Nanking (2007) Movie Script

I think everyone is here.
If you'd all please take your seats,
we can get started.
George Fitch, Christmas Eve, Nanking,
China, 1937.
What I am about to relate is a story
which I feel must be told,
even if it is seen by only a few.
I cannot rest until I have told it and,
perhaps fortunately,
I am one of a very few
who are in a position to tell it.
It is not complete, only a part of the whole,
and God alone knows
when it will be finished.
I pray it may be soon,
but I am afraid it is going to go on
for many months to come.
I believe it has no parallel
in modern history.
Bob Wilson.
I was born and grew up here in China.
My parents were both missionaries.
I went away to medical school at Harvard,
but I came back here to live,
and practice medicine.
Nanking is my home.
Minnie Vautrin. Dean of Ginling
Women's College in Nanking.
I'm from Secor, Illinois,
a small farming town on the prairie.
John Rabe.
I moved to China from Hamburg
on business, over 30 years ago.
I married my childhood sweetheart
from Germany,
and we raised our two children here.
For the last six years, I've been director
of Siemens China company,
here in Nanking, the capital.
March of Time newsreel, August, 1937.
"Today, out of the Far East,
come grim messages of a new conflict."
" The gory chronicle of Japan's war
to crush all of China..."
and gain for herself
sole mastery of the Orient.
Shanghai tastes war at its worst.
For, in a war of today,
there is a new element:
a fearsome, haphazard, modern fighting
that takes its toll on peaceful cities
and their non-combatant populations.
We always knew Japan wanted China.
I knew it since I was little.
My parents always said,
"Japan wants to conquer China because
we have all the land and all the wealth."
And we were right next door.
Everywhere, dugouts can be seen.
In some places,
they are as close as every 200 feet.
Just as you would show
your rose garden
to your friends when they call,
now it's customary
to take your friends to your trenches
and caves, to ask their opinion.
Today, we had a genuine thrill.
The first air raid
that any of us had ever experienced.
It probably won't be the last.
During the worst of the bombing,
on the 19th and 20th of September,
I sat with my Chinese
in our homemade dugout,
which is certainly not bomb-proof,
but at least provides protection
against shrapnel and bomb fragments.
Out in the garden, we've also spread
a 20-by-20-foot piece of canvas,
with a swastika painted on it.
In the long hours
of crouching in the dugout,
during the recent bombardment,
I turned on Radio Shanghai
to take my mind off things
with a little music.
And they were playing
Beethoven's "Funeral March"!
Then, to make matters worse,
they announced to their listeners,
"This music is kindly dedicated to you
by the Shanghai Funeral Directors."
Most of the shops
on the business streets are locked,
and the city has a deserted and forlorn look.
The glances cast at me as much as say,
"What? Are you still here?"
September 25th.
This has been a terrible day.
Bombs seem to be raining around.
Nanking was subjected
to three terrific air raids.
The count of raids and alarms
has now risen to 39.
Gallons of civilian blood flowed today.
Under such circumstances, can I...
May I cut and run?
I don't think so.
Anyone who has ever sat in the dugout and
held a trembling Chinese child in each hand
through the long hours of an air raid
can understand what I feel.
The rich are fleeing.
The poor remain behind.
They don't know where to go.
They don't have the means to flee.
Aren't they in danger
of being slaughtered in great numbers?
Shouldn't one make
an attempt to help them?
There's a question of morality here.
And, so far,
I haven't been able to sidestep it.
Tuesday evening, we took our entire
hospital staff to Shokwan Station,
where about 1,200 Chinese soldiers
lay around.
We found the soldiers
scattered thickly at the station.
Some men were in great agony.
One of the men had his leg shot off
up near the hip.
The wound had not been attended.
The odor of his flesh,
I can never, never forget.
When I reached home,
I first washed with Lysol, and then soap,
but the odor still remained.
I used cold cream,
and then later perfume, but...
All day today, I am still conscious of it.
At 9:00 p.m., a letter came
by special messenger from the Embassy.
They are asking all men and women
to evacuate Nanking.
It was a very clear, emphatic statement.
Standing offshore
from the doomed city is
the United States gunboat Panay
of the Yangtze Patrol.
