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Mary Irvine’s Blog: The Forgotten Holocaust

iris chang.jpg

 When I got up this morning I had no intention of writing what follows but it has been inspired by a discussion I have just heard on the radio. I don’t have a television so listen to radio 4 for news, comedy, drama, documentaries. What I have just heard resulted in my retrieving a book called ‘The Rape of Nanking’ by Iris Chang.*

 On the front cover it is described as ‘The Forgotten Holocaust of World War 11’.  I do not propose to detail events which again belie belief that one nation could perpetrate such atrocities on another. We all know of the Jewish Holocaust but how many have heard of the actions of Japan in China, following the Second Sino-Japanese War of the 1930s and the occupation of the latter by the former. In particular the period from December 1937 to March 1938 when one of the worst massacres in modern times took place.

The testimony of survivors, foreign correspondents and foreigners living in Nanking at the time all bear witness to the indescribable events of that short time. There are many who still deny it happened or, in the words of one, ‘It was war. These things happen in war.’ I won’t grace such an opinion with s comment. It speaks for itself. Read the book. Make up your own mind.

However, when considering the rather tense relationship between these two countries at the present time I do urge people to read this book which will give a greater understanding of China’s attitude towards Japan.

*The Rape of Nanking’ by Iris Chang, pub Penguin, 1997

26 Jan 2012 edition now available from Amazon

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Publisher of Pat’s Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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