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China adopts textbooks on Nanjing Massacre ahead of memorial day



NANJING - Chinese middle school students in east China's Jiangsu province received textbooks about the Nanjing Massacre on Thursday, one month before a national memorial day to remember the event.

This is the first time in China for textbooks devoted to the tragic event to be adopted in middle school classes.

In February of this year, China's top legislature designated Dec. 13 as the National Memorial Day for Nanjing Massacre Victims to mourn the Nanjing Massacre victims and all of those killed by Japanese invaders.

To help students better understand the massacre, in which more than 300,000 people were killed, experts from the educational bureau of Nanjing, Jiangsu's capital, the Memorial Hall of the Victims in Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders, as well as a Nanjing publishing media group compiled three textbooks for students in primary schools, junior middle schools and senior high schools.

The primary school edition, called "Memory of Blood and Fire," is intended for fifth graders across the province and was adopted on September 1. The senior high school edition, "Warning and Thinking," will be published by the end of this year.

The junior middle school edition, "Historical Truth," has six parts: Nanjing before the war, protecting Nanjing, the massacre, salvation and disclosure, trial of history, and memory.

The first batch of books has been given to 50,000 eighth graders in Nanjing, where the total number of junior middle school students is about 140,000. It is not known when students in other cities in the province will get the textbook.

Zhu Chengshan, curator of the memorial hall who initiated the textbook plan, hoped that the book could give students a whole picture of the event and teach them to cherish peace.

Content of the book will also be available on the China National Memorial website (cngongji.cn) and the memorial hall's official website (nj1937.org) in different languages.

Japan invaded northeast China in September 1931, though historians agree that Japan's full-scale invasion started on July 7, 1937. Around 35 million Chinese soldiers and civilians were killed or injured by Japanese invaders during the war against Japanese aggression (1937-1945).

The notorious Nanjing Massacre, or the Rape of Nanking, happened over the course of more than 40 days in late 1937, shocking the world.