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Old 12-13-2007, 09:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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The Forgotten Holocaust - Never Forget!!

Today was the 70 year anniversary of one of the incidents of the long and Forgotten Holocaust. Seventy years ago, the Japanese committed one (of many) of the greatest atrocities to mankind ever known. The Rape of Nanking was just one of many crimes against humanity the Japanese committed. In fact, the Japanese programs shared information with the Nazis. Some were so horrifying that even Hitler was appalled and was reluctant to use in his programs.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7141582.stm

Quote:
China remembers dead of Nanjing
By Michael Bristow
BBC News, Nanjing

Bodies of Chinese laid in ditch (File photo)
Japan disputes the figures and has refused to apologise
China is preparing to mark the 70th anniversary of the Nanjing massacre, during which 300,000 Chinese people are thought to have died.

The killings were carried out by Japanese soldiers after the capture of Nanjing on 13 December 1937.

A memorial hall that details the atrocities is due to reopen in the city after two years of renovations.

The Nanjing Massacre has come to symbolise Japanese aggression in China during World War II.

New revelation

After capturing what was then the Chinese capital, invading Japanese soldiers went on an orgy of violence.

They raped, murdered, looted and tortured.

Although the killings took place seven decades ago, the memory is still fresh in many people's minds.

That is partly because in China, history is believed to be a guide to the future.

But the memory is also kept alive by continuing research into the atrocities.

A new monument has just been unveiled to mark a previously unknown incident during the massacre in which 1,300 Chinese people died.

That story came to light only because a Japanese researcher persuaded former solders to tell their stories.

It is revelations like this, that ensure the memory is passed on to a new generation in China.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/mcclatchy/20...latchy/2782484

Quote:
As victims still mourn, China marks 70 years since Rape of Nanking

By Tim Johnson, McClatchy Newspapers Wed Dec 12, 1:11 PM ET

NANJING , China — Seven decades after Japanese soldiers poured through the old city walls of Nanjing , launching a six-week killing spree known as the Nanjing Massacre, the memories are still raw for Zhang Xiuhong.
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"I really hate the Japanese," Zhang said, dissolving into tears. "I have repeated this thousands of times. I really, really hate them."

Now 81, Zhang was only 11 during the infamous Japanese rampage, a seizure so violent that it's also known as the Rape of Nanking, the city's former name.

For Zhang, that's an accurate description, for she, too, was raped.

China this week marks the 70th anniversary of the massacre, reopening the Memorial Hall to the Victims after a two-year $33 million face-lift. But China treads a fine line as it promotes condemnation of the massacre while trying to protect trade and diplomatic relations with Japan , which are on the mend after years of severe stress.

When the renovated memorial is unveiled Thursday, no senior leader of the central government is likely to attend. News coverage in China will be muted.

Chinese officials say they've rebuilt the memorial not to evoke bitterness and anti-Japanese sentiment but to honor history and help forge a path to lasting peace.

"The theme used to be only history," Zhu Chengshan, the curator of the Memorial Hall said at a news conference Tuesday. "Now, the new memorial's theme is history and peace."

This year's anniversary coincides with renewed global interest in the Nanjing Massacre. About 10 movies and documentaries— produced in Germany , the United States , Japan and China — are being filmed, in post-production or already in cinemas.

How the new focus on Japan's wartime atrocities will play out is of keen interest in Tokyo and Beijing . Anti-Japanese riots erupted in several Chinese cities in 2005, chilling relations. Many in Japan saw the hand of China's ruling Communist leaders behind the riots, seeking to promote their own legitimacy with nationalism.

But ties have improved markedly in the 15 months since the departure of former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi , who enraged China with annual visits to the Yasukuni war shrine in Tokyo , where 14 war criminals are honored.

Last month, a Chinese warship visited Tokyo for the first time since 1949, and President Hu Jintao pledges to exchange state visits next year with Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda .

Still, many of the facts on the Nanjing Massacre remain disputed by Japan and its East Asian neighbors, which accuse Japan of whitewashing parts of its wartime history.

Japanese forces laid siege to the then-Chinese capital on Dec. 10, 1937 , and Nanking fell three days later, opening the door to a six-week campaign of pillaging and executions of unarmed civilians. China says at least 300,000 people were killed. Japan , which describes the events as the "Nanjing Incident," says the deaths were a fraction of that. Some Japanese deny the massacre altogether.

Japan's biggest daily newspaper, the Yomiuri Shimbun, said in an editorial Tuesday that "there are theories that the number of victims was about 40,000 and that only a fraction of those deaths were murders that violated international law."

Zhu, asked by a Japanese journalist to respond to those who doubt the higher toll, said: "The figure is a historical verdict. ... It's not made for certain political purposes."

Earlier this month, China released a list of names of 13,000 victims of the massacre that it said researchers had compiled after arduous research through limited records. The list includes the names, sex, ages, occupations and addresses of the victims.

