Foreign News: Basket Cases
Protestant and Jewish philanthropic groups with branches in China had by last week brought together in the U. S. fairly full eyewitness and photographic data on the butchery and rape which reigned in Nanking for over a month after this capital of China fell. There has been the most drastic shakeup by Tokyo of officers whose Japanese soldiers went berserk in Nanking. Even long-eared General Iwane Matsui, the Commander-in-Chief of the victorious Japanese offensive, has been recalled to Japan.
A typical and horrifying case history is that of a young Chinese girl brought in a basket litter on January 26 to the Mission hospital in Nanking. She said that her husband, a Chinese policeman, was seized by one of the Japanese execution squads on the same day that she was taken by Japanese soldiers from a hut in the Safety Zone to the South City. She was kept there for 38 days, she said, and attacked by Japanese soldiers from five to ten times each day. Upon examination by the Mission hospital, she was found to have contracted all three of the most common venereal diseases, a vaginal ulcer which finally ended her usefulness to the soldiers.
The doctors, surgeons, nurses and diplomats in Nanking are not in a position to have their names attached to accounts which they have written and forwarded to their superiors. These tell of countless cases in which the prestige of the white man in the Orient was still sufficient at Nanking during the worst days for a judicious word, a stern remonstrance or a gentle but firm use of physical strength to do much. More than one Japanese soldier, raping a Chinese woman in broad daylight in the streets of Nanking, was chased off by a white man.
Since many of the women raped were killed and buried indiscriminately with Chinese civilians, police and soldiers dispatched by the Japanese execution squads, there are no reliable statistics, but last week every white authority agreed that modern history does not afford another instance of such wholesale rape.
Robbery and looting also flourished in Nanking for many weeks. The number of Chinese executed, not killed in battle, totals by the most conservative Nanking estimates 20,000. Excerpt from a Nanking letter written at the worst period: "One [Chinese] boy of seventeen came in with the tale of about 10,000 Chinese men between the ages of 15 and 30 who were led out of the city on the 14th [of January] to the river bank near the ferry wharf. There the Japanese opened up on them with field guns, hand grenades and machine guns. Most of them were then pushed into the river, some were burned in huge piles, and three managed to escape. Of the 10,000 the boy figured there were about 6,000 ex-soldiers and 4,000 civilians. He has a bullet wound in the chest which is not serious."
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