This resource details the events that unfolded in China and Japan in the years leading up to World War II and the war crimes known today as the Nanjing Atrocities.
Beginning in August 1937 the Japanese Imperial Army initiated an aerial assault of the Chinese capital city of Nanjing (Nanking). In response to this assault, thousands of Chinese able to flee left the city while the elderly, sick, and poor remained behind. Many that left continued to actively fight the Japanese. Others actively resisted. In Nanjing, like in other cities throughout China in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, Western merchants, missionaries, physicians, and educators had settled seeking economic opportunities or fulfilling religious or professional aspirations. Hundreds of these Westerners considered Nanjing initially their home.
Three testimonies from survivors of the Nanjing Atrocities are included here. They are only three of many and each has been translated from Mandarin Chinese. All include memories of extreme acts of violence and trauma. Gender violence is prominent in each testimony and great care and sensitivity should be considered in any use with students.