"Indeed, even by the standards of history's most destructive war, the Rape of Nanking represents one of the worst instances of mass extermination. To Imagine its comparitive size, we mus brace ourselves for a few more statistics. The death toll of Nanking-one Chinese city alone- exceeds the number of civilian casualties of some European countries for the entire war. (Great Britian lost a total of 61,000 civilians, France lost 108,000, Belgium 101,000, and the Netherlands 242,000). Air bombing is considered by those who reflect on these things one of the most awesome instruments of mass destruction. Yet even the worst air attacks of the war did not exceed the ravagesof Nanking. It is likely that more people died in Nanking than in the British raids on Dresdan and the fire storm that followed. ( The figure 225,000 was accepted internationally at the time, but more objective accounts now place the numb of Dresdan casualties at 60,000 dead and at least 30,000 injured.) INdeed, whether we use the most conservative number- 260,000- or the highest 350,000- it is shocking to contemplate that the deaths at Nanking far exceed the deaths from the American raids on Tokyo (estimated 80,0000-120,000 deaths) and even the combined death toll of the two atomic blasts at Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the end of 1945 (estimated at 140,000 and 70,000, respectively.
The Rape of Nanking should be remembered not only for the number of people slaughtered but for the cruel manners in which many met their daths. Chinese men were used for bayonet practice and in decapitation contests. An estimated 20,000-80,000 Chinese woman were raped. Many soldiers went beyond rape to disembowerl woman, slice off their breasts, nail them alive to walls. Fathers were forced to rape their daughters, and sons their mothers, as other family members watched. Not only did live burials, castration, the carving of organs, and the roasting of people become routine, but more diobolical tortures were practiced, such as hanging people by their tongues on iron hooks or burying people to their waists and watching them get torn apart by German shepherds. So sickening was the spectacle that even the Nazis in teh city were horrified, one proclaimed the massacre to be the work of "bestial machinery. Yet the Rape of Nanking remains an obsure incident. Unlike the atomic explosions in Japan or the Jewish holocaust in Europe, the horrors of the massacre at Nanking remain virtually unknown to people outside of Asia..."