Foreign teachers learn about Nanjing Massacre
Xinhua News Agency
The group spent most of their time in the Memorial Hall for Compatriots Murdered in the 1937 Nanjing Massacre, reading historical documents and talking with massacre survivors.
More than 300,000 civilians of
According to members of the group, the visit to
the memorial hall enabled them to discover a chapter of history familiar to
"It is so horrifying to see the atrocity
committed by Japanese soldiers as shown in all the pictures and documents in
the hall. The routine killing, raping and burning of innocent Chinese people
was so unimaginably inhumane," said Janice Gladish, a 29-year-old
history teacher from
Gladish told China Daily that she had no idea about the massacre until she read about it this April from a special resource reserved for teachers in her local library.
"Those stories prompted me to apply for this visit, even though the selection from applicants was rigid. The atmosphere and documents here give me a clearer and more vivid picture of the massacre. They are more powerful in expression," she said.
The interaction with two survivors of the Nanjing Massacre, 78-year-old Xia Shuqin and 79-year-old Chang Zhiqiang, yesterday afternoon added to the gravity of the visit for the teachers.
"I tried to take many photos to record their
expressions while telling their stories. But how can any people understand
the pain deep in their hearts? I couldn
The group, including 17 secondary school teachers
The trip is the third in as many years organized by the Association for Learning and Preserving the History of World War II in Asia (ALPHA). It strives to let more educational workers in the western world learn and later teach the chapters missing from Western history books. Donations come from Chinese communities and other charity groups.
According to Hong Kong-born Thekla Lit, founder of
As Lit hoped, most of the teachers in the group say that the trip has given them a chance to begin discovering and writing a version of history they can then pass on to their students.
"As a person with a strong sense of social
activism, I am for sure going to pass on what the survivors have said today
to people around me, including my students. It