Despite the scale of atrocities in Nanjing , the Memorial Hall still pales beside similar memorials in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan , to mark the massive deaths from the U.S. atomic bombs, and at Nazi death camps in Europe , Zhu said.

"If the Japanese can commemorate victims of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs, then of course we can commemorate our compatriots in the Nanjing massacre," Zhu said.

Zhang, the elderly survivor from Nanjing , said she's never gotten respite from the terrible images that the rampage of the Japanese soldiers left etched in her mind.

"They would grab young babies from their mothers and bayonet them in the bottom," Zhang said, adding that her rape by a soldier was brutal. "I pretended to be dead so he would go away."

Another survivor, 83-year-old Li Gaoshan, a Chinese soldier at the time of the siege, said a civilian helped him exchange his uniform for plain clothing.

"There were dead people everywhere on the streets," he said.

Asked if he wished China's leaders would do more to acknowledge the massacre, Li demurred while his wife nodded her head vigorously.

"Yes, yes," said Wang Shuhua, the wife.
Considering the scope and horror of the holocaust, I am very surprised there was nothing about this on CNN or NPR. How about you? Ever hear of the Forgotten Holocaust?
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Old 12-13-2007, 10:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It hasn't been forgotten over here in Asia. I think to suggest that it's been forgotten is a bit myopic.

I think it's more realistic to suggest that the West never really cared all that much about what the Japanese were up to beyond how it effected them. Why would they?

If there was a British, French or American base in Nanjing I am sure we would be well-read on this subject in the West. Here in Asia, where the Japanese invasion was something tangible, they don't forget.

I have co-workers who lived through the Japanese occupation, had parents shot by the Japanese secret police, etc. Back in Canada and the rest of the western world, this is just not as prevalent as say, survivors of the Nazi Holocaust.
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Old 12-13-2007, 10:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Wow I have never even heard of this. Nice how in the West if it never really involved us they don't let us know about it. What ever happened to everyone just being Human?
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Old 12-13-2007, 11:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlatan
It hasn't been forgotten over here in Asia. I think to suggest that it's been forgotten is a bit myopic.

I think it's more realistic to suggest that the West never really cared all that much about what the Japanese were up to beyond how it effected them. Why would they?

If there was a British, French or American base in Nanjing I am sure we would be well-read on this subject in the West. Here in Asia, where the Japanese invasion was something tangible, they don't forget.

I have co-workers who lived through the Japanese occupation, had parents shot by the Japanese secret police, etc. Back in Canada and the rest of the western world, this is just not as prevalent as say, survivors of the Nazi Holocaust.
Actually many "western" folk were affected by the Holocaust. British and US soldiers were forced into slavery camps and other concentration (death camps as well). Much in the way VW and other German companies were complicit in the other Holocaust in Europe, Mitsubishi etc were also heavily involved in running slavery and death camps. The main difference was, the Supreme Court made it illegal for American veterans to sue the Japanese for compensation out of cold war fears. The Japanese were basically forgiven for their genocide and Holocaust because we were afraid they would go over to the Russians. Throw in a little guilt for the atomic bombings (even though more civilians dies in the Dresden fire bombings) the of course this Holocaust would be silenced. We even harbored their war criminals (scientists) too like we did with the Germans. Many Dutch and European women were also forced into sexual slavery, as "comfort women" too. So please, don't call me myopic thank you. By the way, I did not make up the tag "Forgotten Holocaust". That's how it is called in the history books here in the US. Maybe not for you guys in Canada though.

I just thought this important piece of history would be interesting to a place like tfp but i predict this thread will quickly fall to the 2nd or 3rd page in less than a day.
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Old 12-14-2007, 01:39 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I think I wasn't clear in what I was saying...

What the Japanese did in Nanjing has not been forgotten in Asia. In typical form, western journalists, historians, etc. have labeled it "forgotten". This is because they are myopic in their view of history. I can assure you that very few in China, Malaysia, Singapura, the Philippines, etc. have forgotten anything.

I am also very aware of how many Westerners were caught up in what the Japanese did during WWII (it largely brought about the end of their colonial era here). That said, very few, if any were in Nanjing specifically, which is part of the reason why it fails to get coverage. The western narrative revolves around here, Hong Kong, the Philippines and other locales.

As for the issue of the the US trying to hush it all up over fears of the Japanese turning "commie", this is interesting. I've never heard it put that way before. I am curious why the US would have felt that way given the way the US occupied Japan and had a hand in their post-War reconstruction.

(I am also curious why you would predict the death of your thread. Why be so cynical... give it time)
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Old 12-14-2007, 02:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I didn't forget. I don't think I could if I wanted to. Those pictures will haunt me along with those of Hiroshima after the bomb and a Nazi gas chamber. Yeesh.