Fleeing from the beleaguered city,
a number of Americans and others
arrive at the riverside,
hoping to get aboard the Panay.
Diplomats representing the United States
government pack important state papers
and head for the Panay in cars prominently
marked with the American colors.
I personally feel that I cannot leave.
Men are not asked to leave their ships
when they are in danger,
and women are not asked
to leave their children.
If Americans leave,
a great many of the Chinese would go, also.
The hospital would have to close,
or be operated by military authorities.
One can't help feeling that leaving right now
would be passing up an opportunity
for service of the highest kind.
At 1:30 this afternoon,
I drove to Zhongshan Wharf.
After a brief goodbye to the passengers,
I take the launch,
which is honking impatiently now,
back to Shokwan.
My last bridge is burned.
The city
is practically deserted now,
except for the poor,
who have no place to go.
This morning, after the service began,
the warning siren sounded.
The pastor asked,
"Shall we continue, or go to a dugout?"
One man said, "Continue." And we did so.
Life is real. Life is earnest these days.
Slowly, the heavy bombers drew near.
When the bombing could be plainly heard
inside the city,
the pastor stopped preaching,
and asked us all to pray silently for peace.
The Chinese appear to regard Shanghai
as the main theater of war,
because Shanghai protects Nanking.
But for how long?
Smoke-filled skies
signal to the world
the final chapter
of the greatest war drama yet filmed.
The actual fall of Shanghai!
At 10:00 a.m.,
the order came.
"Regiment is to pursue enemy
towards Nanking."
"All troops have to be ready immediately."
General Matsui said Nanking
is the capital of China,
and our capturing of it
will be an international event.
With General Matsui's principle in mind,
we began immediately to make our plans.
From the Tokyo
Nichi-Nichi newspaper,
reported on the road to Nanking.
"There are two
young commissioned officers
"who have undertaken a contest
to cut down a hundred with their swords.
" It is said that one man has already killed
" When we reporters came upon
the two of them conferring,
"second lieutenant Mukai said,
'With things going like this,
"'I'll probably cut down 100 by the time
we reach Danyang, never mind Nanking.
"'You're going to lose.
My sword has killed 55,
"'and it's only got one little nick on it.'
"Second lieutenant Noda responded,
"'By the time you're in Danyang, I'll show
you what kind of a record I can rack up.'"
Every time we seize a village
on the way to Nanking,
newly-commissioned officers
will test their swords
on the defeated Chinese soldiers.
When you behead someone,
you need to use a strong stroke,
so you raise the sword high,
and bring it down with force.
The head falls, and blood flies straight up
like a red pillar of fire.
There's an officer I know
who always bragged about killing people.
He would tie their wrists
and ankles with rope
so that the person to be beheaded
won't be able to stand or stretch his legs.
Everyone copied his style.
Tonight's news, none too good.
Conditions look bad. Rumors and unrest.
Word is, the Japanese are approaching
from three directions.
Over and over again,
I am struck by the similarity
of Jesus' day and today in China.
Three other missionaries and I
spent an hour and a half today
trying to see what Christians
can do in this present situation.
Are we to stand by hopelessly,
or is there something we can do?
And if so, what?
Telegram we sent
to the Japanese Ambassador.
"An international committee
composed of nationals of Denmark,
"Germany, Great Britain,
and the United States
"desires to suggest
to the Chinese and Japanese authorities
"the establishment of a Safety Zone
for civilian refugees at or near Nanking.
"The committee would respectfully request
a prompt reply
"from the Japanese authorities
to this proposal."
We will bear tremendous responsibility
if we first order the remaining populace
of Nanking into the neutral zone
and then later are turned down
by the Japanese.
To our surprise, the big-hearted German
who we'd elected chairman
turned out to be
the National-Socialist leader here.
I continue to hope that Hitler will help us.
He has deep sympathy,
not only for the distress of his own people,
but for the anguish of the Chinese as well.
So now, it turns out that the burden of work
is to be carried out
by a group of American missionaries
and a group of German Nazi businessmen.
At 2:30,
as I walked down Shanghai Road,
again and again, I met groups of women
and children in search of the Safety Zone.
I told them that it was not yet certain,
but when it was, they would be notified.
The Safety Zone is not yet assured.
to the United States Embassy.
