The Rape Of Nanking By Iris Chang: Summary

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Almost everyone today is familiar with the dark chapter of history from 1939 to 1945, when Hitler’s army rolled across Europe, claiming the lives of millions of people, including six million Jews. However, very few people are aware of what happened to millions of people in China from 1937 to 1945. Iris Chang’s The Rape of Nanking is a landmark work because it finally reveals the least remembered and perhaps the most gruesome horrors of the Second World War: the atrocities committed by the Japanese Imperial Army on innocent Chinese civilians. Chang’s book is also important in searching for the reasons behind the Japanese barbarity.
The Rape of Nanking is an important work of historical non-fiction written by Iris Chang. Although it is clear that she is passionate about the subject, Chang gives a balanced account. She does not condemn the entire Japanese people for what occurred but does take issue with modern-day Japan’s effort–with the exception of a few brave individuals–to deny or cover up the truth. This book was instrumental in bringing greater attention in the Western world to Japanese
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Other shocking means of torture and death employed by the Japanese are also described by Chang, but too horrendous to recall here.
What is even more horrific about the Rape of Nanking is that it was the rule, not the exception, during Japan’s occupation of China. The reason why the Nanking massacre has been documented at all was the presence of foreigners in the capital city, many of whom heroically saved the lives of thousands of Chinese. According to Chang, because the Japanese had an ingrained sense of racial superiority which was affronted when the Chinese refused to capitulate - indeed, they resisted furiously when the imperial army marched into China - someone had to
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