Thanks for the nightmares, and let's do everything humanly possible to make sure it never, ever happens again.
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Old 12-14-2007, 03:23 AM   #7 (permalink)
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There has been some talk of it here in Canada - a couple of TV specials have aired recently.
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Old 12-14-2007, 10:16 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I have been hearing of this since this book "The Rape of Nanking" by Iris Chang was published back in 1997 (I think)

Amazon.com: THE RAPE OF NANKING: Iris Chang: Books Amazon.com: THE RAPE OF NANKING: Iris Chang: Books

yes, there have been several documentaries in Canada as well and the high school curriculum has a component on the 20th century which my son has learned and discussed this with me.

War is hell, and lessons are not learned as recent experiences in the Balkans have demonstrated.
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Old 12-14-2007, 02:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Personally I DESPISE these whole "never forget" campaigns.

fuck I mean c'mon

9/11! NEVER FORGET
Holocaust! NEVER FORGET

it's just a clever way of saying "hold on to your latent fears, your fuel for another conflict, hold a "logical grudge"

this is why black people still have to go all up in arms about the era of slavery every time one individual expresses his lack of racial sensitivity, because they never forget.

THE CRUSADES! NEVER FORGET!
GHENGIS KHAN! NEVER FORGET!
CAVEMAN ERA bATTLE BETWEEN CAVE #1 AND CAVE #2! NEVER FORGET!
A SINGLE MACINTOSH SAVED THE WORLD IN INDEPENDENCE DAY! NEVER FORGET.

come off it. It's history, it will only get older and older and older and the future generations don't need to hear the grudges of the generation behind them and have it influence them. Thats just my take on it.

just like when world war vets sit there and bash on "Chinks" being allowed in america or something and it carries over into thier childs way of thinking and they wind up breeding a racist because his father could "never forget"

Last edited by Shauk; 12-14-2007 at 02:36 PM..
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Old 12-14-2007, 04:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Those who forget the past are destined to repeat it.
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Old 12-14-2007, 04:16 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Never forget is damn right. It isn't about holding a grudge, it's about not letting it happen again. History is critical, it's how we tell future generations about the mistakes of the previous and it needs to be passed on. Once you lose that you essentially lose the progress of humanity and it will indeed be repeated.
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Old 12-14-2007, 04:22 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Yes, I've heard of it, and I'm not surprised there's nothing about it on CNN or NPR. The news isn't about educating people it's about entertaining them, at least that's what I think of it.

Shauk raises an interesting point, though I think it boils down to semantics. When someone calls on us to "Never Forget" I think they rarely mean it in the sense of never forget to hate. Rather, it's intention, imo, is to call attention to the dark aspects of human nature, and to imply that we can only overcome them through vigilance.
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Old 12-14-2007, 04:23 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Shauk, the idea is to try desperately to learn from our mistakes. If you want to see something funny, watch what happens when you say "Never Forget Nanjing" to an Iraqi war supporter.
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Old 12-14-2007, 04:45 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by albania
When someone calls on us to "Never Forget" I think they rarely mean it in the sense of never forget to hate. Rather, it's intention, imo, is to call attention to the dark aspects of human nature, and to imply that we can only overcome them through vigilance.
That's my read on it as well.

The problem is, we do seem to forget because we keep doing stupid, violent shit to each other.
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Old 12-14-2007, 05:19 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Charlatan, thanks for the clarification. I guess I am cynical because I feel we are kind of one-dimensional here sometimes and didn't think anyone would give a shit. I find it interesting that there are no comments from the regular politicos. At least will responded. Maybe I should have mentioned Bush, socialism, guns and Muslims. But I am glad to be proven wrong to an extent.

To me, "Never forget" means to try and learn from the past and not let things like this happen again. Whether it's Armenia, Cambodia, Darfur, American Indians - I would hope we can evolve from these atrocities. As a history and political science enthusiast, I find this topic to be fascinating with many different angles to explore and discuss.

For example, the Cold War influence, atomic bombs guilt, etc ae all interesting facets of this topic. I believe the House of Reps (in US) passed a resolution condemning Japan's war crimes to much controversy. Similar to the one they passed in regards to the Armenian genocide.

Hey, it's a work in progress right?
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Old 12-14-2007, 06:04 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I have always wondered how the rest of the Asian community feels about US reparation for the Japanese, due to them being in so called "concentration camps" during the war in the US. What is the opinion of the other Asian countries that suffered under the Japanese? Were they ever repaid for the atrocities they endured?
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Old 12-14-2007, 06:05 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jorgelito

For example, the Cold War influence, atomic bombs guilt, etc ae all interesting facets of this topic. I believe the House of Reps (in US) passed a resolution condemning Japan's war crimes to much controversy. Similar to the one they passed in regards to the Armenian genocide.

