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Holocaust Essay, Research Paper

Eleven million precious lives were lost during the Holocaust of World

War II. Six million of these were Polish citizens. Half of these Polish

citizens were non-Jews. On August 22, 1939, a few days before the

official start of World War II, Hitler authorized his commanders, with

these infamous words, to kill “without pity or mercy, all men, women,

and children of Polish descent or language. Only in this way can we

obtain the living space [lebensraum] we need”.

Heinrich Himmler echoed Hitler’s decree: “All Poles will disappear from

the world…. It is essential that the great German people should

consider it as its major task to destroy all Poles.”

When someone mentions the word holocaust, most often people will

relate that word with the Germans and Jews during World War II. When

Japan is mentioned, the first things that come to mind are the atomic

bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Nanjing Massacre is known

as the forgotten holocaust and very oddly, it truly has been forgotten.

In this forgotten holocaust, three hundred thousand people were

brutally murdered and 20,000 women were raped in the city of Nanjing,

during the years of 1937-1938 (Yao).

The Chinese Nationalist Government moved the capital of China from

Peking to Nanjing in 1928. Nanking’s population in the mid 1930s was

well over one million, mainly because many refugees were fleeing from

the Japanese army that had invaded China in 1931. Japan had entered

China and other parts of Asia before World War II began, and didn’t

stop until the U. S. dropped the atomic bombs on Japanese soil in early

1945. It is said that the Japanese military machine was motivated by

the aggression and uncontrollable desire for expansion and imperialism.

On December 9, 1937, Chinese troops endered in the city of Nanjing,

followed by a massive Japanese attack on the city


For the next six weeks, this capital was filled with brutal, unhuman,

and terribly violent acts now known as the Nanjing Massacre. The

Japanese committed venomous acts against innocent civilians, Chinese

soldiers, refugees, and many others. The crimes ranged from mass

execution to burning, raping, and looting. On December 13, many of the

refugees tried to flee for their lives by crossing the Yangtze River.

When they arrived at the river there was no type of transportation for

them to cross. The Japanese arrived and when many of them tried to swim

the river, the Japanese started to fire at the people in the river and

along the banks of the shore. When it was all over, one Japanese

solider reported that the river was covered with women, men, and

children of all ages, totaling more than 50,000 bodies. Within two

days, the streets of Nanjing were called the “streets of blood,” as

dead human corpses began to cover the streets. Because the streets were

piled with dead bodies, the Japanese had people dig huge ditches in the

earth and dump hundreds, sometimes even thousands of bodies into these

grave pits (Yao). The Japanese would arrest and murder anybody thought

to be a Chinese soldier. The safety zones that were set up to protect

some of the citizens and refugees were raided and men were dragged out

to be killed or were, more often that not, shot on the spot. Large

numbers of young men were dragged out of the city to be massacred.

Sometimes, they would take anywhere from several thousand to tens of

thousands at one time. These mass executions were mostly done by

machine guns and, in most cases, those who were still breathing were

bayoneted one by one. There were even some instances where the Japanese

would pour gasoline on these people and burn them alive. It was once

reported that they poured gasoline on a group of people tied together

and shot at them, watching the bullets strike their bodies, then catch

fire (Gray). Many atrocities were committed in and around the city,

most of them against civilians. The Japanese soldiers thought that

killing these innocent people were fun and games. They invented new

ways to brutally murder these people. Some of these violent acts

included stabbing, shooting, burning, gutting, excavating the heart,

decapitation, drowning, punching the body and eyes with an awl,

castration, and even punching or stabbing objects into the females

vaginas (Yao). Another name for this forgotten holocaust is “The Rape

of Nanjing.” Such a title is appropriate for all the raping that

occurred in six weeks, when approximately 20,000 women were raped. The

Japanese soldiers were such brutes, that if they didn’t rape the women

in their homes they would take the women out in the streets and rape

them, very often heartlessly killing them afterwards. They would often

kill them by stabbing them with bayonets in the vagina or slicing open

their stomachs. Many of these women that were raped were left on the

streets with their genitals hanging out and some sort of object

sticking out of their vagina. They would rape pregnant women and cut

open their bellies, take out the fetus and play with it as if it was a

football. They made fathers rape daughters, and sons rape mothers, and

if they objected to this, they were instantly killed. Women of all

kinds and ages were raped. They raped seventy year-old women, nine

year-old girls, nuns, and high class wives. Many of the young and

pretty girls were taken from their families and homes for days. They

would even storm into the safety zones and take women by hundreds at a

time. The Japanese would gang rape women up to twenty times a day. When

these women returned, they would often fall into a state of depression

or they would commit suicide from shame (Gray). The Japanese did not

only commit inhumane acts in Nanjing, but their brutal actions spread

all over Asia. The Japanese government knew what was happening in

Nanjing from the protests that were made by the Japanese Embassy. Yet

they did nothing to stop the cruel behavior. Now, the Japanese

government denies that such massacres were actually committed in

Nanjing. They say it is a story made up by the Chinese, the “Nanjing

Massacre never occurred” (Yao). If this story is a lie, then why and

how did so many people die? Why are there pictures taken of these

brutal acts by the Japanese soldiers? What about the Japanese

confessions and their diaries to pr! ove all the things they did? What

about the hundreds of thousands of people who witnessed these crimes?

What about the trials where many of the high ranking soldiers were

found guilty and punished for their injustices? There is too much

evidence against the Japanese soldiers to deny such cruelties (Gray).

During World War II, so many horrible acts were committed against the

innocent. When it was all over, the bodies were countless as well as

the tears shed around the world. The Japanese stole the lives of many,

and at the same time killed millions of innocent people. The horrible

memory of the Nanjing Massacre still lives with many of those who

survived through it. With all that happened in such a short amount of

time, it’s a shame that the Nanjing Massacre is labeled the

forgotten holocaust–not only forgotten, but denied by the Japanese


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