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Author brings home horror of Nanjing Massacre

By Cang Wei in Nanjing | | Updated: 2016-12-05 20:27

A new novel set during the Sino-Japanese war has been praised by researchers of the Nanjing Massacre.

The Chinese version of Nanjing Never Cries has recently published in China and was discussed at an event in Nanjing, Jiangsu province on Monday.

The author, Dr Hong Zheng, also known as Hung Cheng, spent 10 years researching material, visiting survivors of the massacre and consulting experts to finish writing the novel.

As a professor of applied mathematics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Zheng knows the power of nuclear bombs and said he mourns the Japanese civilians killed in war. But he said history cannot be distorted and the tragedy of the Chinese must be heard.

In his novel, MIT graduate John Winthrop and his Chinese classmate Calvin Ren, or Ren Kewen, travel to China together with Calvin's wife. There they meet the beautiful 18-year-old Chen May. The characters witness people close to them being killed along with thousands of civilians when the Japanese invasion takes place and the city of Nanjing falls into chaos.

To make the story realistic, Zheng referred to documents from many countries, and incorporated his research into the novel.

Born in 1937, the professor experienced the difficulties of the aftermath of the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1937-45). He noticed that Nanjing Massacre has long been ignored, while the Americans' guilt for bombing Japanese cities was discussed publicly frequently.

"Writing this novel is not to promote hatred," Zheng said. "I hope that the history can be known to more people through this book, so to avoid the happening of the same tragedy."

Curator of a memorial to the victims of the Nanjing Massacre, Zhang Jianjun, said he was deeply touched after receiving and finishing the book on Sunday.

"The audience can be moved by the details of the history described in the novel," Zhang said.

Book publisher She Jiangtao said that the massacre should always be remembered to keep people alert.

"It's a wound that will never heal for the Chinese nation. Keeping the records of it will benefit both the Chinese and world peace."

According to Chinese documents, more than 300,000 people were killed by Japanese troops during the Nanjing Massacre, which took place from December 1937 to January 1938.

A series of activities will be held in Nanjing to commemorate the anniversary of the massacre, which falls on Dec 13.

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