China holds a Memorial Day for the victims of the Nanjing Massacre

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If there is anything I truly hate it is war.

I’ve experienced some small participation in wars. I have had dear friends more directly affected over longer periods. Now gone. One who survived the Warsaw Ghetto uprising – made it through the sewers of Warsaw, through the countryside eventually to the Soviet Union. After healing physically, she went back to Poland to fight in the underground against the Germans.

I asked her once why she kept her Polish name from the Underground instead of returning to her Jewish family name. She told me that all of that life died with her husband and her daughters in a German death camp. Who she became after that was a different person.

My closest friend most of my life was the most decorated soldier in WW2 from our home state in New England. He was awarded every medal except the Congressional Medal of Honor and he was nominated for that. Surviving injuries at the Battle of the Bulge he was severely wounded at the liberation of the Buchenwald Death Camp – and had sixteen months in a veterans’ hospital to reflect upon how he got there.

They’re both gone, now. Someone like me has to remember.

It doesn’t matter where or when my thoughts are stirred to recall. I’ve written about Nanjing before; but, tonight I happened to switch over to CCTV America just as the ceremonies at the Memorial Site in Nanjing were wrapping up.

I sat and watched the last half-hour of the live telecast. I cried some for 300,000 civilians slaughtered by Japanese soldiers over a few weeks starting on December 13, 1937. I won’t forget Nanjing. China won’t forget Nanjing.

8 thoughts on “China holds a Memorial Day for the victims of the Nanjing Massacre

  1. Mike says:

    “John Heinrich Detlev Rabe (November 23, 1882 – January 5, 1950) was a German businessman who is best known for his efforts to stop the atrocities of the Japanese army during the Nanking Occupation and his work to protect and help the Chinese civilians during the event. The Nanking Safety Zone, which he helped to establish, sheltered approximately 200,000 Chinese people from slaughter during the massacre.” See also Wilhelmina (Minnie) Vautrin and George Ashmore Fitch. Some historians estimate that 20 million Chinese were killed during WW II, however according to others the number of civilian deaths in China might well be more than 50 million.

  2. keaneo says:

    Time to remind the newest generation what their forebears suffered – not only through the course of building a better life and land; but, at the hands of militarist, imperial greed.

    • Footnote says:

      German soldiers of the Waffen-SS and the Reich Labor Service look on as a member of Einsatzgruppe D murders a Jewish man kneeling before a filled mass grave in Vinnytsia, Ukraine, in 1942. ‘The Last Jew of Vinnytsia” was written on the back of the photograph, which was found in a photo album belonging to a German soldier. As many as 28,000 of the town’s Jewish population were killed.

  3. "Nuts." says:

    On December 17, 1944, the 1st SS Panzer Division of the Sixth Panzer Army, commanded by Colonel Jochen Peiper, was heading west from Buellingen as part of the general German advance during the Battle of the Bulge. At the same time, an American convoy of thirty vehicles and nearly 140 men of Battery B of the 285th Field Artillery Observation Battalion was heading south from Huertingen Forest toward Ligneuville. The two forces converged just before noon at the crossroads hamlet of Baugnez, two and a half miles south of Malmedy. Kampfgruppe Peiper immediately began firing upon Battery B, sending the Americans into a panic. Those who did not escape, including medical personnel, quickly surrendered to the SS troopers and after being searched and relieved of their personal possessions, the 126 men were lined up in eight rows in a field at the crossroads. Following general instructions from Hitler to show “no human inhibitions” and take no prisoners of war, the men of Kampfgruppe Peiper then shot all the GIs. Surprisingly, just over 40 Americans survived the incident, now known as the Malmedy Massacre, either by fleeing into the woods or feigning death. The remaining 86 dead were left unattended under a shroud of new-fallen snow for weeks until mortuary affairs troops could arrive.
    See also “The Real Reason Hitler Launched the Battle of the Bulge” and Image from “POW Recalls Battle of the Bulge”

    • Epiphany says:

      “Forgotten Massacre: The Story of the 333rd Field Artillery Battalion and the Wereth 11.” During the night of December 17, 1944 Eleven African American men from the 333rd Field Artillery Battalion were were tortured, beaten and executed after surrendering to a squad from the 1st SS. No one was ever brought to justice for these crimes (but) “when one goes back to examine the massacre, a light begins to shine on the much forgotten role of African American troops during the conflict.”

  4. Gwalio says:

    China’s war against Japan was longer than previously stated “Academics have argued that the replacement in school textbooks of the phrase “eight-year war” with “14-year Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression” to describe the conflict is significant and necessary progress.
    The war began when Japanese forces attacked the barracks of Chinese troops in Shenyang, Northeast China’s Liaoning Province. On September 18, 1931 and ended with Japan’s surrender in 1945, according to the Ministry of Education (MOE).
    Before the recent revisions, textbooks said the 1937 Lugouqiao, or Marco Polo Bridge, incident, was the war’s starting point, which ushered in Japan’s full-scale invasion of China.”

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