains a relatively unknown event. The acts committed by the Japanese were just astonishly evil. The world really needs to keep this out in the open and Japan needs to address it properly. It's an outrage that they still blank it.
    Bringing reconciliation, mutual respect and cross community understanding to Northern Ireland through facts

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    Quote Originally Posted by TiredOfBeingTired View Post
    I read the Irish Chang book and its a terrible story.

    It's possibly the only example of any genuine benefit of waving a Nazi Swastika.
    John Rabe was a Siemens worker and a card-carrying Nazi.
    The party badge was one of the few things that stopped the Japanese soldiers in their tracks.

    Rabe was a bit like a Oskar Schindler.
    Neither fared well after the wall.
    "In 1948, the citizens of Nanking learned of the very dire situation of the Rabe family in occupied Germany and they quickly raised a very large sum of money, equivalent to $US 2000 (US$ 19,000 in 2013). The city mayor himself went to Germany, via Switzerland where he bought a large amount of food for the Rabe family. From mid 1948 until the communist takeover the people of Nanking also sent a food package each month, for which Rabe in many letters expressed deep gratitude"
    John Rabe - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    there is a movie about him.

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    Moderator rainmaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hungry Dodo View Post
    And?

    The Americans have Okinawa despite the 200,000 tonnes of bombs and the Japanese/The Servile State are their allies sabre rattling at China
    That's some neat gymnastics right there. You took a horrific Japanese crime against humanity in China and managed to squeeze an anti American jibe out of it - completely ignoring the sheer scale of suffering at the same time.

    Well done you.
    I am in line for a smiting probably sooner than I expect. Apparently.

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    Politics.ie Member jpc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hungry Dodo View Post
    And?

    The Americans have Okinawa despite the 200,000 tonnes of bombs and the Japanese/The Servile State are their allies sabre rattling at China
    Why are the Americans there in the first place?
    Its only a chat, we ain't the world council.

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    Politics.ie Member Hewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by owedtojoy View Post
    Seventy-Five years ago this month, one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century wound down to a close.

    On December 13th 1937, the Chinese city of Nanking fell to the invading Japanese. There followed about 2 months of murders and mass rapes carried out in the most appalling and brutal fashion. It is estimated that some 80,000 acts of rape were committed, many were photographed, and most of the women murdered afterwards.

    The murders and rapes were documented by many westerners who were present, and finally published in a book The Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang in 1997. Westerners escaped interference, though many sensed the hatred of the Japanese towards them.

    Japanese airplanes sank the US gunboat Panay on the Yangtze nearby. Though the military apologised for their "mistake", many interpreted it as a warning against unwelcome interference.

    A few Japanese were tried and hanged after the war for war crimes, but the numbers convicted were far less than the total number of perpetrators. One man who escaped trial was the Emperor's younger brother Prince Asaka, who served as the nominal Japanese military commander, though he was not connected with any particular act (AFAIK). He escaped because of the immunity granted to the Japanese royal family by the Americans in 1945.

    The total death toll was put by Chang as between 250,000 and 300,000. This is contested by Japanese "revisionist" historian who claim the tales of massacres are Chinese propaganda. Iris Chang became so depressed by what she had uncovered, and suffered because of harassment and hate mail from Japanese ultra-nationalists. She eventually took her own life in 2005.

    It is well to remember that Nanking was only the worst of many, many atrocities committed by Japanese forces in China. In total, China lost some 15 million civilian casualties between 1931 and 1945.

    Today, no one denies Japan the right to mourn the dead of Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Tokyo. However, it should also be also recalled that Japan adopts a "never apologise/ never explain" attitude to the atrocities committed by its forces in WWII, and demands to be treated purely as a victim. It is not surprising this causes much resentment in China and other SE Asian countries like Korea and Vietnam.
    The savagery of the Japanese forces in China is unmatched in history since. The simmering dispute over islands in the South China sea is a reminder of the enmity between the two nations.

    Rampant, unfettered and blinkered nationalism, devoid of historical perspective, is as dangerous as any natural disaster.
    Abortion is an act of violence. Violence demeans humanity, particularly violence against women and children.

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    Politics.ie Member Magror14's Avatar
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    The movie directed by Chuan Lu is well worth the watch.

    City of Life and Death (2009) - IMDb

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