Nanjing Massacre

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The Nanjing Massacre (南京大屠杀) was a notorious tragedy carried out by the Imperial Japanese Army in the 1930s. It has been called the "blackest page in the history of modern civilization."

Japan captured Nanjing on December 13, 1937, after capturing Shanghai, Suzhou and Hangzhou.

In the following six weeks, the Japanese army launched a massacre of unparalleled savagery, which was one of the greatest horrors of the century.

Hundreds of thousands of Chinese people were murdered by Japanese soldiers, including armless Chinese soldiers and civilians. Breaking into the Nanking Safety Zone, they then killed the refugees, including women and children.

The killings were extremely brutal. They gathered captives and civilians, then stabbed them with bayonets, used gunfire, buried them alive or burned them with oil.

A "killing contest" was even held by the invading Japanese army in China. The soldier who killed the most people won. Two Japanese soldiers respectively shot 105 and 160 civilians continuously. Another soldier killed more than 300 people.

Roads and alleyways were awash with blood and corpses were strewn throughout the streets. In addition to the brutal killings, more than 20,000 cases of rape were reported during the six weeks. Many of the victims were young girls and old women who were gang raped and then killed.

According to the Far East International Military Court, about 190,000 soldiers and civilians were collectively shot, burned to death, or buried alive by Japanese soldiers during the six weeks. Another 150,000 were killed sporadically.

On Feb. 27, 2014, China's top legislature ratified December 13 as the national memorial day for the Nanjing Massacre victims.

Some 3361 survivors and relatives of the massacre victims have sent a letter to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and human rights officials to call for Japan's introspection over history.