Title: The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II
Author: Iris Chang
Publisher: Basic Books
Date Published: November 1997
LOCN: DS796.N2C44 1997
Dewey: 951.04/2 21
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The author Iris Chang, an American-born of Chinese descent, sometimes departs from the stance of an objective reporter, using emotion-laden adjectives to describe the horror. I can't really blame her. My only real complaint is that she states that The broad details of the Rape are, except among the Japanese, not in dispute. She then proceeds with a narrative that lacks direct foot-noting of the source of her assertions, even though she does include a collection of end-notes organized by page number. Perhaps this is a due to a desire to create a narrative history that is accessible to a mass market, but it detracts somewhat from the first impression of historical credibility.
I am struck by the parallels between the "shame of the Jews" during the Holocaust that they allowed themselves to be herded like cattle into the death camps rather than fighting to the death, and the manner in which the soldiers defending Nanking surrendered hoping for mercy, only to be systematically murdered. While I have felt the ripples of this shame within the American Jewish community, mixed with vows of never again! I can only guess that similar sentiments must exist within the population of mainland China.
Some commentators on this book have noted that one of the "heros" of the resistance to the Japanese massacre at Nanking was a Nazi businessman named John Rabe, and have drawn the false conclusion that the book is an attempt to white-wash the sins of the German National Socialist Party. While John Rabe is portrayed in a very sympathetic light, and while he was a Nazi, he clearly did not represent the views of the German hierarchy, and indeed was rebuffed when he took his complaints back to Germany.
Some may question the need to dig up 60-year old bones and breath new life into old grudges. But I see several important aspects that must be found relevant today if we are to avoid history repeating itself:
In summary, I highly recommend The Rape of Nanking to all voters and their elected representatives, who must shape the future direction of foreign policy for the Constitutional Republic known as the United States of America.
Foreword by William C. Kirby
Chapter 1: The Path to Nanking
Chapter 2: Six Weeks of Terror
Chapter 3: The Fall of Nanking
Chapter 4: Six Weeks of Horror
Chapter 5: The Nanking Safety Zone
Chapter 6: What the World Knew
Chapter 7: The Occupation of Nanking
Chapter 8: Judgment Day
Chapter 9: The Fate of the Survivors
Chapter 10: The Forgotten Holocaust: A Second Rape
Author: Chang, Iris. Title: The rape of Nanking : the forgotten holocaust of World War II / Iris Chang. Edition: 1st ed. Published: New York, NY : BasicBooks, c1997. Description: xi, 290 p. : ill., map ; 25 cm. LC Call No.: DS796.N2C44 1997 Dewey No.: 951.04/2 21 ISBN: 0465068359 Notes: Includes bibliographical references (p. 231-283) and index. Subjects: Nanking Massacre, Nan-ching shih, China, 1937. Nan-ching shih (China) -- History. Control No.: 97024137
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