Series on Nanjing Massacre published

Updated: 2007-12-04 07:56

China has published a name list of 602 refugees who survived the Nanjing Massacre under protection of a German merchant, in which more than 300,000 Chinese were slaughtered by Japanese invading troops 70 years ago.

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At the end of a letter of thanks to John H.D. Rabe, then representative of Siemens in Nanjing, 602 Chinese signed their names in either traditional or simplified Chinese and inked their fingerprints. The date of the letter was January 6, 1938.

The second part of the list was a tabulation complied by Rabe's staff according to the original signatures, showing the age, occupation and other personal details of every survivor.

The list was translated from German diplomatic circulars, which revealed how German people managed to protect Chinese civilians in the war.

The information is important to the research of Chinese refugee's lives during the period and is also a proof of Sino-German friendship, said Zhang Xianwen, a professor with Nanjing University.

Rabe, also known as "China's Schindler", jointly founded an international committee with a number of foreigners in the city, then state capital, rescuing over 200,000 Chinese from the atrocity committed by Japanese invaders from December 1937 to January 1938.

The list was part of the 27-volume series of historical materials on the Massacre, which were published in Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province, on Monday.

Among the new release, there are three volumes of diaries and official documents from the Japanese aggressors, which recorded numerous atrocities including a slaughtering competition.

Another eight volumes exposed a name list of 13,000 victims of the Massacre, containing the name, sex, age, occupation and residential addresses of the victims, as well as sources of the information.

The books are the most complete name lists of the known victims of the slaughter to date, which include unarmed soldiers and civilians killed inside or near Nanjing.

"The publication of name lists is just a start. We will continue collecting information about the victims," said Zhang, also editor in chief of the compilation.

In addition to the first 28 volumes that came out in 2005, the 27 new volumes consist of many first-hand historical documents and records, such as US news reports, diplomatic letters from the British and German governments, lists of casualties and economic losses in the atrocity.

Since 2000, more than 70 Chinese historians from universities and government archive departments have visited Japan, Britain, the United States and Germany, compiling and translating nearly 30 million words of original materials in different languages, which led to the production of a total of 55 volumes in the series.

"It is a combination of Chinese, Japanese and Western raw materials, which is objective and just and is able to stand the trial of history," said Zhang at Monday's issuance ceremony in Nanjing.

Many of the materials are published for the first time and have great historical value. "Everyone who reads the book will surely get a correct understanding of what happened at that time," said Zhang.

The volumes were jointly released by the Jiangsu Provincial People's Publishing House and Fenghuang Publishing & Media Group.

Compilers said they are still working on a lot of materials which may lead to the publication of another 25 volumes totaling nearly 20 million words.

The release came before the 70th anniversary of the Massacre which falls on December 13, when a memorial hall for the Massacre will reopen after two years of expansion works.

Some 3,000 pieces of historical items, including cameras, weapons and diaries of the Japanese troops and 3,500 photos taken during the period will be on show.

Japanese aggressors occupied Nanjing on December 13, 1937, and embarked on a six-week long orgy of destruction, pillage, rape and slaughter. Historical records show that more than 300,000 Chinese people, including both disarmed soldiers and innocent civilians, were murdered.

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