"Japanese authorities
have duly noted request for a Safety Zone
"but regret cannot grant it."
According to radio reports, London regards
this reply as a flat-out refusal.
We're of a different opinion here.
Their answer is cleverly couched
in diplomatic terms,
leaving a back door open.
Mayor Ma virtually turned over to us
administrative responsibilities for the Zone,
along with a police force of 450 men,
2,000 tons of rice, 10,000 bags of flour,
and some salt.
Since Mayor Ma
left Nanking yesterday,
and since the committee is forced to deal
with all the administrative problems
and workings inside our Safety Zone,
I've, in face of this, become something
very like an acting mayor.
Enough to give you a fit, Rabe.
The Japanese are now nearing
the halfway mark from Shanghai
and we have already heard
the rumble of big guns.
Thousands of refugees are fleeing
into our so-called Safety Zone
from all directions.
The sight of the poorest of the poor
wandering aimlessly in the streets
is enough to make you weep.
As it grows dark, some families,
unable to find shelter anywhere,
stretch out to sleep
in nooks and alcoves of buildings,
or simply on the street, despite the cold.
We are working feverishly
to develop the Zone.
Around us here,
we now have thousands of poor people
crowded into all the available buildings.
What will happen to them
is mere conjecture.
The Zone is all marked
with flags and banners,
and so far,
the Japanese have not bombed it.
We still have hopes
that even if they do not recognize it,
they might respect it.
If they do, it will mean the saving
of thousands of lives of poor people.
Five air raids on Monday
and one on Tuesday.
I'm writing this during our sixty-first.
the flames are lighting the sky
above the whole
southwest corner of the city.
And in the afternoon,
we had seen clouds of smoke
rising in every direction, save northwest.
It is quite a sensation to be
the only surgeon in a big, war-torn city.
How can we leave the sick patients?
The Japs have now reached a point
about 25 miles from the city.
Gunfire could be heard.
It won't be long now.
The city gates
are to be closed tomorrow.
I sent a telegram to Siemens today,
asking them to pay up any
life insurance premiums that may be due.
If I were to say I was not afraid, I'd be lying.
The swift Japanese
advance on the national capital
make the vicinity of Nanking
a place of danger.
The Nipponese invaders strike westward
with incredible speed.
The defenders bravely ignore a Japanese
ultimatum calling on them to surrender.
If you're getting the same sort
of radio reports that we are,
you are undoubtedly alarmed
for our safety here.
We're a little concerned ourselves.
Today's air raid brings our tally to 114.
The tally must come to a close,
as today was one long air raid,
from morning till night.
I am writing this to the tune of big guns,
just outside of the city.
Japanese advance guards
have reached the walls in several places.
Until about 1:00 p.m., December 10th,
General Asaka and I had been waiting
outside of Zhongshan Gate
for the bearer of the flag of truce
from the Chinese army.
However, he never came.
For that reason, from about 2:00 p.m.,
a general attack
was commenced against Nanking.
Shells from Japanese guns
commenced falling inside the city walls,
and I went outside to watch them.
They formed a perfect pattern,
the explosions advancing in regular rows
about 25 yards every half-minute.
They were coming from outside
the South Gate, directly towards me.
Uninterrupted artillery fire
from Purple Mountain.
Thunder and lightning around the hill.
And suddenly, the whole hill is in flames.
An old adage says,
"When Purple Mountain burns,
Nanking is lost."
December 13th.
I was in the middle of my service
when the telephone rang,
and I answered it.
I was asked to immediately go to the
Zone committee's headquarters.
The Japanese had broken into the city.
The wall had been breached,
and the damage to the southern part
of the city was tremendous.
No one will ever know
what the Chinese casualties were,
but they must have been enormous.
Soldiers streamed
through the city from the south,
many of them passing through the Zone.
In the morning,
the fresh-blood-colored flags
of the Rising Sun were fluttering everywhere,
each proclaiming, with its red symbol,
the freshly spilled blood of Nanking.
Three dangers are past:
that of looting soldiers,
bombing from airplanes,
and shelling from big guns.
But the fourth is still before us:
our fate at the hands of a victorious army.
It's not until we tour the city
that we learn the extent of the destruction.
We come across corpses
every 100 or 200 yards.
The bodies of civilians that I examined
had bullet holes in their backs.
