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The Nanking Massacre

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Andrew Erickson

on 13 November 2013

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Transcript of The Nanking Massacre

The Nanking Massacre
The "8 Stages of Genocide" regarding the Nanking Massacre

Why even choose the Nanking Massacre?
Despite me having to choose a genocide because it was required in Social, I guess I chose this example because many factors/events in this situation goes to show how far a human being can act, even in a time of war. To a factual standpoint, I guess there were no limitations for the Japanese, given everything historically stated.
So What Is The Nanking Massacre?
The Nanking Massacre (also known as the Nanjing Massacre or the
Rape of Nanking) was a 1 and a 1/2 month long period of mass murder and war rape that occurred during Japan's capture on the former capital of the Republic of China, Nanking, on December 13, 1937, during the Second Sino-Japanese War (the military conflicts between China and Japan).
What led to the events of the Nanking Massacre was Japan's Imperialist policy that kept pushing for control over China politically and militarily, especially to secure China's resources so that Japan can benefit economically as well. Before the start of the second war, Japan and China had usually fought small battles that are considered "incidents". The last battle, fought at the Marco Polo Bridge (located in the Fengtai District, which is a municipality or an urban division of Beijing) marked the beginning of the Sino - Japanese War.
While the Japanese invaded and took over Nanking, they instantly targeted anyone who wasn't a foreigner.
The Japanese did not use any
kind of symbol to distinguish the Chinese.
The Japanese saw the Chinese as targets and nothing else; no mercy was enforced upon thousands that were raped and slaughtered.
The majority of the acts were not organized at all. People were murdered in their homes and in the streets, being left there to rot away.
Japanese soldiers were told untruthful accusations against the Chinese that they were weak and evil, giving strong and hateful motivation for the Japanese to strike.
The Japanese weren't strategic in the massacre, they just invaded and killed whoever looked Chinese anywhere and everywhere.
The Chinese were murdered by acts of rape, being burned alive, torn apart by dogs, needle torture, execution by shooting and decapitating, being stabbed by bayonets, etc. They also mainly on females as they believed it would prevent another generation.
There are many perspectives of Japan trying to cover up or twist the truth about what happened in Nanking, but it all depends on the individual. Some deny it, some say it was justified militarily or that soldiers became rogue and caused the atrocities themselves.
General Iwane Mutsui: Found guilty of allowing and continuing the atrocities in Nanking and was sentenced death by hanging.

The Perpetrators and their Aftermath
After the surrender of Japan of World War 2, the officers in charge of the Japanese troops in Nanking were put on trial. The ones that were punished that survived WW2 are as stated:
General Hisao Tani: Found guilty of encouraging, instigating and inspiring many scenarios of murder and rape within Nanking and was sentenced to death by hanging.
Diplomat/Politician Koki Hirato: Found guilty of specific charges, one of them claiming that he waged unprovoked war against the Republic of China, which led to the Nanking Massacre. He was sentenced to death by hanging.
Others were convicted as well, but only 5 were sentenced to death by hanging while 18 others received lesser sentences.
Dead civilians/soldiers lying on the ground during the Massacre
Long Term Effects of the Nanking Massacre
After all justifiable actions against those responsible for the Nanking Massacre, many Chinese citizens still have a strong sense of mistrust and hatred towards Japan and their many war crimes. Their feelings for Japan is fueled by the fact that they're unwilling to admit and apologize for their actions against China. Despite many personal views, the memory of Nanking had made Japan and China's Sino-Japanese relations and bilateral relations (political, economical or cultural relations) increase since the 70's. Trade, education and culture have boosted for them both making China a very important trading partner.
Could the Nanking Massacre be prevented?
It really depends on the "what if" scenarios because if the Chinese really knew the specific circumstances what Japan was doing (strategically as well as their intentions such as to murder and rape, pillage and plunder, instill the greatest fear upon them), then they would've stood a better and stronger chance as well as better moral. In one situation, they were ordered to evacuate/retreat and many officers, if not all, left without advising their units to do the same, thus, causing many to surrender or be captured and then executed . They should have avoided this and stuck together, or better yet, attempt to evacuate as many citizens as possible too, even if it was going to create more casualties. But quite frankly, China militarily was not successful in many cases and Japan was going to prevail sooner or later, since Japan was giving it's full effort and that China would've lost more equipment and soldiers. The inevitable will have happened, one way or another.

John Rabe
The film known as "John Rabe" is a 2009 German-Chinese-French biographical film explaining and showing the experiences of John Rabe within Nanking, China. Just like history tells us, he is a German businessman who was able to create and control a protective International Safety Zone (a demilitarized zone) in Nanking using his Nazi Party membership (Japan had a pact with Germany). This had allowed over 200 000 Chinese to be saved from the Nanking Massacre. He also tried frantically to stop the Massacres from happening but all that did was delay the Japanese. Luckily though, he managed to allow 10's to 100's of Chinese to escape with his efforts.
The Chinese defending the Marco Polo Bridge against the Japanese
Full transcript