Hey, it's a work in progress right?
I have to wonder how useful it is to condemn historical events such as the Japanese war crimes and the Armenian genocide. I understand that we need to understand these events in context and that this helps to "never forget" but the motivation behind these events seems to smack more of what Shauk was on about.
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Old 12-14-2007, 06:24 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I read these accounts in highschool as part of a independent research paper and the images will never leave me.

These things must never be forgotten because it would be very easy to see them happen again even in 'civilized' nations. This century is no stranger to genocide already.
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Old 12-14-2007, 06:27 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveMatrix
Those who forget the past are destined to repeat it.
...or perpetuate the hatred and paranoia from it.

...

We are creatures of incredible brutality with short memories.

As horrible as it is that the only tattoo that mattered in the 20th century was that from the Nazi concentration camps or that whitey enslaved many African tribes... you can't wake up every day and feel bad.

Just like my stance on African slavery: Don't blame me for something that happened 400 years before I was born.

Violence, like racism, begets itself. Dirty talk leads to dirty thought.

...

That's all. Fuck whitey. Hooah. Airborne.
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Old 12-14-2007, 06:48 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angelica
I have always wondered how the rest of the Asian community feels about US reparation for the Japanese, due to them being in so called "concentration camps" during the war in the US. What is the opinion of the other Asian countries that suffered under the Japanese? Were they ever repaid for the atrocities they endured?
I did a quick google search & this came up on the first page of the results....it seems no reparations have ever been paid. I also see the last post I made, its a quote by George Santayana, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it". I knew I'd heard that before......somewhere.....

Quote:
Japanese Reparations for the Chinese Holocaust by Efrain Morales

My political science professor once told me that: "history is told by those who document their lives in writing". Historians and scholars read analyze and comment on their written accounts. However, it is up to us to never forget the tragedies and successes that shape our world. The people's will to withstand suffrage in The Rape of Nanking, by Iris Chang, is something you cannot calculate with any manmade equation. There is no bounty for an individual's life. Denial is a feudal attempt to put a price on something that is priceless. Unless you first find a way to bring all the victims of the holocaust back to life and ask them individually how much their life is worth, you cannot put a price on any of them.
One is committing a heinous act to oneself by denying the past, since the past is the path towards enlightenment and discovery. The veil brought down on one's vision will blind perception and all reason, therefore, denying one's own right to claim a part of the their future. Since the beginning of time wars have been framed to design the future of characters and civilizations. If individuals burn the blueprints of society, how can societies expect to rebuild during times of desperation such as the six weeks Chinese people had to endure in the raping of Nanking? Simply because we forget a family member's life does not mean that they never existed.

