Witnesses carried the truth about history
Updated: 2014-03-24 08:15
By Yang Yang (China Daily)
Minnie Vautrin, who was head of the Dean’s Offi ce at Jinling Women’s College. [Photo provided to China Daily]
Bringing history back to life
In May 2013, Jenny Chan established the Foundation Honoring Nanjing Massacre Survivors, a project sponsored by San Francisco's largest art space, Intersection for the Arts. Through the arts and theater, the foundation tries to encourage dialogue about the "Forgotten Asian Holocaust", and provide an accurate version of events. Last year, the foundation performed a play about Minnie Vautrin called Forever Ginling.
In early March, Chan, 22, visited Nanjing to see the present-day city and Ginling Women's College, which later became part of Nanjing Normal University. Through her work on the US missionary Minnie Vautrin and the Nanjing Massacre, Chan has also met with researchers in the field.
She became interested in Vautrin because "she is perhaps one of the bravest women I have read about". Chan, a US-born Chinese, said she never heard about the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1937-45) in school.
"It is rare to find a Westerner who knows about the war (of resistance). In the US, we study the Jewish Holocaust extensively, but we don't spend any time on the Nanjing Massacre or the war," she wrote in an e-mail exchange with China Daily.
"My grandmother told me about some personal encounters during the war, but it never crossed my mind as being anything serious," Chan said, and "after I read The Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang, I understood what my grandparents were trying to communicate to me. I started the organization to communicate the message of the war because I do not want people to forget such a horrific event."
At the end of March, the foundation will present a new show The Crimes of Hirohito: A Grand Jury Trial in San Francisco, featuring the characters of Minnie Vautrin and Iris Chang.
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