The Rape Of Nanking

explanatory Essay
1854 words
1854 words

The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II

The book that I chose to read was The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II by Iris Chang. This book describes the mass murder and large scale depravity by the Japanese army during World War II in China. The Rape of Nanking describes the events that occurred before, during and after the invasion and desecration of the Chinese people and their city.

Iris Chang was born in Princeton, New Jersey on March 28, 1968. The Chang family then moved to Champagne-Urbana, Illinois due to her mother and father accepting professor positions at the University of Illinois(Becker). This was the university where Iris first studied computer science and then journalism. She then obtained a master's degree in writing from The Johns Hopkins University and became a full time writer(Jiang).

At the age of twenty-five, Iris wrote her first book while still at Johns Hopkins entitled, The Thread of the Silkworm. This book conveys the life and career of Tsien Hsue-Shen and his contributions to the modern space age and nuclear missiles. Inspired by the stories that were told to her by her parents and grandparents of the atrocities of the Chinese holocaust, Iris Chang went to the university library to find out more information but was unable to find anything, leaving her to wonder if the stories were true(Jiang).

Iris married her husband Brett Douglas in Illinois. They then moved to the South Bay area in California. In December 1994, while in Cupertino, California, Iris happened upon an event marking the fifty-seventh anniversary of the Nanking Massacre. Black and white photos showing the gruesome reality of the carnage in Nanking decades ago were on exhibit. These photos immediately set Iris on a long path of searching for the truth(Jiang 5). Iris spent the next two years meticulously tracking down any and all information relating to the incident which included a trip to Nanking. In 1997, Iris Chang released The Rape of Nanking which quickly became a success and remained a New York Times bestseller for many months.

The following summary is the product of what Iris's research produced; The population in Nanking in the mid 1930s was well over one million, mainly because many refugees were fleeing from the Japanese army that had invaded China in 1931. Japan had entered China and other parts of Asia before World War II began, and didn't stop their campaign until the U.

In this essay, the author

  • Describes the mass murder and large scale depravity by the japanese army during world war ii in china.
  • Explains that iris chang was born in princeton, new jersey, and moved to champagne-urbana, illinois due to her mother and father accepting professor positions at the university of illinois.
  • Describes how iris chang wrote her first book while still at johns hopkins, the thread of the silkworm, which conveys the life and career of tsien hsue-shen and his contributions to the modern space age and nuclear missiles.
  • Narrates how iris married brett douglas in illinois and moved to the south bay area in california. the nanking massacre was commemorated in 1994.
  • Explains that the population in nanking in the 1930s was well over one million because many refugees were fleeing from the japanese army that had invaded china in 1931.
  • Describes how the japanese committed un-human and terribly violent acts against innocent civilians, chinese soldiers, and refugees. mass executions were mostly done by machine guns.
  • Explains how the japanese killed the chinese populace with a jocular demeanor, using bayonets and guns, and mutilating them by the hundreds.
  • Describes how mass executions were performed outside the city walls. prisoners were gathered up by the japanese, some lured by a promise of salvation if they gave up quietly, then led out and shot or decapitated.
  • Explains that the name "the rape of nanking" is appropriate due to all the rapes that occurred in six weeks.
  • Explains that many of the chinese considered the victims lucky if the japanese killed them after they were raped.
  • Explains that the japanese government knew what was happening in nanking due to the protests that were made by the japan embassy, yet they did nothing to stop it.
  • Opines that they were captivated and appalled by this book. they were aware of the invasion of china by japan during world war ii, yet they had not the slightest inkling of their horrors.
  • Opines that their favorite part of the book referred to the heroic actions of certain individuals. they particularly enjoyed the section concerning a nazi party representative by the name of john rabe.
  • Analyzes how john rabe attempted to negotiate with the japanese officials to protect non-combatants. he tried to contact the upper echelon of the nazi regime to aid him in his attempts to deviate from their barbarous treatment
  • Explains that the international safety zone was established despite opposition from the japanese and the un-involvement of the nazi government. john rabe's selfless actions and compassion earned him titles such as "the oskar schindler of china"
  • Opines that they enjoyed reading the rape of nanking, though they did not enjoy the subjects of genocide, rape or oppression. the only downside of the book is that it has a biased opinion on history.
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