The Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang, 1997, Excerpts
An estimated 20,000 – 80,000 Chinese women were raped. The Japanese raped Nanking women from all classes: farm wives, students, teachers, white-collar and blue-collar workers, wives of YMCA employees, university professors, even Buddhist nuns, some of whom were gang-raped to death. Japanese soldiers searched for them constantly as they looted homes and dragged men off for execution. They conducted door-to-door searches, demanding money and young girls.
Old age was no concern to the Japanese. Matrons, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers endured repeated sexual assaults. If the Japanese of the old women was terrible, their treatment of young children was unthinkable. Little girls were raped so brutally that some could not walk for weeks afterwards. Many required surgery; others died. Chinese witnesses saw Japanese rape girls under ten years of age in the streets and then slash them in half by sword. In some cases, the Japanese sliced open the vaginas of preteen girls in order to ravish them more effectively.
“Women suffered the most,” a former soldier recalled. “No matter how young or old, they all could not escape the fate of being raped. We sent out coal trucks to the city streets and villages to seize a lot of women. And then each of them was allocated to 15 to 20 soldiers for sexual intercourse and abuse.” “After raping, we would kill them,” he recalled. “Those women would start to flee once we let them go. Then we would shoot them in the back to finish them up.” “Perhaps when we were raping her, we looked at her as a woman, but when we killed her, we just thought of her as something like a pig.”
“They gang-raped women from the ages of twelve to eighty and then killed them when they could no longer satisfy sexual requirements. I beheaded people, starved them to death, burned them, and buried them alive, over two hundred in all. It is terrible that I could turn into an animal and do these things. There are really no words to explain what I was doing. I was truly a devil.” Many soldiers went beyond rape to disembowel women, slice off their breast, and nail them alive to walls.
One of the worst scenes witnessed in Nanking was a massive gang rape of teenager girls in the street. A group of young women between the ages of fifteen and eighteen were lined up by the Japanese and then raped in the dirt, one after another, by an entire regiment. Some hemorrhaged and died, while others killed themselves shortly afterwards.
Scene from City of Life and Death