In reading Iris Chang’s book \"The Rape of Nanking\" I started to think very hard about
the fact that the Holocaust wasn’t just in Europe it was happening in Asia and nobody
really noticed what was going on in that part of the world. Much of the horrific acts
committed was by Japanese soldiers at the time Japan had occupied China. This was done
well before Hitler even conjured up the idea of The Final Solution around 1937 before
World War II officially began in Europe. It wasn’t until later on that stuff had started
coming out that Jews were not the only ones who were being persecuted and mercilessly
tortured and killed and it was the stories told of the atrocities that solidified the revelation
of murder and brutality.
Those who tried to escape were caught and executed in the same fashion as
the Jews when they were taken as prisoners in German concentration camps. This was a
eye-opening experience because many people wouldn’t have the stomach to even get past
the first chapter of the book. It was hard to read because of the fact that so many details
reminds me of the stories American soldiers would say to what they saw in Europe when
the concentration camps were raided and they arrested numerous Nazi soldiers who took
part in the extermination of Jews.
The massacre at Nanking was more like a cattle round up and performing a mass
slaughter and they killed everyone from women to children and even those who used to
serve in the Chinese army. The Japanese army didn’t care if you were military or civilian
you were killed anyway. The hardest thing to come to grips with from reading Rape of
Nanking was understanding why a lot of Chinese citizens feel the way they do because
many of their loved ones or friends were killed and tortured when they were able to
escape the country and seek asylum in places that would accept them.
Iris Chang brought a very realistic and very graphic portrayal of a time when people
too busy facing the war in Europe totally unaware when a helpless nation was slowly
wiped clean of its people by systematically torturing, raping, and abusing helpless
people who were steady being killed because they were Chinese. I couldn’t pick up the
book for a while because it was that hard for me to continue reading about women,
children, and young girls who were being sexually assaulted and used for experiments
and whatever else the Japanese soldiers could think of to torture them. Some parts of this
book does not seem to apply to the question(s) being answered in terms of the world’s
view of Japan. Rape spoke more about the injustices against the Chinese more than it’s
affect to the rest of the world. This was my interpretation of what I read. This was more
like a storytelling session with former soldiers and survivors of the atrocities.
This is called “the forgotten holocaust because the numbers didn’t even come close
to the millions of Jews who were killed and tortured by German soldiers. According to
Chang she stated there were about 300,000 Chinese civilians, and soldiers who were
raped, tortured, and murdered which outnumbered the death toll after the bombings of
Hiroshima and Nagasaki put together. That’s really nothing to the 6 million plus Jews
who were done the same way and then going further when they were used like lab rats
and then having stuff done to them from testing chemicals to just sexually assaulting
them. I don’t think much of this really applied to the rest of the non-Asian world because
the focus was on the actions unfolding in Europe and the declaration of countries entering
the war and World War II becoming official in 1939. So whatever was going on in China
at the time was totally irrelevant.
This was more an analysis and narration of a historical tragedy that went ignored
until the story was being told publicly by an Asian woman who spoke out against the
atrocities and injustice against China. This was more about the fostering of militarianism
on the Japanese’s part to the near destruction of an entire city through the use of violence
and inhumane treatment of innocent people. Many of the non-Asian powers such as the
United States didn’t really look at Japan as a threat during the 1930s because we didn’t
enter the war until the early 40s. By that time we saw Japan as a threat because of their
alliance with Germany and Italy.
This was more like Chang’s narration told to her by survivors more than explaining why
this atrocity happened. The book was broken down into three sections that was told by
different sides and explaining how the Japanese had a total and complete disregard for
human life. The efforts during the Cold War on the part of the Western world and even
China stifle to open discussion about this atrocity. It’s clearly shown how the effects of
many politically, diplomatically, and militarianistically details has affected a lot of people
during that time. The extensiveness of this book really didn’t apply to the question that I
was looking to answer.
The policies changed well after the war ended because the United States and the
rest of the world ignored China and focused on defeating Germany and Japan and looking
at the atrocities that happened in Europe. Japan wasn’t really held accountable for the
atrocities until later on when Rape of Nanking was released.
Much of the world wasn’t ready to hear any of these things since the Japanese didn’t
really give reparations for the bombing of Pearl Harbor or to the atrocities in China
before World War II started.
The policies didn’t really account for much of anything since again China wasn’t of
any concern to the rest of the world since Japan was the main focus in Asia during the
war and for their part in bombing Pearl Harbor and their alliance with Germany. Yes,
different powers have different policies, but as far as this having any implications
towards the war, yes. Each side had it’s own contributions to the war in various fashions.
There was no real reaction since China wasn’t on the list of priorities of many
superpowers agendas at the time since they were not considered a threat to the rest of the
world the way they saw Japan as a whole and as a country. The policies to me were just
created as they went along the course of the war instead of actually having something in
place. Sometimes things were just implemented just for the heck of it more than to
The extent was not really much except the fact that action was taken after Japan
linked their alliance to Germany and bombed Pearl Harbor that’s when a more
standardized form of foreign policy was implemented. The United States was moreover
trying to dismantle Germany’s progression into the rest of the world. Japan was not really
a concern to them until the bombing came up. The changes came over time before,
during, and after the war. Why it happened was because giving the situation at the time
things were changing at a rapidly fast rate. Some of the other books didn’t explain much
to my understanding of what part non Asian powers played in the situation.
It was too much reading to try and narrow down half the details needed to answer
one question and there was a lot of details that had to be narrowed down to fit the
question being answered. Iris Chang’s book was more on point with the social and
political end of things whereas the other books were geared to the military aspect, and
others were more diplomatical.
The conduct of the war itself played very hard against Japan later on when
they were put into interment camps in the United States and treated like war criminals,
but the biggest blow came when the stories about the atrocities of Nanking came out with
Iris Chang’s controversial book. Much of the world wasn’t ready to hear what she had to
say especially the Japanese people since this affected them more than anything. Giving
the fact that they didn’t want the world to know that they committed a horrific act against
humanity for which that could affect their relations at the political and diplomatical level.
This was like the second holocaust except it wasn’t made known until much later on
down the line when Rape of Nanking was released because Iris Chang saw this as a way
for those affected by this tragic event to speak out freely and giving voices to those who
didn’t survive this massacre a chance to put their voices at peace. The question should
have been stated as “How did events in Asia influence or shape the values and ideals of
non-Asian powers and the rest of the world during the war and the atrocities at
Nanking?” It would have made a lot more sense written like that other than to choose
between three separate and slightly over-detailed questions which needed more emphasis
on how it should be answered. Reading the books was time consuming giving how long
each one of them were.
The war did shape the policies of the world as a whole than just individual countries
and superpowers, but the question is what would have been done to make the outcome
different on all sides, and how if we could do over again what would
have been the improvements made?
Policies would be written and established not just as you go along you create
something. That’s why much of the war was fought pretty stupidly because there was no
establishment of policies and procedures to what was done in terms of military,political,
and diplomatical. If they had done things different at the time much of what is in history
really wouldn’t even be there.