24 September 2010

Letter from Lhasa, number 203. (Chang 1998): The Rape of Nanking

Letter from Lhasa, number 203. (Chang 1998): The Rape of Nanking
by Roberto Abraham Scaruffi

Chang, I., The Rape of Nanking. The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II, Penguin Books, 1998.
(Chang 1998).
Iris Chang     

This is a work about the December 1937 Nanking massacre from the Japanese troops. The author is a hyper-nationalist Chinese. In fact, she forgets to underline as such massacres were and be absolutely currents in Asia and not only in Asia. The same Chinese troops always savagely massacred other Chinese, just they received the order. Louses fell always covered from “orders”. In that historical period, massacres were realised both from the so-called Nationalist and from the Maoists. An example of Nationalist massacre is the 1927 Shanghai massacre and all the connected campaign against the “Northern warlords” and not only.

The action of the Japanese troops in Nanking was particularly savage. Nanking was then the capital of China. Since such wide-scale massacre could have been ordered only from the Japanese Emperor, it had evidently a symbolic meaning in his and their insane minds. Naturally, it was not an isolated event. What is impressive is only its scale and its brutality.

“On December 13, 1937, Nanking, the capital city of Nationalist China, fell to the Japanese.”
(Chang 1998, p. ix).
Nanking will remain occupied for 8 years. The non-combatant assassinated just Nanking was occupied, so in a few weeks, have been of the order of 300,000. According to certain sources they have been less. According to other sources they have been more. According some Japanese, perhaps only a few Chinese casually died. Anyway, after a few weeks there was not any more human material available for massive assassinations, tortures with assassinations, gang rapes with assassinations, bayonet and decapitation exercises and contests on human targets, kidnapping for daily gang rapes in official Japanese army brothels. Nanking became the site of a kind of death’s orgy. Only the Emperor and the Imperial family, with the enthusiastic assent of the formal government and of the competent generals [even if at least one, it seems or he told everybody, was not at all proud of what had happened in Nanking], could have ordered such an insane and criminal operation.  

Inevitably, later, the situation normalised in an ordinary brutal occupation with some active collaborationists and inevitable use of locals, who, on their side, needed some source of revenue for a living. Japanese were the power, the government, the source of revenues, and also a heavy burden if they oppressed to much the locals.      

(Chang 1998) not only interrogates itself, without any real result in my opinion, on the whys of such barbarianism. Not wrongly, the author constantly emphasises as the German war crimes have been object of a constant criticism and self-criticism, while the Japanese crimes, not qualitative and quantitative inferior to the German ones, have been substantially silenced and even with an open intimidation, in Japan, against whoever even slightly try to talk or report about them.

The Japanese, not differently from everybody else, does not at all like to feel ashamed. However they commit, when covered, very shameful insanities and crimes. Their only concern is that somebody might talk about these insanities and crimes, so making them to feel ashamed. It is a curious form of immorality. Guilty are those remembering or unmasking or revealing Japanese insanities and crimes, not the Japanese having committed them. Also the Chinese are identical. Also non-Asian population, or their sectors, have the same attitude. However, in Japan is, in practice, as an official and compulsory State’s policy.

“(In 1990 a gunman shot Motoshima Hitoshi, mayor of Nagasaki, in the chest for saying that Emperor Hirohito bore some responsibility for World War II.) This pervasive sense of danger has discouraged many serious scholars from visiting Japanese archives to conduct their research on the subject; [...].”
(Chang 1998, p. 12).
When there is such a climate, it is because there is an organised system of Secret Police Bureaux, and their “mafias” and other parallel militias, actively involved in the surveillance that the absolute censorship on the matter be not violated.

“And it is not just the fact that while Germans have made repeated apologies to their Holocaust victims, the Japanese have enshrined their war criminals in Tokyo – an act that one American wartime victim of the Japanese has labelled politically equivalent to “erecting a cathedral for Hitler in the middle of Berlin.””
(Chang 1998, p. 12).

