68th anniversary of massacre marked
By Wu Jiao (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-12-14 06:12
NANJING: For 92-year-old Wu Xiulan, December 13 is forever etched in pain,
blood and tears.
On that day in 1937, Japanese invaders occupied the city
where she was living - the then-national capital.
Wu Xiulan, 92, attends a ceremony yesterday to
mark the 68th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre. Wu is a survivor of the
massacre, in which two daughters, ages 4 and 2, were killed by Japanese
soldiers in 1937. Wu, then 24, lost her left leg during Japanese
The ensuing weeks witnessed atrocities unseen in human history, committed by
Japanese soldiers in an orgy of killing, raping, looting and burning.
At least 300,000 Chinese civilians were slaughtered, including Wu's two
daughters, ages 4 and 2.
Wu, then 24, lost her left leg during Japanese bombings.
Early yesterday morning, Wu, in a wheelchair, went to the Memorial Hall for
the Victims of the Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders as she has been doing
every year since 1985 when the hall opened.
"I miss the relatives lost in the massacre. I hope there will never be
another war," she said.
Wu's third daughter, who accompanied her to the hall, said the elderly woman
had refused to meet Japanese visitors or the Japanese media.
"It would remind her of the brutal scenes. She just could not bear it," the
Like Wu, about 3,000 massacre survivors, victims' relatives and visitors
attended a ceremony yesterday in the capital of East China's Jiangsu Province to
mark the 68th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre. Sirens sounded throughout the
city at 10 am.
Ren Yanshen, Nanjing deputy Party secretary, described the massacre as the
"darkest page in the history of human civilization."
"We must take history as a mirror and work for world peace and development,"
Some Japanese visitors also attended the event including Kenzo Furukawa
vice-president of the East Japan Railway Workers' Union who led a 20-member team
to show respect to victims.
According to Kenzo, the ancestors of some of his team members had
participated in the aggression against China in the 1930s and 1940s.
"It was absolutely wrong for our ancestors to kill innocent Chinese people
during the war," said Kenzo, who has attended the memorial ceremony every year
Kenzo said that he deliberately brought along some youngsters to tell them
the truth of history.
Tatsuya Asari, a young member of Kenzo's team, told China Daily that "we have
so many versions of history in Japan. I want to find the right one by myself."
Meanwhile, construction began on a new and bigger memorial hall yesterday.
Zhu Chengshan, curator of the memorial hall, said the new building would
cover 7.4 hectares compared to 2.2 hectares at present, and will cost 477
million yuan (US$59.5 million). It will open to the public in two years.
As this year marks the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, various
activities have been held in Nanjing to mark the massacre and to help the
An English-language website english.nj1937.org was set up on Monday by the
memorial hall to let people from all over the world learn more about the
Electronic versions of more than 300 pictures and documents about the
massacre are provided on the website.
A charity association, founded last year in Nanjing, helps massacre survivors
receive financial support from the government. There are at least 400 survivors
Wu Xiulan was among the 70 beneficiaries last year.
"I want my descendants to come to pay homage to the victims every year. It is
not for revenge, but for commemoration," she said.
(China Daily 12/14/2005 page1)