SDHF Newsletter No.319 Primary Historical Sources Reveal The Truth About The Nanjing Incident
Primary Historical Sources Reveal The Truth About
The Nanjing Incident
Series No.1: Chapter 5: Introduction, Table of Contents
Extensive studies have revealed that the Nanjing Incident was not a gigantic slaughter as often depicted. However, a consensus has to be reached concerning the fundamental question of whether the Incident really took place, let alone the number of victims.
The current book adopts a new approach: to get back to the original point, to reconfirm present status and issues in question regarding the controversy over the Nanjing Incident based on internationally acknowledged records of the time.
An American missionary named Bates was the source of information for the first newspaper report of the Nanjing Incident. It was also American missionaries who provided records of the Nanjing Incident to the Readers’ Digest (July and October 1938 issues). Furthermore, it was exclusively American missionaries who later appeared before the Tokyo Trials and stated that the Nanjing Incident was an actual event. Records written by American missionaries accounted for an overwhelming part of the records that were submitted by Westerners.
Thus, the statements of American missionaries played a decisive role in substantiating the Nanjing Incident as factual. In other words, American missionaries were the lead figures of the Nanjing Incident.
Ikeda further shows that the American missionaries were group with a shared mission–of spreading the Protestant belief in China—and most of them lived together under the same roof in Nanjing, conducting various missionary activities in unison. Therefore, it is appropriate to regard activities of individual missionaries as parts of a larger undertaking by American missionaries who remained in Nanjing. By recognizing decisions and actions taken by organized American missionaries in Nanjing as such, we can envisage an overall picture of the Nanjing Incident.
MOTEKI Hiromichi, Acting Chairman
for KASE Hideaki, Chairman
Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact