Thursday, November 10, 2011

Rape of Nanking, remembering . . .

On the eve of Remembrance Day I can't help but think of something that has saddened me immensely since our trip to China last year. I was not prepared for it when our tour bus arrived at the Nanjing Memorial where 300,000 ordinary citizens were massacred during 6 weeks of occupation from mid December 1937 into January, 1938 .


more information from Wilkipedia * * HERE * *


you can read another article * * HERE * *

When they discovered the mass graves they started to excavate the area then decided to leave it "as is" and built a building on top to preserve this site for future generations


It's a solemn place and while I started to take photos outside I felt it was not right to photograph what I saw inside the Memorial. There were skeletons, bone fragments and bones/skulls scattered everywhere on the ground . It felt as if I was in a tomb. Many Japanese were also there giving their respects.


This site is a few square blocks in area with a Wall surrounding the perimeter. The actual Memorial building is more or less in the centre. Surrounding the Memorial building there are open "fields"


where they covered the ground with gravel and just left the "dead" where they lay. It was an overpowering sight to see the barren landscape and just imagined what had happened here over 7 decades ago by a ruthless aggressor.


My mind was having a hard time processing what I had seen and could only think of the poor innocent people buried here


As respect for the souls of these people you are instructed to walk on the cement paths, and not onto the gravel itself . It felt like such a barren place


the power of this Memorial is in its simplicity .


Outside the perimeter wall there is a shallow water filled moat with statues depicting the "dead"


I think that this is the saddest place I have ever been and even a year later I can't help but think that something like this ever happened . . . it's hard to imagine


Lest we forget all of these people, and of all the people that died in all the world wars all over the world to preserve our Freedom and our way of life.

(Nanjing Memorial)

Peace . . .


  1. The evil things we humans do to each other is incomprehensible. It seems that each nation that rises to great power abuses that power in a terrible way at some point.

  2. War is a terrible thing and all too often women and children bear the worst aggressions of soldiers & governments who are out of control. What s so terrible these are not isolated incidents and still continue today. I hope and pray for peace in our world and that man will learn from our terrible mistakes, but apparently we haven't and I fear may never will. This thought makes me sad, and tomorrow I will remember everyone who has been touched by the terrible hand of war.

  3. Today is a somber day indeed. There are so many events of the cruelty of war to remember. I saw a bumper sticker once that read, "In war there are no winners." Still, at times the best one can do is respond against the evil of war by making war while attempting to keep one's values intact.

    A thought provoking post. Thanks for the share.

  4. I knew nothing of the events of Nanking until I read this. I believe that the people of this world are essentially good, but then are led astray by dreadful and manipulative leaders who encourage evil by threat or whipping up feelings. Wars and atrocities are started by leaders and governments and of course it is the people, their people, that suffer. On this day, wherever in the world we are, we must remember those that have sacrificed their own lives to help others. I salute and thank you all.

  5. Thanks Bob, I too was ignorant of this memorial. I was familiar with the event however as a history major but your pictures really reinforced things in my mind.


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  6. I read a book on the Rape of Nanking a few years ago. I don't remember all the details, but I remember that it was horrific! I don't understand how some can do such evil to others. Even through the photos one can get a feel for the memorial, the sadness and horror of such a thing. Very powerful. Thanks for sharing this.

  7. Excellent post. I was not familiar with the memorial but do remember reading about the incident. One of the worst things that can happen is there is a move to "rewrite history" in some countries where some view such events as showing their country in a bad light. We can't let that happen. Thank you for the reminder.


  8. Why is it we all can't just get along? History is so sad.

    I wonder if future generations will look back on the strife and wars of our time and think the same thing - how sad. Not that the wars of today are by any means on the scope and scale of wars and cruelty of the past, but maybe to future generations they will be.

  9. Thank you for sharing and for educating me. Nice post with great photos.

  10. Bob - A very sad story, but I believe it's important to be knowledgable about such things. Thank you for sharing.

  11. Bob, thanks for posting that painful experience. I read the Wikipedia article as well. It's difficult for me to understand the depth of human cruelty. If humanity stands a chance of breaking the cycle of atrocities, it will only be through remembrance. It seems to me that only gifted artists working in stone are capable of creating memorials that are able to convey the enormity of such crimes against humanity, and that are able to stand long enough to send their message to later generations. Peace to you and yours Bob.

  12. Hopefully remembering can bring a new light on the desire our nation has to militarize. Hollywood makes war sexy, the truth is something else. Thanks for bringing this up, I did not know about it