2 xcerpt from the book The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II by Iris Chang. The Forgotten Holocaust

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xcerpt from the book The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II by Iris Chang.

The Forgotten Holocaust.

My older aunt, my dah ahiee (big aunt), is actually very small. Her wrists are the size of napkin rings, as delicate as rice paper--and the clothes we pass around in our family do not fit her small frame. She is shy, especially in English. And during one heated family discussion on the American bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in a San Francisco-area Sizzler, she kept quiet. I had pointed out to her rather talkative husband that the U.S. government was still the only government that had dropped the atomic bomb on human beings. Hiroshima, I could maybe see, but Nagasaki too? At this point, my petite aunt spoke up. "I think they should have bombed the whole country!" she bellowed, and then lapsed back into silence.

It was the first time I realized how profoundly the Chinese were affected by World War II. Even then, I was not familiar with what had happened in the country of my mother's birth during the war.

As Americans, we are almost all familiar with the Nazi-sponsored Holocaust, which spread its dark wings across the face of Europe during World War II, spawning unspeakable horrors, starvation, genocide. We know six million Jewish people were killed in the Nazi death machine--along with almost as many gypsies, POWs, gays, communists and resistors. Even as Allied troops marched in victory to the gates of the death camps, the Germans continued to kill prisoners, to march them to death, starve them, shoot them, burn them, poison them, bury them alive. Many will never forgive the Nazis. The lesson of the Holocaust is to never forget.

Most of us are not familiar, however, with what the Chinese call the "Other Holocaust," or the "Forgotten Holocaust," undertaken by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II. Many in the government of Japan today still deny what happened to the Chinese & Korean people during World War II. But a group of Silicon Valley­ based Chinese activists are waging a campaign to recall this lost episode from the fog of amnesia blanketing the entire Asian half of World War II.

Source: The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of WW II by Iris Chang, 1997.

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