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Essay/Term paper: Holocaust

Essay, term paper, research paper:  College Papers

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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

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). Another name for this forgotten holocaust is "The Rape
of Nanjing." Such a title is appropriate for all the raping that
occurred in six weeks, when approximately 20,000 women were raped. The
Japanese soldiers were such brutes, that if they didn't rape the women
in their homes they would take the women out in the streets and rape
them, very often heartlessly killing them afterwards. They would often
kill them by stabbing them with bayonets in the vagina or slicing open
their stomachs. Many of these women that were raped were left on the
streets with their genitals hanging out and some sort of object
sticking out of their vagina. They would rape pregnant women and cut
open their bellies, take out the fetus and play with it as if it was a
football. They made fathers rape daughters, and sons rape mothers, and
if they objected to this, they were instantly killed. Women of all
kinds and ages were raped. They raped seventy year-old women, nine
year-old girls, nuns, and high class wives. Many of the young and
pretty girls were taken from their families and homes for days. They
would even storm into the safety zones and take women by hundreds at a
time. The Japanese would gang rape women up to twenty times a day. When
these women returned, they would often fall into a state of depression
or they would commit suicide from shame (Gray). The Japanese did not
only commit inhumane acts in Nanjing, but their brutal actions spread
all over Asia. The Japanese government knew what was happening in
Nanjing from the protests that were made by the Japanese Embassy. Yet
they did nothing to stop the cruel behavior. Now, the Japanese
government denies that such massacres were actually committed in
Nanjing. They say it is a story made up by the Chinese, the "Nanjing
Massacre never occurred" (Yao). If this story is a lie, then why and
how did so many people die? Why are there pictures taken of these
brutal acts by the Japanese soldiers? What about the Japanese
confessions and their diaries to pr! ove all the things they did? What
about the hundreds of thousands of people who witnessed these crimes?
What about the trials where many of the high ranking soldiers were
found guilty and punished for their injustices? There is too much
evidence against the Japanese soldiers to deny such cruelties (Gray).

During World War II, so many horrible acts were committed against the
innocent. When it was all over, the bodies were countless as well as
the tears shed around the world. The Japanese stole the lives of many,
and at the same time killed millions of innocent people. The horrible
memory of the Nanjing Massacre still lives with many of those who
survived through it. With all that happened in such a short amount of
time, it's a shame that the Nanjing Massacre is labeled the
forgotten holocaust--not only forgotten, but denied by the Japanese


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