Strong, innocent people were pushed to the edge of acceptability in Chang's description of The Rape of Nanking. What's worse is that Iris Chang was right when she assumed that we become desensitized to atrocities if only exposed enough to them. She understood the flaws of humanity in assuming that people would not care about massacres unless they personally affect them in some way. People will care less in America, especially if it happened over 70 years ago, in a place they never heard of. That is why it is important to reflect on and tell these stories. One can sense Iris Chang's anger when she could not believe that while Germans have already apologized for the Jewish Holocaust, Japan has not apologized for its military genocidal acts in Nanking (Nanjing) China. To add injury to insult not only have they not apologized, moreover, they actually claimed the accounts of Nanking were exaggerated at best. The problem with this line of thinking is that people who do not research the topic enough will conclude that the murders never took place.
It is morally unacceptable, and it makes you sick to your stomach as you read about the Nanking Holocaust. The victims' yells for existence are being silenced within each denial that their murder ever took place. As George Santayana said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it"(16). Since people are not exposed to such unthinkable atrocities, it is inevitable that someday, somewhere, the same thing is destined to happen again.
Although IRIS CHANG has left our physical world, her spirit flows in between the passages in her book. Thanks to her important work, we are not only exposed to the truth but the people that were so wrongfully murdered now have a voice as loud as prodigious thunder blasts. Their memory will not be dissolved into oblivion as long as Iris's work is read and remembered. Iris Chang's journalism proves passionate and is what our media is missing today. She is seeking truth and defending human rights within each story. It's as if the more she wrote, the more it would provoke her audience into not just reading the book; fortunately, it drives the reader to care and activates one into doing something that can be a stepping stone into changing the world.
Through reflection, one cannot help but wonder what one would have done had one been a Chinese living at the time of the rape. I am mixed with emotions, since I am a peaceful man I try to envision my family having gone through the horrific acts that Chinese people went through. I'd like to say I would have resorted to peace since I am an admirer of Martin Luther King's, Cesar Chavez's and ultimately Ghandi's peaceful approach to situations; however, I can't help but be furious at the thought of a soldier invading my home and desecrating my family. I would have unleashed a rage that is so hidden in the depths of my soul that I have not yet witnessed such a feeling. It is important to note that through reading and exposure to these acts, one is influenced into thinking one way or another. Future leaders of our world need to be exposed to this part of our world's history and make up their minds as to how they would have reacted. It serves to contemplate and ponder on such issues. It is bewildering to know, as Iris Chang points out, "A Princeton-educated lawyer told me sheepishly that she was not even aware that China and Japan had been at war; her knowledge of the Pacific conflict of WWII had been limited to Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima. The ignorance extends even to Asian Americans in this country" (200). It is something that should definitely be in our textbooks and textbooks all over the world. If anything to make people consider how they would react if they were in a similar situation. I consider myself an optimist but hate the thought of a similar instance taking place again and people not knowing about it.
Without history, we are lost souls; thus, we have all the contributors to thank for sharing the stories with the rest of the world. This is why one man, even a Nazi surrounded by rape and slaughter can change the face of history forever, just by writing it down. John Rabe's diaries and people like him documenting what they saw are a reason Nanking will now be written into our world's history. We need to learn and understand that as we grow as a society we grow as a world. This planet is big enough for all of us; however, throughout history one thing has emerged in every society, War. It is ugly and nothing good can come from it. People lose families, dreams, and hope. The survivors are indebted with having the enormous task of having to reconfigure their manufactured destiny. Moreover, after a huge blow from a systematic disenfranchisement machine such as an authoritarian government, the task may seem insurmountable and impossible. Nevertheless, history can serve as a guide and help even those who cannot see a path towards a brighter future.
Japan needs to apologize and compensate its brutally victimized neighbors during WWII in order to regain trust and respect from them. However, I do not believe that the survivors of The Rape of Nanking can ever fully trust and respect Japan after all they have been through. Unless Japan can reverse the clock of time and not commit its heinous acts, the victims are doomed to remember their history forever. All the money in the world cannot recuperate the loss that Chinese people endured. Millions of Chinese died at the hand of Japan's imperialistic force, and on the opposite spectrum, that force would have to be quantified to the infinite power in order to begin to resolve, reshape and rearrange lives people lost.
It is extremely important to bring forth awareness of Japanese atrocities committed in Asia during the Pacific War. I will do my part by starting to tell people about this unforgettable act and encourage people to read Iris Chang's book. One thing is for sure; I will never look at the Chinese the same way again. With today's' world being connected via the internet, we can all spread the word of the Nanking massacre in a way that people will not forget the millions of Chinese who were slipping away into the shadows of obscurity forever. Together we can save the stories of the people of Nanking, so that their fate will live on in our children' and grandchildren's' minds for generations to come. Another thing I can do is follow up on the bill Congress was presented with in the 90's that demanded compensation for the Nanking victims. It is only right this generation look out for past generations, and continue that tradition so that future generations will look out for ours.
People in power seem to not learn from man's own inhumanity. One thing they are getting good at is sugarcoating it. The same things still go on today, but they disguise it in a cloak of ignorance and present it to the people. The same killings are going on in Iraq today, we just do not hear about them too often. The US government is using the same propaganda the Japanese skillfully used today. Therefore, the world still has a great deal to learn. The best defense for the aggressors seems to be denial. When presented with case after case, they deny everything and hope the people will forget it ever occurred. Sadly and unfortunately though, they may be right. People seem carefree about much of what's going on around the world today, unlike they seemed to care back in the old documentaries about Vietnam. The most I have seen people do in current war situations is complain, play the blame game, and move on as soon as possible. This might be one of the biggest mistakes in today's society. In the case of the US, we allow as much as we want to go on. We need to bring this tragic chapter of history to a proper closure by being more active. I will write on a more continuous basis to my congress representatives and influence as many people as I can to exercise their right in this country. We do take all the liberties we are offered for granted in this country and it is time to start changing that. We who have that luxury need to take advantage of our situation and relish in the fact that we can affect the outcome of tomorrows history today.
One of the most important lessons we can learn from The Rape of Nanking is how soldiers carried out such horrendous orders. Soldiers who have never had this kind of power begin to abuse it willfully not knowing the consequences or hurt they inflict onto other people. The book does illustrate how most Japanese soldiers were young teenagers. People do not begin to fully assess life with a wise perspective until they are at least in their early twenties. How can we expect teenagers to be able to assess, judge, and react to wartime situations accordingly? We need to delve deeper into the psyche of a teenage soldier to understand what it is that makes him tick. If we ignore this, we are setting ourselves up for another horrendous atrocity in our near future. The best lesson we can cherish is to learn from our mistakes as a human race.
Lending a voice to the voiceless is a gift that can resuscitate spirits and change the outcome of history. If everyone had the resilient spirit that Iris Chang had, one can only bring hope to this world. She is a great reminder of the words Ghandi once spoke, "Be the change you want to see in the world". They tried to destroy the evidence that the massacre ever took place. However, we know what really happened, and we will never forget. Expression of conduct in our society has been the same all over the world. Everyone wants to take over as much land as they can. Every nation has had a desire to conquer and become a superpower. We saw it in Athens, Japan, and today we see it in the US. As great and huge as these military nations may seem at times, the important voices throughout history who have had the courage to stand up to these superpowers at risk of torture, failure, and death, have always overcome. Against all odds, these people find the spirit in themselves to do the extraordinary, and be limitless in all that they do. Throughout history, when there have been no voices, the voice of one individual, rings louder than all the nuclear bombs have ever sounded and they will not be silenced.
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Old 12-14-2007, 06:54 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Japan is weird about what it did during the war. Happy to accept US money to rebuild, and always willing to make the US feel guilty about nuking them, but never too happy to admit to their own extensive list of sins.
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Old 12-14-2007, 07:37 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Japan is weird about what it did during the war. Happy to accept US money to rebuild, and always willing to make the US feel guilty about nuking them, but never too happy to admit to their own extensive list of sins.

