Show explores horrors of war

By LIA ZHU in San Francisco | | Updated: 2017-10-16 05:38

Show explores horrors of war

Luo Cunkang (right), vice-curator of the Museum of the War of Chinese People's Resistance Against Japanese Aggression in Beijing, discusses history with Betty Yuan, a volunteer at the WWII Pacific War Memorial Hall who helped organize the exhibition, on Saturday. LIA ZHU / CHINA DAILY

An exhibition focusing on the atrocities inflicted by the Japanese military on people in China and other Asian countries during World War II opened to the public on Saturday at the WWII Pacific War Memorial Hall in San Francisco.

The month-long exhibition, "Facts and Truth: Atrocities in Asia Pacific Region during WWII", displays 136 pictures and 28 duplicates of historical artifacts from the Museum of the War of Chinese People's Resistance Against Japanese Aggression in Beijing.

It's the first time the objects have traveled to the US and all of them will be donated to the WWII Pacific War Memorial Hall after the exhibition ends, said Luo Cunkang, vice-curator of the Museum of the War of Chinese People's Resistance Against Japanese Aggression.

The exhibition shows pictures of the indiscriminate bombings, biological and chemical weapons, the brutal massacres of innocent people, including women, babies and small children, and enforced slave labor.

One of the duplicated artifacts is a Japanese soldier's letter home in which he tells how Japanese soldiers killed all the adult males and tossed children into a fire during a sweep-up operation in a civilian village, killing 150 people.

"The exhibition reveals the anti-peace, anti-humanity crimes the Japanese military committed to the people in Asia Pacific region during World War II through a different perspective," said Luo.

He said the US audience can also relate to the exhibition as it also includes historical photos and artifacts revealing the brutal treatment of US war prisoners in China.

One document displays the poems of a British captive, who recorded in verse the situation of British and US prisoners in the Mukden camp in 1944.

The Museum of the War of Chinese People's Resistance Against Japanese Aggression has received increasing interest from visitors from other countries, including descendants of the Flying Tigers and Japanese visitors, said Luo, who also serves as secretary of the International WWII Museums Association, an organization founded by the museum.

"We hope US audiences can learn more about the atrocities that happened in the Asia Pacific region and the contribution that the Chinese made to world peace, so that we can all work together to prevent history from repeating itself," said Luo.

The Chinese people made tremendous sacrifices that led to victory in the anti-Fascist war, playing a definitive role in defeating the Japanese military, said Zha Liyou, deputy Chinese consul general in San Francisco, at the opening ceremony of the exhibition.

"I hope all people, including the US public, can better learn about this dark history and cherish peace," he said.

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