How do nations struggle with mass violence and the rule of law? How do communities work to achieve reconciliation, repair dispossession, and remember those lost? Genocide and mass violence, past and present, raise all of these complex concerns and more.
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.
Decades after the end of World War II in China, Sino-Japanese relations continue to remain strained. Conflicting memories and accounts of imperial Japan’s occupation of China and wartime atrocities remain one element of this discord. One of the most visible expressions of this tension arises regularly at the Yasukuni shrine.
John H. D. Rabe’s story presents a paradox. He is remembered as a great humanitarian despite remaining a loyal member of the Nazi Party. Born in 1882 in Hamburg, Germany, Rabe first came to Shanghai in 1908. He began working for the Chinese branch of the Siemens Company in 1911 and 20 years later in 1931 transferred to Nanjing and served as director of the Siemens branch office with his wife and two children. Siemens was largely responsible for building the Nanjing telephone lines and supplying turbines for the electrical plant and equipment for the city’s hospitals.