These people had presumably been fleeing,
and were shot from behind.
From 8:30 this morning
until 6:00 this evening,
I stood at the front gate of Ginling College,
as the refugees poured in.
They'd disguised themselves
in every possible way.
Many had cut their hair,
most of them had blackened their faces.
Many were wearing men or boys' clothing,
or even that of old women.
Nanking has no lights, no water,
no telephone,
no telegraph, no city paper, no radio!
We are indeed separated from all of you
by an impenetrable zone.
The Japanese march through the city
in groups of 10 to 20 soldiers
and loot the shops.
They smash open windows and doors,
and take whatever they like.
We ran across a group
of 200 Chinese workers
whom Japanese soldiers have picked up
off the streets of the Safety Zone,
and after having been tied up
are now being driven out of the city.
At the last moment,
thousands of Chinese soldiers
threw away their uniforms and equipment,
looted civilian clothes,
and crowded into the Zone.
I had made up my mind
to bury the Chinese soldiers' clothes.
They had been thrown
onto the campus by the fleeing soldiers.
But when I got to the carpenter's shop
I could see that the gardeners were wiser.
They had burned them,
and thrown the grenades into a pond.
At headquarters,
we found a mob of men
outside that had been disarmed.
About 1,300 in all.
We argued the Japanese
would not shoot disarmed men.
So we went to our staff conference
quite relieved.
We knew that there were a number
of ex-soldiers among them.
But Rabe had been promised by an officer
that very afternoon
that their lives would be spared.
But in a half-hour, we were called back.
The Japanese had come back for them.
The men were lined up
and roped together in groups of about 100
by Japanese soldiers with bayonets fixed.
I tried for hours to prevent the Japanese
from marching these men out for execution.
But I failed.
By the light of our headlights,
we watched them march away to their doom.
Not a whimper came from the entire throng.
Our own hearts were lead.
MILLS McCALLUM: During this time,
we really felt
that we were contending
with the powers of evil.
This memory will remain with me forever.
We could do nothing to avert this tragedy.
Japanese 6th Brigade Operation Order 138.
" Since the defeated enemy soldiers
are believed to be in plain clothes,
"you must arrest any person
who is suspected of being so.
"Regard every adult man up to middle age
as a plain-clothes soldier."
There is no system.
Soldiers seize anyone they suspect.
Calluses on hands
are proof the man is a soldier.
Rickshaw coolies, carpenters,
and other laborers are frequently taken.
I took moving pictures of a group
of about 70 or so Chinese men
being gathered on the road.
And in the picture, the women are kneeling
before the Japanese,
begging for their menfolk.
How many thousands
were mown down by guns? Or bayoneted?
We shall probably never know.
But in many cases,
oil was thrown over the bodies,
and they were burned.
Charred bones tell the story
of many of those tragedies.
Some Japanese soldiers
were fierce and unreasonable.
And many of them
had their bayonets ready for use.
And on not a few of them,
I saw fresh bloodstains.
There seems to be no stop
to the ferocity of the brutes.
At first I tried to be pleasant to them,
to avoid arousing their ire.
But the smile has gradually worn off,
and my stare
is fully as cool and fishy as theirs.
A colonel and his staff called at my office,
and spent an hour trying to discover
where all the additional
disarmed soldiers were.
They insisted that they were hiding
within the Zone,
and that we were responsible
for concealing them.
Miss Vautrin ran to us,
and begged us to claim someone.
She told us if we claimed a man,
we would save a life.
As long as you had a relative,
the Japanese would assume
you were not a soldier.
There were two or three thousand
young men, some soldiers, some not.
We each claimed someone.
All day, I watched her running back
and forth across Ginling in this work.
Sometimes, one gets weary of spirit.
There is so much suffering.
So many in such difficult
and impossible circumstances,
it makes one hopeless.
And when will it end?
I can see little indication of God
in the tremendous wave of cruelty and greed
that has engulfed a big piece of our world.
I wish Emperor Hirohito
could see the mangled bodies
of these simple, Chinese common people,
which his spokesmen
profess to love so much.
Or that I could carry some of the men
and women with legs blown off
into the elegant parlors
of the rich Americans
who fatten on selling war supplies to Japan.
