The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II The Rape of Nanking discussion


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message 1: by Eddie (last edited Apr 20, 2008 03:10PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Eddie What an ugly incident. I have an iron-cast stomache but even my constitution is weakened by the events documented in this book. I am left wondering just how many more atrocities occurred during and after WWII that we will never hear about. It is odd that we should have learned so much from the war; however, we still live in a world where genocide occurs and is almost always justified by those committing it, and those who choose not to see it for what it really is.


message 2: by Ed (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ed There were thousands of similar incidents. Most committed by the Japanese and the Germans but many incidents involved Americans, the French, Russians, and the British Shooting prisoners was a common practice on both sides. Russian behavior as they moved across Germany, even if fueled by the need for revenge, was as bad as the Germans visited on the Russians earlier in the war.

My Lai in Vietnam was not a one-off event. We are all capable of the worst. For everyone who tried to rescue Jewish friends from the holocaust there were thousands who reported, informed, ignored or participated in the slaughter.

I won't go on. It's too depressing.


Cindy Gelpi I visited Chengdu, China last year and it was amazing to me that the students I came into contact with asked me if I liked Japan like it was a test of some sort. When I asked them the reason they wanted to know they told me they did not like the Japanese people because of what happened in Nanking. I had not even heard of this atrocity until then and when I returned home, I read the above book. Our students are taught so much about the Holocaust, but this genocide is not as talked about in our country. I agree that all races and nationalities are capable of such things and I hope these students I spoke to can forgive that country for the crimes its soldiers committed.



message 4: by Ed (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ed Many Chinese will never forgive the Japanese. My friends in the Philippines and Indonesia who survived the Japanese occupation still hate the Japanese.




Andrew-Mario Hart-Grana Have not had the courage to read this book yet. Iris Chang unfortunately committed suicide in 2004. Many believe the research she had done for this book did not help (seems that she was struggling with depression as well). From what I heard, the events narrated in this book as extremely horrific.


Sarah A very difficult, but important read. If we don't learn about the past, it becomes lost. One of the most gripping, poignant books I've ever read.


Andrew-Mario Hart-Grana Sarah wrote: "A very difficult, but important read. If we don't learn about the past, it becomes lost. One of the most gripping, poignant books I've ever read."

Are you reading it now Sarah? How is it going? :-(


message 8: by Nik (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nik It is a fascinating if albeit horrific read about the consequences of locking up armed and aggressive young men in a confined space with unarmed civilians and then not punishing or even acknowledging acts of violence committed on the locals.

Using living people for sword practice has to be one of the most appalling things I've ever read.

It really is violence on the scale of the 30 years war in Europe ... bands of roving soldiers decimating and brutalising the local populations. But then that was the first half of the 17th Century.

Still, the British in Kenya during Mau Mau and Malaysia during the Emergency could and did overstep the mark on a number of occasions.

Does give you pause for thought, doesn't it?


Sarah Andrew-Mario wrote: "Sarah wrote: "A very difficult, but important read. If we don't learn about the past, it becomes lost. One of the most gripping, poignant books I've ever read."

Are you reading it now Sarah? How i..."



I read it a few months ago, came across this discussion. It has definitely stayed in my mind!


Monty J Heying I commend those brave heroes who tried to save lives while the soldiers were killing and raping. Who knows how many lives they saved? But they also set an example, modeling humanitarianism in the face of extreme evil.

I commend the author for having the will and dedication to complete such a difficult book in the face of enormous obstacles, such as the passage of time and repression by government officials.

This book will live on in history as an important expose of the evils of war on parallel with ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT.


message 11: by Monty J (last edited Oct 15, 2012 11:13PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Monty J Heying Andrew-Mario wrote: "Have not had the courage to read this book yet. Iris Chang unfortunately committed suicide in 2004. Many believe the research she had done for this book did not help (seems that she was struggling ..."

I can say, as one who suffers from PTSD stemming from extreme childhood trauma, including torture, that if Iris did not take steps toward self-protection, she very likely aggravated her fragile mental state by researching and writing about atrocities. Vivid scenes of torture are very likely to be self-traumatizing. And to write them well one must relive them dozens or more times.

I have learned that it is vital to schedule recreational activities to give the mind a rest. This is one of the reasons I consider Iris Chang a hero, risking her well-being for the sake of a great cause.


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