By Amy Wang, VI Form
Minnie Vautrin and John Rabe: The Beacons of Humanity during the Nanking Massacre
On a cold winter morning, about thirty soldiers came to a house. As soon as the landlord answered the door, the soldiers shot him with a revolver. When the landlord’s wife knelt down, asking why they killed her husband, they shot her as well. Upon entering the house, the soldiers dragged a female tenant Mrs. Hsia out from under a table, where she tried to hide with her one-year-old baby. After stripping and raping her, the soldiers bayoneted Hsia in the chest. They then stabbed the baby to death. Meanwhile, some soldiers went to the next room, where Mrs. Hsia’s parents and her two daughters, aged sixteen and fourteen, were hiding. They shot the grandmother when she tried to protect the girls. As the grandfather grasped the body of his wife, they killed him, too. Five to six soldiers raped the two girls and bayoneted both, along with their younger sister, who was also in that room. Before they left, the soldiers murdered the two children of the landlord, the elder bayoneted and the younger split down through the head with a sword.
This was not a horror movie made for the sake of violence and gore. It was one of the countless cases of unspeakable atrocities that took place during the Nanking Massacre in the winter of 1937. (more…)
By Justin Zhang, VI Form
Red Guards During the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution
Following Japanese surrender in 1945, China emerged as the victor of the Second Sino-Japanese War after decades of Japanese occupation and eight years of total war. A new series of military struggle for control of China between the Nationalist forces under Chiang Kai-Shek and the Communists under Mao Zedong, who were reluctant co-belligerents allied during the Second Sino-Japanese War. After four years of military conflict, the Chinese Civil War concluded with the triumph of the Communists in 1949 with almost all of mainland China falling under communist control and the remainder of Nationalists escaping to the island of Taiwan. After the proclamation of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Mao initiated extensive cooperation with the Soviet Union under Stalin’s lead to transform China’s war-ravaged economy into a planned economy closely following the Soviet model.
As Nikita Khrushchev came into power after Stalin’s death in 1953, however, relations between the PRC and the Soviet Union worsened. Khrushchev began engaging in a process of de-Stalinization, criticizing many aspects of Stalin’s leadership, in particular, the confrontation of the West and his cult of personality. Mao, who emulated Stalin’s style of leadership as he developed his own cult of personality, denounced de-Stalinization as Marxist revisionism, a pejorative term used to describe an abandonment of Marxist principles such as the worldwide struggle for communism as the Soviet Union sought peaceful coexistence with the West. The term was later widely used during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution as a justification for the persecution of “counter-revolutionaries.” (more…)