They would probably worry more
about their rugs
than about the wounded.
Religious faith is believing
that good things are worth doing
for their own sake.
Even in a world
that seems overpoweringly evil.
I remain assured in hard experience
that neither by national guns
nor by national gods
will mankind be saved,
but only by the genuine regard
for all members of the human family.
God, comfort the heartbroken
mothers and fathers of innocent sons
who were shot today.
And guard the young women and girls
through the agonizing hours of this night.
Speed the day when war shall be no more.
In Nanking, we had time on our hands
and nothing to do.
So we raped girls.
December 18th, Saturday.
All days seem alike now.
Went to gate at 7:30.
A stream of weary,
wild-eyed women were coming in.
They said
their night had been one of horror.
That again and again,
their homes were visited by soldiers.
Twelve-year-old girls,
If only the thoughtful people of Japan
knew the facts of these days of horror.
We had on the grounds of our college
more than 10,000
women and children refugees.
Every night, the soldiers
would enter our grounds to get the girls,
and every night Miss Vautrin
would try to keep them from the girls.
It seems in several homes
near West Flower Gate,
the soldiers, failing to find young girls,
are using teenage boys.
Tonight, I asked George Fitch
how the day went,
and what progress they had made,
and his reply was,
"It was hell today.
The blackest day of my life."
Certainly it was the same for me.
Tonight, a truck passed
in which there were eight or ten girls.
And as it passed,
they called, "Jo ming! Jo ming!"
"Save our lives!"
Six Japanese
climb over my garden wall
and attempt
to open my gates from the inside.
When I arrive and shine my flashlight
on the face of one of them,
he reaches for his pistol.
But his hand drops quickly enough
when I yell at him
and hold my swastika armband
under his nose.
Then, on my orders,
all six have to scramble back over the wall.
My gates will never be opened
to a riffraff like that!
Every day, we call at the Japanese Embassy,
and present our protests and appeals,
our reports of violence and crime.
"For the kind attention of Mr. Kiyoshi Fukui,
"Second Secretary, Japanese Embassy.
"Dear Sirs,
we are very sorry to trouble you again,
"but the sufferings and needs
of 200,000 civilians
"for whom we are trying to care
make it urgent
" that we try to secure action
from your military authorities
"to stop present disorder
among Japanese soldiers
"wandering through the Safety Zone."
"Case number 15,
"Japanese soldiers entered a house
on Hankow Road,
"raped a young wife,
and took away three women.
"When two husbands ran,
the soldiers shot both of them."
"Case number 154,
"a girl, 13 years old, was raped
by three Japanese soldiers
"at Chen Chia Chai number 6."
"Case number 290,
"four soldiers raped a young girl,
a little over 10, by turns."
Fukuda and Tanaka of
the Japanese Embassy had nothing to say,
except Fukuda's remark
that the army is very mad,
because they say
it is the first time in history
that an army had to conquer a place
with neutral observers on hand.
Quite a false view,
but we felt it was not time to argue.
We have come to understand the Japanese
much better than we did.
A week before their entry,
I preached to our group,
and I urged them to have faith in the
goodness and humanity of the Japanese.
The Chinese are still laughing at us
for our innocence.
And we better understand
Japanese propaganda.
In the midst of great suffering,
Japanese news squads
went around staging pictures
of Japanese soldiers giving candy to a child
or an army doctor examining 20 children.
Some Japanese newsmen came to the camp
and handed out cakes and apples,
and a few coins to the refugees.
A moving picture was taken of this kind act.
At the same time, a bunch of soldiers
climbed the back wall of the compound
and raped a dozen or so women.
No pictures were taken out back.
We are introduced
to Commandant Matsui,
who shakes hands all around.
I assume the role of spokesman
and explain to Mr. Tanaka
of the Japanese Embassy
that we infer
that the city is to be burned down.
Tanaka denies this with a smile.
Statement by the Japanese military
posted throughout the city.
" The municipality of Nanking is quiet.
" The herds of refugees
who fled for their lives
" from the midst of death have met with
the gentle soothing of the Japanese army.
" The Imperial army entered the city,
"put their bayonets into sheaths,
and stretched forth merciful hands
" in order to examine and to heal,
" diffusing grace and favor
to the excellent, true citizens.
