CRIENGLISH.com Web Editor: Wang Wei
People light candles at the gathering held Wednesday night, Dec 12, 2012 at the Memorial Hall of the Victims in Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders during the World War II to mourn the victims killed during the six-week massacre 75 years ago. [Photo: Xinhua]
In 1937, the Japanese troops occupied Nanjing, the capital of China at that time. An unprecedented massacre began on December 13th and lasted 6 weeks. Records show that more than 300,000 people were killed. Recently, preservation work for the first group of Nanjing Massacre survivors' oral history has been completed. Our reporter Li Dong has the details.
According to the work group at the Memorial Hall of the Victims, the first batch of oral testimonies have been documented according to international standards, and the rest is expected to be completely filed by 2014.
The survivors of the Nanjing Massacre are down to 200 and most of them are quite old, making it urgent that their stories are preserved.
In April of this year, the memorial hall founded a research center collecting the oral history of survivors. Fei Zhongxing, deputy director of the research center, says they have finished preserving the first batch of oral testimony in just half a year's efforts.
"We focused on the facts during the massacre period. The history before and after the massacre, though we have also done some research, was not in detail. But in the past half a year, we made them our focus."
The compilation of the Dictionary of the Nanjing Massacre has started. And the dictionary is expected to be published by the end of 2014. Zhu Chengshan is the curator of the Memorial Hall of the Victims of the Nanjing Massacre.
"In chronological order, we will summarize the history before, during and after the massacre, up until the present. And we will also give a comprehensive summary of related peoples and incidents. It is a reference book, but it also draws a conclusion of the historical facts we collected over the years."
Days ahead of the 75th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre, four books containing precious historical records about the atrocity were published.
Zhang Xianwen is a retired professor of Nanjing University and the head of the university's Institute for History of the Nanking Massacre. He and his team published the book "The Nanking Massacre - A Complete History" on December 6th, which is considered to be the most complete work on the event so far.
The 78-year-old professor was one of the first scholars who concentrated on the subject in the late 1950s. The research back then was on a small scale due to a lack of relevant historical documents.
Zhang Xianwen says that, in order to fill the gap and discover the truth, Zhang and his team went to eight countries including Japan, German and the United States to collect historical evidence.
"We have collected 50-million-words worth of material and published 40-million-words. This is first-hand information and concrete proof of Japan's grave crimes in Nanjing."
Chinese historians hope people from both China and Japan will draw lessons from the real facts of the history and avoid a repeat of the tragedy.
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