Memories of blood and terror - Revisiting Nanjing

Updated: 2014-12-12 20:43


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But Chang's parents, concerned about being separated from their children, were caught by the Japanese.

"A devil bayoneted my mom and my sister and brothers hurried to protect her," recalled the old man, his voice trembling.

"One of my younger brothers was three years old and was scared of anything, even dogs. But at that moment, he bit the devil' s hand."

Chang's youngest brother was still a babe in arms. After his mom was attacked, he fell to the ground. The soldier speared him with his bayonet and tossed him into the air.

When the baby landed, Chang, then only nine years old, lay down with his brother and passed out.

After a while, he opened his eyes. The Japanese soldier had left. He saw his mom breast feeding his youngest brother while collapsed on the floor bleeding, both mother and son were dying.

All his brothers died and his last memory of his father was his lifeless body surrounded by a pool of blood. Only Chang and his sister survived.

It was not long until he heard that dozens of bodies had been buried, like fodder, in a vegetable field. One sight remains etched in his mind, a baby nuzzled up against a woman, milk, tears and snot turned to ice. The two bodies were frozen together and nobody could separate them.


Today Caoxiexia valley to the northwest of the city is a quiet place. A white monument stands by the road and what was once a reed field is now a water plant.

Zhao Jinhai, guard at the water plant, told Xinhua that people often brought flowers and wreaths for the dead.

Duan Yueping, 82, founder of the Memorial Hall of the Victims of the Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders, spoke of a survivor named Tang Guangpu, who had witnessed the atrocities at Caoxiexia firsthand.

At about 4 a.m. on December 18, 1937, Japanese soldiers began tying up their prisoners, it took them more than 10 hours.

Then they led the bound prisoners to the Yangtze River and executed them with rapid gunfire.

"That day, the river ran red," Duan said.