" Many thousands of refugees
" cast off their former absurd attitudes
of opposing Japan,
" and clasped their hands in congratulation
for receiving assurance of life.
" Looking down, one sees a playground
for Nanking children,
" with soldiers and Chinese children
playing joyfully on all sides."
The proclamation on the handbills
which airplanes scattered over the city,
saying the Japanese
are the only real friends of the Chinese
and would protect the good, of course
meant no more
than most of their statements.
And to show their sincerity,
they raped, looted, and killed at will.
In these hard times,
it is certainly a life-saver to be in a gang.
The thing about the whole situation
that startles us all
is how we, unarmed handful of foreigners,
can chase the Japanese soldiers
out of rooms in school buildings,
rooms in foreign houses,
and rooms in Chinese homes.
And still, no one gets hurt.
The soldiers often actually run away.
Part of it is pure bluff.
If we batted an eye, we'd be done for.
Our group here at the house
drafted a message
to the American Consulate General
in Shanghai,
asking that diplomatic representatives
be sent here immediately,
as the situation was urgent,
then asked the Japanese
to send it via Navy radio.
Needless to say, it was never sent.
When things were at their worst,
the fellows at our house remarked at supper,
" The first fellow that gets killed,
" we're going to carry his body over
and put it in the Japanese Embassy."
Each night, the eight of us wonder
who would be missing the next night.
We said,
"We just can't all get through this alive."
At noon, a man was led to headquarters
with head burned cinder-black,
eyes and ears gone, nose partly gone...
A ghastly sight.
I took him to the hospital in my car,
where he died a few hours later.
His story was
that he was one of the gang of some 100,
who had been tied together,
then gasoline thrown over them,
and set afire.
December 24th, the day before Christmas.
About 10:00, I was called to my office
by a high military advisor.
Miss Minnie Vautrin, our American Minnie,
a proper lady to the core...
She believes in her girls and guards them
the way a hen guards her chicks.
I shall never forget her
marching at the head of some
right past groups of vagabonding
Japanese soldiers,
to guide the refugees to the safety
of her girls' camp in Ginling College.
And now, something terrible
has happened to our Minnie.
The request was
that they be allowed to pick out
prostitute women from our 10,000 refugees.
They said they wanted 100.
They feel that if they can start a regular,
licensed place for the soldiers,
then they will not molest innocent
or decent women.
And, with hands clenched in horror,
Minnie is forced to watch
as authorized underlings force their way
into her girls' assembly hall,
filled with hundreds of good girls.
She's not going to hand over
even one of them willingly.
But then, a number of young refugee girls
step forward.
Evidently, former prostitutes.
Minnie is speechless.
They finally secured 21.
But group after group of women
have asked me
if they will select the other 79
from the decent women and girls.
And all I can answer is,
"They will not do so
if it is in my power to prevent it."
Bob Wilson helped out
at our house last night.
He got home early
for the first time in two weeks.
So he went to the university gardens,
brought six big poinsettias,
and put them around our living room.
So we look like Christmas, anyway.
Everyone is competing to make this
a happy Christmas for me.
It's really touching.
Chang brought some Christmas roses
and has decorated the house with them.
He even managed to find a little fir tree
that he wants to decorate.
And he just came in grinning with joy
and carrying six very long candles
that he rounded up somewhere.
Everybody likes me, suddenly.
And it used to be, or so I thought,
that no one wanted
to have much to do with me.
Or might I have been wrong there?
How strange, my dear Dora,
my dear children and grandchildren.
I know you're all praying for me today.
I feel as if I'm surrounded
by loving thoughts.
Believe me,
I have a prayer in my heart
for all of you, as well.
It seems like anything
but Christmas Eve.
It is sort of tough to keep
Japanese soldiers from looting a hospital
in the center of what was,
a few weeks ago, a great city,
while the rest of the family
is scattered all over the globe.
My baby will be six months old in four days,
and I have only seen her
for seven weeks of that time.
It would be pleasant to close the year
with some sort of
brighter outlook for the next,
but we seem to be closing
on a note of deepest gloom,
without a glimmer of light ahead.
The only consolation is that
it can't be worse.
They can't kill as many people,
as there aren't any more to kill.
Christmas Eve, Nanking, China, 1937.
