Nanking Massacre Anniversary

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Plenty will be written and broadcast about the 60th 70th anniversary today of the start of the Nanking massacre, during which victorious Japanese troops killed hundreds of thousands of civilians, raped tens of thousands of women and girls and basically destroyed most of the city. I have little to add except to say that of all the offerings out there, a number of them fictional, Nanking, a documentary directed by Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman seems to me one that bears watching. And when I say “bears,” I mean that: it is very hard to sit through, a catlog of unbelievable brutality that went on for months. The movie does at least give us some hope for the human spirit amidst such horror, focusing on the extraordinary bravery of the small group of foreigners (lead by the top Nazi official John Rabe, just to confound preconceptions), whose efforts saved several hundred thousand.