Maybe so, I really don't know. But what I find amazing is how the Japanese culture has changed since that time. Today, I would think Japan would be one of the last countries to be accused of atrocities. That country's evolution since the end of WWII is remarkable.
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Old 12-14-2007, 08:10 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Old 12-14-2007, 08:27 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Maybe so, I really don't know. But what I find amazing is how the Japanese culture has changed since that time. Today, I would think Japan would be one of the last countries to be accused of atrocities. That country's evolution since the end of WWII is remarkable.
They are Holocaust deniers. Very stubborn about it. Their material evolution is remarkable no doubt. We are also responsible for their success as well. But there is a dark layer beneath the high-tech wonder that never subsided..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlatan
I have to wonder how useful it is to condemn historical events such as the Japanese war crimes and the Armenian genocide. I understand that we need to understand these events in context and that this helps to "never forget" but the motivation behind these events seems to smack more of what Shauk was on about.
I disagree with the Shauk statement, at least as far as it was expressed.

Why is condemnation useful? Because at the very least, it says that humanity does not condone these acts. To have an official stamp on it legitimizes the victims pain and suffering and offers a modicum of empathy and sympathy. Even if it is only lip service at least it's a start.

Quote:
Originally Posted by angelica
I have always wondered how the rest of the Asian community feels about US reparation for the Japanese, due to them being in so called "concentration camps" during the war in the US. What is the opinion of the other Asian countries that suffered under the Japanese? Were they ever repaid for the atrocities they endured?
This is an interesting point. I personally feel it's two separate issues. The US made a mistake and owned up to it. The other Asian countries and Europeans who suffered at the hands of the Japanese did not receive any reparations. a private group set up a fund to pay out the victims, but all they really want is the Japanese gov't to own up to it. In fact, there was one law suit that only asked for $1 in compensation but a real official apology. They were denied. In fact, all law suits against the Japanese get denied. Many US vets tried to seek justice from the Japanese but not only get denied by them but by the US as well. For th victims of the Holocaust, it's not bout the money, it's about real recognition of the pain and suffering they experienced and acknowledgment ands a real apology, show of contrition and remorse from the Japanese gov't.

In Japan, their text books remove any mention of the Holocaust and their politician make regular visits to a war shrine honoring war criminals (like if the German chancellor were to visit the grave of Hitler, Eichman etc.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ustwo
I read these accounts in highschool as part of a independent research paper and the images will never leave me.

These things must never be forgotten because it would be very easy to see them happen again even in 'civilized' nations. This century is no stranger to genocide already.
Damn Ustwo, I can't believe you learned about this in high school. That's pretty amazing. Was it part of you regular curriculum?

Last edited by jorgelito; 12-14-2007 at 08:38 PM.. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Old 12-15-2007, 08:36 AM   #25 (permalink)
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what happened in Nanking and what happened in Auschwitz are so radically different I do not think it is appropriate to label them with the same name.

But I do think this atrocity (and I think many people know that more Chinese civilians were murdered by Japanese forces than Jews were murdered by the Nazi's) does not have the place in history, certainly the western view of history, that it should have.

I wonder if Chinese refer to the "Final Solution" as the forgotten Nanking, or something of this kind? I guess they dont - and thats the issue.
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Old 12-15-2007, 08:38 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Since when did ideology change the fact of a large, innocent group being dead at another's hands?
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Old 12-15-2007, 09:00 AM   #27 (permalink)
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The difference is not ideology. The difference is between the gas chamber and the bayonet.
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Old 12-15-2007, 09:18 AM   #28 (permalink)
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The Rape of Nanking was only one incident of many. The Japanese had a program of concentration camps, human experimentation, and slavery similar to the Nazi program. In fact, the Japanese shared data/information with the Nazis on torture, human experiments, and execution that were so horrifying that even Hitler was disgusted and refused to use it on the Jews.
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Old 12-15-2007, 11:36 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Again, a concentration is different to a death camp.