Usual brainwashing for louses, however typical not only of Japan:     
“The molding of young men to serve in the Japanese military began early in life, and in the 1930s the martial influence seeped into every aspect of Japanese boyhood.”
(Chang 1998, p. 29).
The Nanking massacre was not a sudden explosion. Already on the way to Nanking the Japanese army behave according to insane and bloody orders:
“Little was spared on the path to Nanking. Japanese veterans remember raiding tiny farm communities, where they clubbed or bayoneted everyone in sight. But small villages were not the only casualties; entire cities were razed to the ground. Consider the example of Suchow (now called Suzhou), a city on the east bank of Tai Hu Lake. One of the oldest cities in China, it was prized for its delicate silk embroidery, and temples. Its canals and ancient bridges had earned the city its Western nickname as “the Venice of China.” On November 19, on a morning of pouring rain, a Japanese advance guard marched through the gates of Suchow, wearing hoods [[...if it was raining!!! MY COMMENT]] that prevented Chinese sentries from recognizing them. Once inside, the Japanese murdered and plundered the city for days, burning down ancient landmarks and abducting thousand of Chinese women for sexual slavery. The invasion, according to the China Weekly Review, caused the population of the city to drop from 350,000 to less than 500.”
(Chang 1998, p. 37-38).
The Emperor and the Imperial family are directly involved in the Nanking massacre:
“On December 7, as the Japanese troops zeroed in on Nanking, General Matsui grew feverishly ill in his field headquarters at Suchow – another flare-up of his chronic tuberculosis. The illness struck Matsui right when power shifted from his command to that of a member of the imperial family. Only five day earlier Emperor Hirohito had promoted Matsui out of the action while dispatching his own uncle, Prince Asaka Yasuhito, to the front to replace him. Under the new order, Matsu would be in charge of the entire central China theatre, while Asaka, a lieutenant general with a thirty-year tenure in the military, would take responsibility as the new commander-in-chief of the army around Nanking. As a member of the royal family, Asaka possessed power that would override all other authority on the Nanking front. He was also closer to Lieutenant General Nakajima and General Yanagawa than to Matsui because he had spent three years in Paris with them as a military intelligence officer.”
(Chang 1998, p. 38-39).
“Wary of the Imperial newcomer and the potential for abuse of power, Matsui issued a set of moral commandments for the invasion of Nanking. He ordered his armies to regroup a few kilometres outside the city walls, to enter the Chinese capital with only a few well-disciplined battalions, and to complete the occupation so that the army would “sparkle before the eyes of the Chinese and make them place confidence in Japan.””
(Chang 1998, p. 39).
The Imperial orders were exactly the opposite. Emperor Hirohito wanted to terrorise and humiliate the Chinese. 

Just Prince Asaka had news that the Chinese troops were ready to surrender, he ordered to kill all captives. The rationality of the order was that the Japanese did not want to feed such a great number of prisoners and did not trust them if simply disarmed and freed. The killings were not simply killings. They were done in a barbaric way and as exercises of brutality for the troops yet inexperienced relatively to sadistic behaviours.

Actually, the same was done with civilians, in addition to generalised tortures and generalised rapes. Looting and burning were the obvious complement.

The Japanese journalists were shocked.

“One of the most bizarre consequences of the wholesale rape that took place in Nanking was the response of the Japanese government to the massive outcry from Western nations. [...]
“The plan was straightforward. By luring, purchasing, or kidnapping between eighty thousand and two hundred thousand women – most of them from the Japanese colony of Korea but many from China, Taiwan, the Philippines, and Indonesia – the Japanese military hoped to reduce random rape of local women (thereby diminishing the opportunity for international criticism), to contain sexually transmitted diseases through the use of condoms, and to reward soldiers for fighting on the battlefront for long stretches of time. Later, of course, when the world learned of this plan, the Japanese government refused to acknowledge responsibility, insisting for decades afterwards that private entrepreneurs, not the imperial government, ran the wartime military brothels. But in 1991 Yoshimi Yoshiaki unearthed from the Japanese Defence Agency’s archives a document entitled “Regarding the Recruitment of Women for Military Brothels.” The document bore the personal stamp of leaders from the Japanese high command and contained orders to immediate construct “facilities of sexual comfort” to stop troops from raping women in regions they controlled in China.”
(Chang 1998, p. 52-53).

