December 13 - 1937 - The Japanese Army Enters Nanking
What the Imperial Japanese Army did upon entering Nanking in 1937 was not necessarily unusual in war. Yet the scale and brutality of the murder of civilians and sexual assault of women throughout the city that had been the Chinese capital until just few weeks before made it something else entirely. Not only were Japanese troops murdering any Chinese civilians on sight and raping any women and girls they could find, Japan itself seemed to be shrugging its shoulder at the events. What made the world take notice were a few Westerners, including a Nazi Party member named John Rabe, who tried to move people out of the city and kept diaries and other records. No other countries could do anything at the time, though, because of world politics, and politics have continued to shape the way the events in Nanking are discussed.