I am not trying to downplay the Japanese war crimes, or claim that one genocide is somehow "worse" than another - I am simply saying that there are both unique events.

As for the statement "that were so horrifying that even Hitler was disgusted and refused to use it on the Jews"... I dont want to be confrontational, in a thread like this more than any - but this is really an incrediblely glib over-simplification of one of the greatest horrors, or two of the great horrors known to mankind.

The idea of Japanese leaders passing on idea's to Hitler, who is somehow completely in control of the whole enterprise, and him turning them down because they are too ghastly... is beyond credulity. I cannot imagine how such a thing could be suggested.

The murder of 5 1/2 million people, or the even higher number killed in WWII by Japanese forces is not some kind of event that is controlled and planned by men like Hitler, who decide what "kinds of torture and experiments" can be performed and which cant.

These are world scale tragedies, collective madnesses.

What marked the death camp, and the concentration camp that became a death camp was not so much the level of sadism (although of course, there were sadists)

What was remarkable was not the Auscwitz guard who would string up a prisoner by their arms, and then stand at a distance and take pot shots to see how few shots he could take to shoot away enough flesh that they would fall.... monsterous sadism can exist in any place.

What was remarkable was the "ordinary men" - who both before and after the war never felt the urge to kill anyone, who would stand above the work force and kick down boulders and place bets on how many of the "workforce" they could knock down and how many they could kill as they struggled up the hill.

What was remarkable was not the maniac experiments of "the angel of death", but the seven tonnes of human hair that was collected, stored, found by the liberators.
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Old 12-15-2007, 02:23 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Quote:
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The difference is not ideology. The difference is between the gas chamber and the bayonet.
Unit 731

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unit_731

Enjoy.
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Old 12-15-2007, 03:01 PM   #31 (permalink)
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I think perhaps you are deliberately missing the point.

I am NOT trying to underplay what happened in Nanking or the rest of the Far East.

I am saying that the holocaust is a term that applies to a unique event, although actually is not a word that I would prefer to use - because it has connatations of a sacrifice or an offering.

I think, it should not be controversial to say that the word "holocaust" specifically means to most people the campaign against the Jews.

I think both of these events are terrible enough to justify terms which are unique to them.
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Old 12-15-2007, 03:58 PM   #32 (permalink)
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The main difference between the Nazi Final Solution and any other event that resulted in mass murder, including Nanjing, is not just the ideology, though that is key. The main difference is that the Nazi's industrialized it.

You can point to ethnic cleansing, mass torture, experimentation, etc. All of these things are shared between the Nazi's and other mass murderers. But when you add in the fact that they took the industrial assembly line and made it into an massive, rationalized killing machine... you have a unique event.
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Old 12-15-2007, 04:25 PM   #33 (permalink)
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I think the face that you are all capable of citing plenty of examples of mass amounts of death just goes to show that this never forget nonsense doesn't do anything. Even if I never forget this, or 9/11, or jews in ovens, or, or, or.. etc...

there will be another one around the corner that happens in the future that i"m not supposed to forget either.

It does nothing.
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Old 12-15-2007, 05:55 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shauk
I think the face that you are all capable of citing plenty of examples of mass amounts of death just goes to show that this never forget nonsense doesn't do anything. Even if I never forget this, or 9/11, or jews in ovens, or, or, or.. etc...

there will be another one around the corner that happens in the future that i"m not supposed to forget either.

It does nothing.
I disagree - I think we are less likely (though obviously it is not impossible) to experience such a situation again in a western (or western-style) society, one that is democratic, with a free press and freedom of speech, if examples of immense cruelty, be it Nanking, The Holocaust, slavery, Armenia, etc, remain prominent in the history books and are so roundly condemned.

Of course, something like this is perhaps likely to happen in some part of the world at some point, but the odds of Germany, Japan, Europe or North America taking part in such an activity does seem remote.
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Old 12-15-2007, 07:50 PM   #35 (permalink)
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I agree with highthief.

The big difference is that nations with a democracy, a free press and freedom of speech need to remember these events. I would suggest that remembering these events, clearly is essential to never repeating them.

If you don't think it's working point to a nation that has these conditions that *has* repeated something like this...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jorgelito
Why is condemnation useful? Because at the very least, it says that humanity does not condone these acts. To have an official stamp on it legitimizes the victims pain and suffering and offers a modicum of empathy and sympathy. Even if it is only lip service at least it's a start.
I think the condemnation is important but not necessarily after so much time has passed. The Turkish event happened so many years ago and it just seems that there is more of the fueling of hatred than the useful side of the equation.

