RAPE OF NANJING

In the Rape Of Nanjing, the Japanese army massacred over 300,000 civilians and POWs, and raped at least 20,000 women.

On November 25th, 1937, the Japanese attacked NanJing from three directions. What was to follow, was one of the worst crimes in the history of the entire world.

On December 13th, the Japanese army entered the city from YuHua gate, GuangHua gate and ZhongHua gate. They slaughtered the people with machines guns, rifles and hand guns.

On the 14th, the Japanese opened the YiJiang gate. They opened fire on the crowds. In a short period of time, tens of thousands of people were massacred.

On December 16th, the Japanese took five thousand refugees that gathered in the Overseas Chinese Guest House, and moved them to XiaGuan by trucks to massacre. The bodies were thrown into the river.

Japanese invaders searched villages, tied and arrested large number of people, more then 50,000. In the evening of 16th, Japanese invaders tied up these people with wire or rope, drove them to CaoXieXia in four columns, and shot them with machine guns. The enemy then bayoneted the bodies. At the end they sprayed kerosene and set the bodies on fire.

To the north of ZhenJiang and around LongXi and XianXia, Japanese invaders captured about 30,000 people, they tied them up and drove them to the valley in the forest farm of the Central University at GuanYinMen, first starved and froze them, then set the forest on fire from all directions, all people inside were burnt to death.

a total of twenty thousand people were killed at YuHuaTai.

The sandbank outside of the HanXi gate was also a place of massacre. In one occasion, the number of victims reached six to seven thousand. They drove the victims in groups to the sandbank, sprayed Kerosene in the crowd, and burnt them to death. The Japanese invaders stood along side, laughed wildly.

On December 23rd, Japanese invaders used several dozens of trucks, drove more than one thousand elderly, women and children to the sandbank, and buried them alive in a huge pit dug beforehand. All the victims' hands were tied behind their backs.

Another place of concentrated massacre was at ShangYuan gate. On December 24th, Japanese invaders massacred eight to nine thousand people here.

Japanese commanders used "killing competition" as a way to boost morale. They organized visiting and news reporters to appraise the "winner". Japanese's killings were so cruel, savage, their ways of killing are beyond human imagination. Sometimes, the Japanese first sprayed gasoline on the victims body, and then shot them with machine guns, a big fire set off whenever a person was shot. Japanese invaders laughed wildly, took great pleasure in it. Sometimes they would hang a person up with wire, and put dry wood below them, bake him slowly. Japanese soldiers tied the hands and feet of some people and threw them into a shallow pond, then the Japanese threw grenades. They poured nitric acid down from the top of the head of some victims, till the body eroded right away. Some Japanese gathered several hundred POWs together, scooped out their eye balls, cut off their ears and noses and then burned them alive.

Women suffered the worst. They were not only raped by the Japanese, they were often brutally killed by the Japanese after the rape. "Sometimes (Japanese) cut off their breasts to reveal their white ribs; sometimes Japanese pierce through their lower body with bayonets, let them cry in pain! Sometimes they sticks wooden sticks, reed pipe or carrots into their lower body and stir, until they are dead, Japanese soldiers clap their hands and loudly laugh alongside"

The Rape of Nanjing, was an infamous genocidal war crime committed by the Japanese military in Nanjing, then capital of the Republic of China, after it fell to the Imperial Japanese Army on December 13, 1937. The duration of the massacre is not clearly defined, although the violence lasted well into the next six weeks, until early February 1938. During the occupation of Nanjing, the Japanese army committed numerous atrocities, such as rape, looting, arson and the execution of prisoners of war and civilians. Although the executions began under the pretext of eliminating Chinese soldiers disguised as civilians, it is claimed that a large number of innocent men were intentionally identified as enemy combatants and executed or simply killed outright as the massacre gathered momentum. A large number of women and children were also killed, as rape and murder became more widespread. According to the Judgment International Military Tribunal for the Far East, "estimates made at a later date indicate that the total number of civilians and prisoners of war murdered in Nanking and its vicinity during the first six weeks of the Japanese occupation was over 200,000. That these estimates are not exaggerated is borne out by the fact that burial societies and other organizations counted more than 155,000 bodies which they buried. They also reported that most of those were bound with their hands tied behind their backs. These figures do not take into account those persons whose bodies were destroyed by burning, or by throwing them into the Yangtze River, or otherwise disposed of by Japanese.

By August of 1937, in the midst of the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Imperial Japanese Army encountered strong resistance from the army in the Battle of Shanghai. The battle caused high casualties on both sides as they were worn down by attrition in hand-to-hand combat. On August 5, 1937, Hirohito personally ratified his army's proposition to remove the constraints of international law on the treatment of Chinese prisoners. This directive also advised staff officers to stop using the term "prisoner of war". On the way from Shanghai to Nanjing, Japanese soldiers committed numerous atrocities, showing that the Nanking Massacre was not an isolated incident. The most infamous event was the "contest to kill 100 people using a sword". By mid-November, the Japanese had captured Shanghai with the help of naval and aerial bombardment. The General Staff Headquarters in Tokyo decided not to expand the war, due to the high casualties incurred and the low morale of the troops.

As the Japanese army drew closer to Nanjing, Chinese civilians fled the city in droves, and the Chinese military put into effect a scorched earth campaign, aimed at destroying anything that might be of value to the invading Japanese army. Targets within and outside of the city walls such as military barracks, private homes, the Chinese Ministry of Communication, forests and even entire villages were burnt to cinders.

