My father always told me Chinese history is tainted with bitterness and suffering. He was never wrong about that. What happened at Nanjing, was cruelty in its modern form, purely human evil…..
I highly recommend “Rape of Nanking” to all who haven’t read it. Its gruesome and numbing but most importantly effective. And written by the brilliant and volatile, Iris Chang, who took her life after a battle with depression most likely triggered by all her extensive research on the horrors of Nanjing.
At the entrance of the museum, there were these statues standing on the flowing stream of water (that cleverly guided visitors in). They depicted victims of the massacre frozen in air. Below them, quotes were embedded in white print (translated in Chinese & English).
There is simply so much emotion the artist put into these sculptures that really depicts of these helpless civilians. It killed me to learn that most of the victims of Nanjing were the ones who couldn’t afford to escape: the old, the young, the weak, the poor, and the ones with no other place to go. The rich fled immediately before the Japanese arrivals, along with the soldiers, and Nationalist army that once promised they would protect Nanjing to their death.
I love the stylized chisel of the sculptures. Almost as if they actually are the remnants of people saved from the flames of wars – melted, misshaped, and abused under the hands of others.
A grandmother clinging to her grandchild.
The museum dedicated their last section of the museum to forgiveness ~ There was one picture that really got to me, it was of a former Japanese solider bowing before a Chinese family asking for forgiveness. Ah, I think we need more beautiful things like this to keep our hearts clean.
A powerful place, simply, a must visit to those who want to get their history right and also pay respect to the deceased.