What I am about to relate
is a story which I feel must be told,
even if it is seen by only a few.
In these two short weeks,
we here in Nanking
have been through a siege.
The Chinese army has left, defeated,
and the Japanese have come in.
On that day, Nanking was still
the beautiful city we were so proud of,
with law and order still prevailing.
Today, it is a city laid waste, ravaged,
completely looted, much of it burned.
Complete anarchy has reigned for 10 days.
It has been a hell on earth.
Not that my life has been
in serious danger at any time,
though turning lust-mad, drunken soldiers
out of houses
where they were raping the women
is not altogether a safe occupation.
Nor does one feel
perhaps too sure of himself
when he finds a bayonet at his chest
or a revolver at his head,
and knows it is handled by someone
who heartily wishes him out of the way.
The Japanese army is anything but pleased
at our being here.
They wanted no observers.
But to have to stand by,
while even the very poor are having
their last possessions taken from them,
their last coin, their last bit of bedding,
while thousands of disarmed soldiers
who had sought sanctuary within,
together with many hundreds
of innocent civilians,
are taken out before your eyes to be shot
or used for bayonet practice.
And we have to listen to the sounds
of the guns that are killing them.
Over a thousand women kneel before you,
crying hysterically,
begging you to save them
from the beasts who are preying on them.
To stand by and do nothing,
while your flag is taken down and insulted?
Not once, but a dozen times.
And your own house is being looted?
And then to watch
the city you have come to love
and the institutions
to which you'd planned to devote your best
deliberately and systematically
burned by fire?
This is a hell I had never before envisaged.
And we keep asking ourselves,
"How long can this last?"
Day by day, we are assured by the officials
that things will be better soon,
that "we will do our best."
But each day
has been worse than the day before.
January 1st, a new year filled with hope.
There was a worship ceremony
at 8:30 this morning.
In the solemn air, the trumpets sounded,
and the Japanese flag was raised.
It is moving beyond words,
with the swords sparkling in the rising sun.
We saluted the military flag,
gave three cheers
for our Emperor and Empress.
January 4. It is just three weeks
since Nanking was taken,
and, as yet, there has been no foreigner
allowed in or out.
The Japanese try to cover things up
wherever it's even vaguely feasible.
And the ban on anyone entering or leaving
is one of their ways of keeping the world
ignorant of Nanking's present state.
We have now received news
that the Japanese want to close
all refugee camps on February 4th.
The refugees are supposed to return
to the devastated city.
And it doesn't matter
where they live amid the ruins.
This could be awful, but we don't know
how to avert this calamity.
The military has all the power.
At 3:00 p.m., two embassy police came
and asked us to get all the refugees together
so they could explain to them
the plan of returning to their homes.
A Chinese man was with them who
used to be a low-level Chinese army officer.
In order not to be killed,
he became a Japanese collaborator.
When he was alone with Miss Vautrin,
he told her not to let the young girls go.
He wept as he spoke.
Their real object
is to get these people away from us,
who have been their protection
during these terrible weeks.
If they do not go back,
the refugees in camps
will be driven out by soldiers.
Some of the refugees
have registered and gone home,
hoping to live there peacefully.
But, unexpectedly,
when the refugees arrived home,
Japanese soldiers were seen,
hunting for women.
I shall never bring pressure
on women to leave again.
My experience on that was too bitter.
One woman of 27, whom we urged
to go back to her husband,
was raped by three soldiers
within three hours after she left us.
I learned my lesson,
and shall not easily forget it.
We have the possibility of a massacre.
But I don't see myself staying out of sight
while soldiers use bayonets
on women and children who trusted us.
I scolded two Japanese soldiers.
The fellow in front was taking it all right,
but the one in back was a surly fellow.
He drew his bayonet,
and then he made a pass at my middle.
I stood my ground.
But since his first pass was unsuccessful,
he took his bayonet
and held it to my neck for a moment.
He muttered something in Japanese,
and jerked his bayonet forward.
When I ducked my head back, it drew blood.
I fear that the military
intends to clear the Zone by force.
The middle paths are the only open spot
left in the garden.
As they come outside,
they all fall to their knees,
and cannot be persuaded to get up
from the cold cement path
until I give the following speech.
"The Japanese have publicly announced
"that you must leave the refugee camps
in the Zone today.
