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Very Red Holocaust

Essay by   •  November 4, 2010  •  1,221 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,326 Views

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Eleven million precious lives were lost during the Holocaust of World War II. Six million of these were Polish citizens. Half of these Polish citizens were non-Jews. On August 22, 1939, a few days before the official start of World War II, Hitler authorized his commanders, with these infamous words, to kill "without pity or mercy, all men, women, and children of Polish descent or language. Only in this way can we obtain the living space [lebensraum] we need".

Heinrich Himmler echoed Hitler's decree: "All Poles will disappear from the world.... It is essential that the great German people should consider it as its major task to destroy all Poles." When someone mentions the word holocaust, most often people will relate that word with the Germans and Jews during World War II. When Japan is mentioned, the first things that come to mind are the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Nanjing Massacre is known as the forgotten holocaust and very oddly, it truly has been forgotten. In this forgotten holocaust, three hundred thousand people were brutally murdered and 20,000 women were raped in the city of Nanjing, during the years of 1937-1938 (Yao).

The Chinese Nationalist Government moved the capital of China from Peking to Nanjing in 1928. Nanking's population in the mid 1930s was well over one million, mainly because many refugees were fleeing from the Japanese army that had invaded China in 1931. Japan had entered China and other parts of Asia before World War II began, and didn't stop until the U. S. dropped the atomic bombs on Japanese soil in early 1945. It is said that the Japanese military machine was motivated by the aggression and uncontrollable desire for expansion and imperialism. On December 9, 1937, Chinese troops endered in the city of Nanjing, followed by a massive Japanese attack on the city (Yao).

For the next six weeks, this capital was filled with brutal, unhuman, and terribly violent acts now known as the Nanjing Massacre. The Japanese committed venomous acts against innocent civilians, Chinese soldiers, refugees, and many others. The crimes ranged from mass execution to burning, raping, and looting. On December 13, many of the refugees tried to flee for their lives by crossing the Yangtze River. When they arrived at the river there was no type of transportation for them to cross. The Japanese arrived and when many of them tried to swim the river, the Japanese started to fire at the people in the river and along the banks of the shore. When it was all over, one Japanese solider reported that the river was covered with women, men, and children of all ages, totaling more than 50,000 bodies. Within two days, the streets of Nanjing were called the "streets of blood," as dead human corpses began to cover the streets. Because the streets were piled with dead bodies, the Japanese had people dig huge ditches in the earth and dump hundreds, sometimes even thousands of bodies into these grave pits (Yao). The Japanese would arrest and murder anybody thought to be a Chinese soldier. The safety zones that were set up to protect some of the citizens and refugees were raided and men were dragged out to be killed or were, more often that not, shot on the spot. Large numbers of young men were dragged out of the city to be massacred. Sometimes, they would take anywhere from several thousand to tens of thousands at one time. These mass executions were mostly done by machine guns and, in most cases, those who were still breathing were bayoneted one by one. There were even some instances where the Japanese would pour gasoline on these people and burn them alive. It was once reported that they poured gasoline on a group of people tied together and shot at them, watching the bullets strike their bodies, then catch fire (Gray). Many atrocities were committed in and around the city, most of them against civilians. The Japanese soldiers thought that killing these innocent people were fun and games. They invented new ways to brutally murder these people. Some of these violent acts included stabbing, shooting, burning, gutting, excavating the heart, decapitation, drowning, punching the body and eyes with an awl, castration, and even punching or stabbing objects into the females vaginas (Yao).

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