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Nanjing Massacre rites pay tribute to victims, survivors
Publication Date : 16-12-2013
A collaborative oral history project on the Nanjing Massacre was signed by representatives from Chinese and US research institutes on December 13.
The oral histories of 30 to 50 survivors of the massacre will be released to the public over the next three to five years through a joint effort of two Chinese oral history research institutions and the USC Shoah Foundation's Institute for Visual History and Education in Los Angeles.
All of the survivors' oral histories will be recorded using international standards, said Zhu Chengshan, curator of the Memorial Hall of the Victims in Nanjing Massacre by the Japanese Invaders.
According to Zhu, 10 survivors of the massacre died this year, and fewer than 200 are still alive.
The oral histories of 12 survivors, in English and Chinese, have been uploaded to the Internet.
One of the survivors, Yang Cuiying, burst into tears as she paid tribute to the dead, whose names were inscribed on the wailing wall of the hall.
"I can't stop crying when I think of this day," the 89-year-old said. "How greatly I have suffered. How much pain I have borne."
In 1937, 13-year-old Yang and her family moved to a refugee camp in Dafang Alley, but her father, uncle and great-uncle were caught by Japanese soldiers and killed next to a nearby pond.
Yang's little brother, who was born five days after her father died, was trampled to death. Yang was slapped in the face so hard, she was left partly deaf.
At 10 am on Friday, the air-raid siren sounded again across Nanjing to pay tribute to the 300,000 victims who lost their lives 76 years ago.
Monks from China and Japan also prayed for world peace and the victims of the massacre.
More than 100 survivors and their relatives attended the ceremony in front of the wailing wall at the hall.
On December 13, 1937, Japanese troops captured what was then the capital of China, and over the course of about six weeks killed more than
300,000 Chinese civilians and disarmed soldiers. One-third of the city was destroyed.
Friday's ceremony was attended by close to 5,000 people, including soldiers, government workers and primary school students.
Mao Tingting, a fourth-grader from Suqian, Jiangsu province, said she hopes the dead can rest in peace and that China and Japan can maintain a friendly relationship.
"Pictures of people killed make me sad, and I wish that no one will be hurt in the future," the 10-year-old said.
Nanjing started holding annual ceremonies to mourn the victims in 1994. More than 40 million people have visited the memorial hall since its 1985 debut.
News conferences and seminars were also held on Friday as part of the 76th anniversary memorial.
Zhu said that a Nanjing Massacre dictionary will be published in 2014. The three-volume dictionary will commemorate events that happened before, during and after the slaughter.
"Every item of the dictionary can stand the test," Zhu said. "It will be solid evidence to refute Japan's right-wingers."