The book intrigued me for a long time. I don’t know why it took me so long before finally picking it up to read. The “story” was stomach-churning, tear-wrenching & thoroughly riveting.
"If the dead from Nanking were to link hands, they would stretch from Nanking to the city of Hangchow, spanning a distance of some two hundred miles. Their blood would weigh twelve hundred tons, and their bodies would fill twenty-five hundred railroad cars. Stacked on top of each other, these bodies would reach the height of a seventy-four-story building." - from the Introduction of The Rape of Nanking.
It was said that Chang succumbed to her battle with depression after the book & finally took her own life in November 2004. Apparently, the Nanking book “had made Iris sad".
My 10-day China trip covered Nanking, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Wuxi & Shanghai. I’d mixed feelings as I’d no idea what to expect of Nanking, one of the oldest 7 cities in China. I’d a fantastic guide who'd prepared us mentally before reaching the site cause we’d be seeing skeletal remains of massacre victims etc, he explained. I’ll not be displaying these gruesome pictures here. For the brave-hearted, you can visit the official site to view the pictures.
The Nanjing Memorial Hall was built in 1985 by the Nanjing Municipal Government in memory of the 300,000 victims who lost their lives during the Nanjing Massacre. The memorial exhibits historical records & objects & uses architecture, sculptures, videos to illustrate what happened during the Nanjing Massacre. It occupies a total area of approximately 28,000 sqm.
The Memorial Hall was crowded with tourists. The first sculpture that greeted us was a child - "Frigidity & horror have frozen this crying baby. Not knowing mum has been killed, blood, milk & tears have frozen...", written on it.