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Accuracy of the Nanking Massacre of Critical Importance - Case Study Example

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The paper 'Accuracy of the Nanking Massacre of Critical Importance' presents twentieth-century warfare which has seen the strategic elimination of enemy forces devolve into the wholesale devastation of nationalities and ethnicities through the practice of ethnic cleansing and genocide…
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Accuracy of the Nanking Massacre of Critical Importance
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Download file to see previous pages One of the most controversial cases of genocide occurred in Nanking China in 1937-38 when occupying Japanese forces tortured, brutalized, raped, and murdered hundreds of thousands of Chinese men, women, and children over a six-week period. Its limited duration and scale of devastation portray it as one of the most intense periods of violence in world history. Yet, decades of denial by the Japanese government and conflicting first-hand accounts have fuelled a debate in regards to the accuracy of the event, and it has even been questioned as to its authenticity. As the story continues to evolve and more facts come to light, historical researchers revise the history of the incident and are themselves targets of controversy and risk the accusation of being revisionists. Psychological, cultural, and pragmatic forces delayed and minimized Japan's public acknowledgment of their involvement in the Nanking massacre and have routinely impeded the historians' efforts to adequately record the event.
History is not a set of facts but is a dynamic concept of evolving knowledge that is interpreted in the context of the past and re-evaluated in the framework of the present. Terms such as genocide, ethnic cleansing, massacre, and atrocities suffer from semantics and the diverse subjectivity of worldviews can characterize an event to the advantage or disadvantage of a nation. Determining when excessive use of force crosses over into genocide can make, "Politicians, scholars, relief agencies, and distinguished judges at international tribunals regularly agonize over whether to apply the label".1 States may suppress information or produce disinformation in a self-serving attempt to protect their image and self-interests. Historical scientists grapple with these complexities as they attempt to draw a clearer picture of past events and suffer when activists rewrite historical accounts based on their own political or social agendas. The Nanking Massacre has been a victim of all these factors. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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