Actually, for what previously told in the same (Chang 1998), see the Suchow/Suzhou case, mass kidnappings for this purpose were already current policy of the Japanese troops.  
From a political and military point of view the Chinese defence of Nanking was a typical case of typical Chinese inaptitude. Chiang Kai-shek decided to defend it, while moving the capital far from Nanking. While deciding to defend it, he decided not really to defend it.

Nanking was militarised and fortified, although in an odd way. So, the city prepared for invasion, with everybody could leave it leaving it. The city was left without air force, although apparently ready for a position war. Also some precious communication equipment had been removed. The soldiers were a mix of retreated from Shanghai and just kidnapped boys from the countryside. The leadership was disorganised and without initiative.

However, there were 90,000 Chinese troops in the Nanking area and with ammunitions for at least 5 months of siege.

Suddenly, on 11 December, Chiang Kai-shek ordered the immediate retreat. The Chinese troops disbanded. Six weeks of horror began.

Some foreigners, a very useful Nazi (of its para-labour and also not racist wing, it seems [perhaps it was the only German not having ever heard about German and Nazi anti-Semitism?!?!?!]) included (John Rabe, a Siemens representative in Nanking), created a self-declared “Nanking Safety Zone”. There was also another Safety Zone, a rural one, outside Nanking. Despite the Japanese troops did not care too much about it, and equally entered it, it was of sure utility for saving and protecting lives. It worked as a kind of psychological intimidation, since Japanese did not dare to shot Westerners, overall the one with swastika. People was equally taken, executed, raped, kidnapped, put in slavery etc from the Safety Zone. However, others could be protected and saved. Naturally, the Safety Zone provided also food, for what it could, and medical assistance, for what it could.    

As current everywhere, also in nowadays, a Japanese technique of domination were narcotics. 

“After the fall of the city, people could freely stroll into opium dens without interference from the police. These dens boldly advertised the drug with Chinese character shingles marked Kuang To, or “official Earth” – a term used for opium.
“To encourage addiction and further enslave the people, the Japanese routinely used narcotics as payment for labor and prostitution in Nanking. Heroin cigarettes were offered to children as young as ten. Based on his research, the University of Nanking history professor Miner Searle Bates concluded that some fifty thousand people in the Nanking area were using heroin – one-eighth of the population at the time.”
(Chang 1998, p. 163).
In April 1939, the Japanese opened a facility in Nanking, Unit Ei 1644, where they did Mengele-style researches and experiments. “The Japanese scientists killed about ten or more people weekly in this manner and disposed of them in the Ei 1644 incinerator.” (Chang 1998, p. 164).
The International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE), begun in Tokyo on 3 May 1946, was just a big show. It prosecuted only 28 Japanese military and political officials and not of the Imperial family. (Chang 1998, p. 172).
That, even if “Only one in twenty-five American POWs died under Nazi captivity, in contrast to one in three under the Japanese.” (Chang 1998, p. 173).
Only 7 Japanese were sentenced and hanged for, or also for, the Nanking massacre. One of them was General Matsui, very probably innocent, so hanged only since his law of silence about the real responsibilities. 

On the other side, the same USA-UK wanted to protect the Imperial family:
“Hirohito lived long after Japan’s surrender but never faced a full moral accounting for his activities during the war. In exchange for Japan’s surrender, the American government granted him, the emperor of Japan, immunity from trial, so he was not called in as a defendant or even a witness. Because the terms of the surrender exonerated all members of the Japanese imperial family, Hirohito’s uncle Prince Asaka (under whose command the “Kill All Captives” order was forged) also escaped justice, exempting him from having to appear at the IMTFE at all.”
(Chang 1998, p. 176).

Also useful war archives were given back to Japan without microfilming them.

If in Europe there was the justification of the cold war, in Asia there was the justification of the Korean war, later of the Vietnamese one etc, and of the Chinese peril (actually, Mao secretly was a British and a US client). The recent past might and must be rapidly forgotten. On the other side, also the British and the Americans were not particularly innocent and pure.

Chang, I., The Rape of Nanking. The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II, Penguin Books, 1998.