the 20th century was marked with the first two world wars in human history.they both broke out in the first half of the century.
on september 18,1931,japan created the so-called"september 18 incident" as a pretext to occupy three provinces in northeast china,thus igniting the fire of a world war.on july 7,1937,the japanese army concocted the "lugouqiao(macro polo bridge)incident" on the outskirts of beijing,signaling the beginning of an all-out invasion of china.from auguest 13 to november 12 of that year,the japanese troops attacked and took over shanghai.soon after,the japanese troops marched to nanjing from three directions and besieged the city.at that time nanjing was the captial of china.
on december 13,1937,nanjing was under the occupation of the japanese army.with the approach of the japanese troops,the captial nanjing was threatened with a catastrophe.citizens of nanjing as well as foreign residents were leaving in a hurry.however,more than 20 westerners decided to stay behind regardless of their embassies' advice to evacuate.based on the experience of establishing a refugee zone by a french catholic father rao after the fall of shanghai,they decided to set up an international rescue organization called "the international committee for nanjing safety zone" in the hope that there would be a sheltering place for the people who did not manage to evacuate when the war broke out.the zone was located in the northwest part of nanjing,covering an area of 3.86 square kilometers.it had highways on four sides.inside the zone were the embassies of the united states,italy,japan and the netherlands as well as some western church agencies.during that particular period,25 refugee camps were set up in that zone.at the maximum,they accommodated as many as 250,000 refugeeon december 13, 1937,nanjing was sacked.in the following six weeks,the japanese army committed extremely horrible crimes,murdering innocent people.in nanjing more than 300,000 innocent citizens and unarmed soldiers were slaughtered.the ancient capital nanjing suffered an unprecedented catastrophe and was turned into a living hell. at the time,westerners who stayed behind in nanjing were all men and women of experience and learning from britain,usa,germany and other countries in europe.they were in china as professors,pastors,medical doctors,journalists,diplomats and businessmen.although of different nationalities and occupations,they shared the same ideals - to uphold justice,humanity and righteousness.they cherished peace and life.however,after the hall of nanjing,they witenessed a hell on earth.
nanjing massacre was first publicized by western journalists.reports on the massacre printed in the major newspapers and magazines in the western countries shocked the world.after world war 2,those westerners staying in nanjing during that period were also present at the far east international military tribunal as the eyewitenesses of the massacre. historical lessons can never be forgotten.nanjing massacre is not only the misfortune of the chinese people but also of the world.it was an unscrupulous trampling of human civilization.on august 12, 1985, the people's government of nanjing municipality had the memorial to the victims of the nanjing massacre erected on the site of the jiangdongmen,one of the places where the japanese troops slaughtered the chinese civilians in mass.since then,numerous people from china as well as a great number of overseas friends have come to visit and express their grievances as well as teir wishes of opposing aggressive wars and safeguarding world peace.
peace and development is the common theme of the human beings.people in nanjing,having had much sufferings from wars,cherish even more peace and life,and they are dedicating themselves to the construction of a new nanjing.