Death of Nanjing Massacre survivor leaves only 36 living witnesses

2024-03-08 Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

The death of Nanjing Massacre survivor Chen Guixiang on Tuesday means there are now just 36 living witnesses of the atrocity, the Memorial Hall of the Victims in Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders said.

Chen, who died at the age of 99, demonstrated remarkable resilience in the face of harrowing experiences. Following the establishment of the People's Republic of China, she actively pursued education and became a respected figure in her village.

Throughout her life, she actively participated in testimonial events, sharing her tragic experiences. In 2011, she traveled to Hiroshima, Japan, to recount her story to the Japanese people, emphasizing the veracity of her account.

"My testimony remains as evidence, proving that I was indeed persecuted by the Japanese invaders in this way," she said.

Chen, who lost both of her parents at a young age, narrowly escaped a perilous encounter with Japanese soldiers thanks to the courageous efforts of her grandmother.

On Dec 13, 1937, Japanese troops captured Nanjing and killed more than 300,000 Chinese civilians and unarmed soldiers over a six-week period.

Recounting the traumatic experience when she was giving testimony, Chen described how her grandmother, who struggled to raise her after her parents died, begged for mercy before being shot and killed by a soldier.

"One day, Japanese soldiers came, and as I ran, I shouted, 'Grandma, the Japanese are trying to catch me!' I hid in an outhouse, but the soldier followed me, grabbed me by the hair, and slapped me twice, leaving my ears ringing," Chen said.

Chen managed to escape when the soldier stumbled as he dragged her toward a house, allowing her to run as fast as she could and make it to a riverbank, where she collapsed before being rescued by an elderly ferryman.

Chen cherished the memory of her grandmother and said that part of the reason she participated in Nanjing Massacre testimonies was to commemorate her.

Chen's experience motivated her to maintain a positive outlook on life, and to become self-reliant and resilient. Around seven or eight years ago, she lost her sight due to diabetes, yet remained positive.

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