If there had been an official history of condemnation it is different from digging at the past. I am not sure it is completely useful and is more likely to have the contrary effect.
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Old 12-15-2007, 07:54 PM   #36 (permalink)
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The difference is not ideology. The difference is between the gas chamber and the bayonet.
Tell me... have you ever seen a dead body before? They don't give a fuck how they died. Just ask 'em. They're dead. The crime is the almost same when the endstate is a bunch of decomposing bodies in a pile.

...

Torture? Suffering? Clearly bad things. Being dead, however, is being dead.
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Old 12-15-2007, 07:55 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shauk
I think the face that you are all capable of citing plenty of examples of mass amounts of death just goes to show that this never forget nonsense doesn't do anything. Even if I never forget this, or 9/11, or jews in ovens, or, or, or.. etc...

there will be another one around the corner that happens in the future that i"m not supposed to forget either.

It does nothing.
Like hell, you can't even bring up genetic consoling without someone calling it Nazi like eugenics.

Until we start having genocides again in the developed democracies you really can't be sure not matter how strongly you state it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlatan
The main difference between the Nazi Final Solution and any other event that resulted in mass murder, including Nanjing, is not just the ideology, though that is key. The main difference is that the Nazi's industrialized it.

You can point to ethnic cleansing, mass torture, experimentation, etc. All of these things are shared between the Nazi's and other mass murderers. But when you add in the fact that they took the industrial assembly line and made it into an massive, rationalized killing machine... you have a unique event.
Only in method, genocide is genocide, be it Soviet starvations or Nazi camps.

I think it was more circumstantial then anything else. In Europe with the population they wanted to eliminate, they had to round up into camps, and they used the most efficient method of killing while getting some use out of them.
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Last edited by Ustwo; 12-15-2007 at 07:58 PM.. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Old 12-15-2007, 08:08 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Old 12-15-2007, 08:19 PM   #39 (permalink)
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We will never learn,
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We are fools and worse.
You gonna be in the next pile?
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Old 12-15-2007, 09:14 PM   #40 (permalink)
 
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if only things were so easy, so obvious that we didnt need to think about the many ways in which an entire political system can go entirely wrong...

people who object to idea that genocide or atrocities should not be forgotten like to pretend that they would not participate in something on that order---they like to pretend that something like the holocaust happened in an entirely Outside Space in which Everyone Was Explicit To Themselves about what they were doing--like the nazi final solution was carried out by a bunch of boys being naughty.


but it's more problematic than that.
see, the ideological conditions in place that would made genocide seem ethically unobjectionable--like it wasn't genocide--it was hygene or part of some destiny, a national destiny, or of a People blah blah blah....and there was an extensive administrative apparatus in place, in which perfectly nice ordinary people administered the extermination of another people as just another day in the office. they thought it was normal. they did their "job" they did their "duty"....they were nice little patriots.

they didnt see as the ideological framework they lived within started to slide--no, that's not true--it's worse: they saw it sliding, but they thought it was ok because they thought it was part of a national destiny. they approved of the slide because they thought that fascism would save them. world war 1, weimar...all this division and such--a Leader would Unify the Nation and Save it and to Save it Required that the Enemy Within be Exterminated.

it's a familiar story.
we haven't learned shit.

so obviously, it makes sense to get snippy when you're reminded that things can, have, and probably will go south.

this because nationalism is a powerful political fiction and defending that fiction from real and---more often--imaginary threats can result in very very bad things happening--that a segment of the population will approve of because they like that fiction and they like it being under threat because it gives them a sense of direction--and that most of the rest of the population will not complain about too much. we are all conditioned through the social reproduction system to imagine that there are such things as nations...so even if you dont really care about the idea, it's still a powerful meme. no, the far right can mobilize as the Salvation of the Nation and, under proper circumstances, those who oppose them won't complain too much. those that do are easy enough to quarantine--you call them a fifth column, you set them up as less than you ("socialists are diseased" remember...socialists are losers, they are lazy, they are less, less in every way than the righteous petit bourgeois who tend to rally round nationalist memes....it still happens.)


hell, the americans exterminated the native american population.
was it a genocide?
the nazis thought so.
the turks thought so.
they both used it as a model.
the americans dont think so.
maybe that's because they didn't lose a war.
it's funny how genocide becomes genocide only after you loose a war, isn't it?
if you dont loose a war, it can still be "manifest destiny" or something we dont really talk about. or maybe we feel vaguely bad about it all. "o the native americans. what we did to them. boo hoo. can i have another beer please"?

obviously, it is not given that folk will learn from their history.
it'd be better if they did.
but i wont hold my breath.
so in the meantime, the periodic reminder.
this is not, in fact, the best of all possible worlds.

=======================================================
btw: on the op..i dont know if nanking is understood as being an aspect of a genocidal campaign or not--i generally see it described as an atrocity of considerable proportions, a terrible thing--but genocide?

who decides these things?

it is good to be reminded, even if what we are reminded of is not easy to process.
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