he first place I visited Nanjing was the Nanjing Massacre Memorial. Although not really what is more gratifying for sightseeing. A little anti-chronological method of discovery as well. But a visit to some interesting and significant that seeks to know the history of 20th century China.
A bit like you would visit the Memorial of Caen in Normandy.
As I said in my little overview of my brief visit to Nanjing, living in China, I have come to know and try to understand the events of the history of China, we are also often misunderstood in the West.
This memorial refers to the massacre of the inhabitants of Nanking during the occupation of the city by the Japanese during six weeks from 13 December 1937 to January 1938.
The atrocities perpetrated then were the cause of the death of between 300 000 and 400 000 Chinese civilians, executed in mass killings or assassinations individual. Cruelty which explains today’s protests against the Chinese pure and simple withdrawal of this tragic episode in Japanese textbooks.
Today Nanjing Memorial is a place of pilgrimage for all generations of Chinese. They were indeed large enough to be made when I’m gone. Moreover, coincidence with the October holidays?, This Monday, October 3rd entrance was free. The large cross with the fateful dates could be recognized from afar by many pilgrims that day.
The museum tour then proceeds as a circuit that begins and ends with the cross, and especially the Great Bell of Peace, which alone brings the symbolic significance of the period, as the Chinese can do.
So the tour begins on the evocation of peace after the terrible period of occupation.
The bell weighs 6.6 T because it was built for the 66th anniversary of the massacre.
As for the 300,000 victims, are evoked by that measure 3 m above the bell and by 3 columns with 5 rings, each representing a 0, all connected by the character 人 ren (Star 3 branches of the middle, the center which the bell is suspended).
Then the whole outer part of the visit of the memorial is very focused on the symbolism of the post-occupation.
The figures are very present, starting with the number of victims declined as architectural forms for the Great Bell of Peace, but also hammered on the walls, as the number engraved in the memories.
But beyond the numbers, the atrocities that are sought to symbolize and to denounce.
In 1982, a Chinese commentator asked: “How historical facts written in blood could they be hidden by lies written in ink?”