Posts Tagged : Rape of Nanking

Civilian Massacre during WWII

On August 20th, 2013, Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor at the time, visited the Dachau concentration camp, marking the first visit of a concentration camp by a German leader. There, she offered flowers and bowed to the victims of the Second World War. This was her sincere apology to the Jewish people for the ethnic cleansing of German Nazism and the unforgivable cruelty of the Nazis.

During World War II, German Nazis confined 6 million Jews into concentration camps and slaughtered them in order to create justification for their power. In the camps and during transportation, many innocent people, including children and the disabled, were killed in inhumane ways, such as amputation of their sexual organs. Moreover, nearly 3000 people were murdered in gas chambers daily for human experimentation.

These kinds of civilian massacres do not apply only to German Nazism, however. Japan’s imperialists, also mainly responsible for World War II, performed similar acts that could be referred to as the “Asian Holocaust.” Though it is not as widely known as the German Holocaust, Japanese militarists also brutally exterminated many civilians in Asian countries. As an act of revenge against Koreans who opposed Japan’s colonization through the March 1st Movement, the Japanese government massacred people in Jeamri, indiscriminately slaughtering numerous Korean civilians. Japan’s Unit 731 conducted medical experiments on more than three thousand Asians. During the comparably well-known ‘Rape of Nanking,’ Japanese troops massacred and raped thousands of civilians in Nanking, China. As these examples show, damages caused by Japanese imperialism were devastating.

References

GSBC. (2013, March 13). Forgive but Never Forget – at Jeamni 3.1 Independence Movement Memorial Hall. In Gyeonggi Small Business Center. Retrieved from http://en.gsbc.or.kr/category/sub3/sub3_2_view.asp?sn=152

Furtado, P. (2012). 1001 Days That Shaped the World. New York, NY: Barrons Educational Series.

Rosenberg, J. Auschwitz Concentration and Death Camp. In About.com. Retrieved from http://history1900s.about.com/od/holocaust/a/auschwitz.htm

Untied States Holocaust Memorial Museum. (2013, June 10). Einsatzgruppen (Mobile Killing Units). In Holocaust Encyclopedia. Retrieved from http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005130

Nanking Massacre (1937-1938)

During World War II, Nazis indiscriminatingly massacred tens of thousands of non-Jewish Europeans. Similarly, victims of Japan’s mass murder were not limited to citizens of Korea.

The Nanking Massacre, the murder of more than 300,000 Chinese civilians during the Japanese invasion of China, is considered one of the worst events committed by Japan during the 20th century. It occurred during the six weeks, from December 1937 to January 1938. In order to threaten China, the Japanese army invaded Nanking without notice and immediately began performing cruel acts on civilians. Japanese soldiers tossed infants and young children into the air and pierced them with spears as they fell to the ground. This was considered as “sport” and enjoyed by many soldiers. Up to 80,000 Chinese women of all ages were raped. Soldiers also forced incest among family members before killing them. Japanese acts of cruelty during the Nanking massacre were beyond imagination.

The key figures of the Nanking Massacre were hung after World War II, but no additional reparations or apologies were made to the Chinese government. China has consistently demanded formal apologies from the Japanese government, but Japan has yet to acknowledge its past and has even denied the Nanking Massacre on national TV networks such as NHK.

References

Choo, J. (2014, February 6). ‘Nanjing Dae hak sal Bu jeong ha neun Il bon’ …. Joong guk Jeon Bang Oui Dae Eung [‘Japan denying the Rape of Nanking’ …. China takes action]. The Asia Today. Retrieved from http://www.asiatoday.co.kr/view.php?key=935451

Furtado, P. (2012). 1001 Days That Shaped the World. New York, NY: Barrons Educational Series.

Jung, J. (1999). It chu jin Holocaust [Forgotten Holocaust]. [Review of the book The Rape of Nanking, by I. Chang]. Saenggak –eh Namu [Tree of Thinking]. Retrieved from http://www.dbpia.co.kr/Article/402915

Nam, J. (2012). Joong guk sa Digest 100 [The Chinese History Digest 100]. Seoul: Garam.