"I personally shall not chase you away,
but what can I, a single foreigner, do?
"Nonetheless, I'll try
to prevent the Japanese from entering."
When I return home in my car today,
I am received with a royal salute.
My poor refugees
have formed two long lines.
Then all my 600 parishioners surround me
and give me a greeting written on a banner.
They all bow three times, and are very happy
when I bow my head in gratitude.
Then one of my Chinese friends
translates the greeting.
You are the living Buddha
for 100,000 people.
You have saved thousands of people
from danger and want.
May the favor of heaven be granted to you.
May God's blessing rest upon you.
As is obvious from the letters
that arrived for me yesterday
from Shanghai via the German Embassy,
people there have not the vaguest notion
of current conditions here.
And what do we do next?
We've about shot our bolts.
At 6:40, I took the Japanese military
train to Shanghai.
I was crowded in with about as unsavory
a crowd of soldiers as one could imagine
in a third-class coach.
Nervous, because sewed into the lining
of my camel's hair greatcoat
were eight reels of 16 mm movie film
of atrocity cases,
most of which were taken
at the university hospital by John Magee.
They were so terrible
that they had to be seen to be believed.
My baggage would undoubtedly
be carefully examined by the military
when we got to Shanghai.
What might happen,
if they discovered these films?
The pictures shown herewith
give but a fragmentary glimpse
of the unspeakable things that happened
following the Japanese occupation
of Nanking on December 13, 1937.
One must remember
that of the thousands injured,
only a small percentage got to the hospital
or were even heard of.
These pictures have been taken
with no thought
of stirring up a spirit of hatred
against the Japanese,
but only with the desire to make
all people realize how horrible war is.
Great care had to be exercised
not to be seen while taking pictures.
Otherwise, the camera
would have been smashed or confiscated.
Fortunately, the reels weren't discovered.
I was the guest of Undersecretary of State,
Dr. Stanley Hornbeck,
whom I had known in China,
and I was given the opportunity
to see many people of importance.
And I also showed my films
to newspapermen
and the Foreign Affairs Committee
of the House.
In Los Angeles,
a couple of speeches were lined up for me,
and one, where I showed my films,
caused something of a sensation,
even illness
on the part of a couple of the audience.
And, following the meeting,
a Japanese gentleman approached me
and said that my statements about
the atrocities in Nanking were not true.
They could not be true,
for Japanese were incapable of such acts.
He asked me to retract
some of the things I had said,
and intimated that it would be best for me
if I did so.
I told him that I had many Japanese friends
and knew that most Japanese were
incapable of such acts as I had described.
But, I said, unfortunately,
everything I said was true,
and hence, I could retract nothing.
The war has rolled on
to engulf a thousand other towns like ours.
This story of invasion, massacre,
rape and oppression
will be reenacted among countless
communities in China.
Nanking looks like a garden
that's been devoured by locusts.
The enemy creates a desert
and calls it peace.
At the conclusion of World War II,
the Allies convened
a War Crimes Tribunal in Tokyo.
From the summary judgment,
approximately 20,000 cases of rape
occurred in Nanking
within the first month of the occupation.
Estimates indicate that the total number
of civilians and prisoners of war
murdered in Nanking and its vicinity
during the first six weeks
of the Japanese occupation
was over 200,000.
Do I hate the Japanese? No.
I dislike very much their policy,
and I dislike very much
the way they are treating
the common people of China.
But if I am ever given the opportunity
of doing the same for the Japanese
as we have done here for the Chinese men,
women and children,
I would do the same right over again.
I have deeply loved and respected
the cause of missions and Ginling College.
Had I 10 lives, I would dedicate them all
to this cause of kingdom-building.
But alas, I have failed.
don't think for a moment
that I wouldn't give my right eye
to be with you
and our unbelievably adorable child.
We have been caught up in a cataclysm,
and during the immediate crisis,
until some light
gets thrown upon future events,
it is absolutely essential to sit tight.
I do not regret having stayed on here.
For my presence has saved many lives.
But all the same,
my suffering is indescribable.
The Chinese have an unsurpassed
capacity for suffering and endurance,
in addition to their many other qualities,
and right must triumph in the end.
I shall always be glad
I threw in my lot with them.