They Were in Nanjing: The Nanjing Massacre Witnessed by American and British Nationals

They Were in Nanjing: The Nanjing Massacre Witnessed by American and British Nationals

They Were in Nanjing: The Nanjing Massacre Witnessed by American and British Nationals

They Were in Nanjing: The Nanjing Massacre Witnessed by American and British Nationals

Synopsis

This book presents a detailed research study and in-depth analysis of the incident from the perspective of neutral countries' residents and diplomatic officials. The focus is placed on how those American and British citizens had experienced the incident and their reactions toward it.

Excerpt

No sooner had victorious Japanese troops marched into China's capital, Nanjing, on 13 December 1937, than atrocities were committed to civilian residents and disarmed Chinese soldiers in and around the city. The world's attention was drawn to the incident known as the "Rape of Nanking" or the "Nanjing Massacre" not only because of its enormous scale, but also due to the fact that in the fallen city there were twenty-seven western nationals, five of whom were American and British correspondents. The reports by these journalists gave instant prominence to the event even when the massacre was in progress. For the following months, English media around the world continued the coverage of the incident with materials smuggled out through diplomatic channels by American missionaries still trapped in the city.

In 1946, several of the American missionaries either testified as the prosecution's witnesses in the court of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, or submitted written statements to the Tribunal. However, the materials they presented are but the tip of an iceberg. A large number of eyewitness accounts remained hidden in private and personal collections. The role played by Westerners in the city and their experiences were not adequately researched until recently.

Iris Chang's book Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II, and the publicity given to John Rabe's Nanjing diaries by his granddaughter, Ursula Reinhardt, at the end of 1996 aroused public interest to revisit the event and stimulated academia to re-examine the incident and issues surrounding it. In recent years, there has been a tendency in academia to go back in time, in search of original source materials left behind by eyewitnesses from neutral countries.

With the passage of time, Westerners who experienced the Nanjing Massacre have departed one by one. F. Tillman Durdin was probably the last to leave us. He passed away on 7 July 1998, at the age of ninety-

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.