Many westerners were living in the city at that time, conducting trade or on missionary trips.

On December 7, the Japanese army issued a command to all troops, advising that because occupying a foreign capital was an unprecedented event for the Japanese military, those soldiers who "[commit] any illegal acts", "dishonor the Japanese Army", "loot", or "cause a fire to break out, even because of their carelessness" would be severely punished. The Japanese military continued to march forward, breaching the last lines of Chinese resistance, and arriving outside the walled city of Nanjing on December 9. At noon, the military dropped leaflets into the city, urging the surrender of Nanjing within 24 hours: The Japanese awaited an answer. When no Chinese envoy had arrived by 1:00 p.m. the following day, General Matsui Iwane issued the command to take Nanjing by force. On December 12, after two days of Japanese attack, under heavy artillery fire and aerial bombardment, General Tang Sheng-chi ordered his men to retreat. What followed was nothing short of chaos. Some Chinese soldiers stripped civilians of their clothing in a desperate attempt to blend in, and many others were shot in the back by their own comrades as they tried to flee. Those who actually made it outside the city walls fled north to the Yangtze, only to find that there were no vessels remaining to take them. Some then jumped into the wintry waters and drowned. On December 13, the Japanese entered the walled city of Nanjing, facing hardly any military resistance.

Eyewitness accounts from the period state that over the course of six weeks following the fall of Nanjing, Japanese troops engaged in rape, murder, theft, and arson. The most reliable accounts came from foreigners who opted to stay behind in order to protect Chinese civilians from certain harm, including the diaries of John Rabe and Minnie Vautrin. thers include first-person testimonies of the Nanjing Massacre survivors. Still more were gathered from eyewitness reports of journalists, both Western and Japanese, as well as the field diaries of certain military personnel. An American missionary stayed behind to provide a 16mm film documentary and first-hand photographs of the Nanjing Massacre. This film is called the Magee Film. It is often quoted as an important evidence of the Nanjing Massacre. In addition, although few Japanese veterans have admitted to having participated in atrocities in Nanjing. Immediately after the city's fall, a group of foreign expatriates headed by John Rabe formed the 15-man International Committee on November 22 and drew up the Nanking Safety Zone in order to safeguard the lives of civilians in the city, where the population ran from 200,000 to 250,000. It is likely that the civilian death toll would have been higher had this safe haven not been created. Rabe and American missionary Lewis S. C. Smythe, the secretary of the International Committee, who was also a professor of sociology at the University of Nanking, recorded atrocities of the Japanese troops and filed reports of complaints to the Japanese embassy.

The International Military Tribunal for the Far East stated that 20,000 (and perhaps up to 80,000) women were raped, their ages ranging from infants to the elderly (as old as 80). Rapes were often performed in public during the day, sometimes in front of spouses or family members. A large number of them were systematized in a process where soldiers would search door-to-door for young girls, with many women taken captive and gang raped. The women were then killed immediately after the rape, often through mutilation, including breasts being cut off, and/or stabbing by bamboo, bayonet and other objects into the vagina. According to some testimonies, other women were forced into military prostitution as comfort women. There are even stories of Japanese troops forcing families to commit acts of incest. Sons were forced to rape their mothers, fathers were forced to rape daughters. One pregnant woman who was gang-raped by Japanese soldiers gave birth only a few hours later. Monks who had declared a life of celibacy were forced to rape women for the amusement of the Japanese. Chinese men were forced to have sex with corpses. Any resistance would be met with summary executions. While the rape peaked immediately following the fall of the city, it continued for the duration of the Japanese occupation.

Various foreign residents in Nanking at the time recorded their experiences with what was going on in the city: Immediately after the fall of the city, Japanese troops embarked on a determined search for former soldiers, in which thousands of young men were captured. Many were taken to the Yangtze River, where they were machine-gunned so their bodies would be carried down to Shanghai. Others were reportedly used for live bayonet practice. Decapitation was a popular method of killing, while more drastic practices included burning, nailing to trees, live burial, and hanging by the tongue. The Japanese troops gathered 1,300 Chinese soldiers and civilians at Taiping Gate and killed them. The victims were blown up with landmines, then doused with petrol before being set on fire. Those that were left alive afterwards were killed with bayonets. Some people were beaten to death. The Japanese also summarily executed many pedestrians on the streets, usually under the pretext that they might be soldiers disguised in civilian clothing. Thousands were led away and mass-executed in an excavation known as the "Ten-Thousand-Corpse Ditch", a trench measuring about 300m long and 5m wide. Since records were not kept, estimates regarding the number of victims buried in the ditch range from 4,000 to 20,000. However, most scholars and historians consider the number to be around 12,000 victims. Women and children were not spared from the horrors of the massacres. Often, Japanese soldiers cut off the breasts, disemboweled them, or in the case of pregnant women, cut open the uterus and removed the fetus. Witnesses recall Japanese soldiers throwing babies into the air and catching them with their bayonets. Pregnant women were often the target of murder, as they would often be bayoneted in the belly, sometimes after rape. Many women were first brutally raped then killed. The Konoe government was well aware of the atrocities.

One-third of the city was destroyed as a result of arson. According to reports, Japanese troops torched newly-built government buildings as well as the homes of many civilians. There was considerable destruction to areas outside the city walls. Soldiers pillaged from the poor and the wealthy alike. The lack of resistance from Chinese troops and civilians in Nanjing meant that the Japanese soldiers were free to divide up the city's valuables as they saw fit. This resulted in the widespread looting and burglary.

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