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Citizens bid farewell to Nanjing Massacre survivor
Updated: 2004-12-09 01:12

Citizens bid farewell to Li Xiuying, a survivor of the Nanjing Massacre in World War II, Wednesday morning at Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province.

Li died of respiratory failure at the age of 86 on Saturday morning. People from all walks of life presented her wreaths or sent telegraphs of condolence, including officials, workers with the museum commemorating victims of the Nanjing Massacre and lawyers seeking justice for the victims in the massacre.

Li made her name known throughout China for her courage and perseverance in standing up to battle an anti-defamation lawsuit against Matsumura Toshio, a right-wing Japanese writer, who called her a "false" witness of the war in his book "The Big Question in the Nanjing Massacre." She won the case in April last year.

In December 1937, some 300,000 Chinese civilians were brutally killed by Japanese invaders after the fall of Nanjing, the then- capital of the Kuomintang government.

Li Xiuying was pregnant at the time and suffered 37 stabs wounds from Japanese soldiers. Thanks to timely medical treatment by an American doctor named Robert Wilson, Li survived, but lost her baby.

The crime perpetrated against Li was recorded at the time in a documentary made by American priest John Magee and "The Good Man of Nanking: The Diaries of John Rabe," as well as in the diaries, letters of some other Western witnesses of the Massacre.

"Though the big sister has left us, I will go on seeking justice from the right-wing Japanese for 300,000 victims killed in the Nanjing Massacre," said 76-year-old Xia Shuqin, another survivor. "Seven of my nine family members were killed in the slaughter. I stepped over the dead bodies. I can never forget the misery."

Nine of her children and more than ten grandchildren accompanied Li's ashes to the cemetery. Her tombstone is a crude stone, in front of which lies a red granite sculpture of John Rabe 's diaries.

"As a witness of the massacre, my mother had been fighting to reveal the truth of the history. I'm proud of my mother and we'll miss her forever," said Lu Yongsen, Li's eldest son.

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