Terror in Minnie Vautrin's Nanjing: Diaries and Correspondence, 1937-38

Overview

In December of 1937, the Japanese Imperial Army marched into China's capital city of Nanjing and launched six weeks of carnage that would become known as the Rape of Nanjing. In addition to the deaths of Chinese POWs and civilians, tens of thousands of women were raped, tortured, and killed by Japanese soldiers. In this traumatic environment, both native and foreign-born inhabitants of Nanjing struggled to carry on with their lives.

This volume collects the diaries and ...

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Overview

In December of 1937, the Japanese Imperial Army marched into China's capital city of Nanjing and launched six weeks of carnage that would become known as the Rape of Nanjing. In addition to the deaths of Chinese POWs and civilians, tens of thousands of women were raped, tortured, and killed by Japanese soldiers. In this traumatic environment, both native and foreign-born inhabitants of Nanjing struggled to carry on with their lives.

This volume collects the diaries and correspondence of Minnie Vautrin, a farmgirl from Illinois who had dedicated herself to the education of Chinese women at Ginling College in Nanjing. Faced with the impending Japanese attack, she turned the school into a sanctuary for ten thousand women and girls. Vautrin's firsthand accounts of daily life in Nanjing and the intensifying threat of Japanese invasion reveal the courage of the occupants under siege—Chinese nationals as well as Western missionaries, teachers, surgeons and business people—and the personal costs of violence in wartime.

Thanks to Vautrin's painstaking effort in keeping a day-to-day account, present-day readers are able to examine this episode of history at close range through her eyes. With detailed maps, photographs, and carefully researched in-depth annotations, Terror in Minnie Vautrin's Nanjing: Diaries and Correspondence, 1937-38 presents a comprehensive and detailed daily account of the events and of life during the horror-stricken days within the city walls and in particular on the Ginling campus. Through chronologically arranged diaries, letters, reports, documents, and telegrams, Vautrin bears witness to those terrible events and to the magnitude of trauma that the Nanjing Massacre exacted on the populace.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780252033322
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2008
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Wilhelmina (Minnie) Vautrin (1886-1941), raised in Secor, Illinois, was a graduate of the University of Illinois and moved to China in 1912 to serve as a missionary and educator. Suping Lu is a professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the author of They Were in Nanjing: The Nanjing Massacre Witnessed by American and British Nationals.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction

1 War Breaks Out in Shanghai 1

2 Plans for College's Relocation 10

3 Aerial Bombing Escalates 16

4 Courage and Persistence 26

5 A Spiral Downturn at Shanghai Front 36

6 War Gets Closer to Nanjing 45

7 Safety Zone Is Established 58

8 Brutality Follows Japanese Entry into the City 77

9 Registration of Refugees 97

10 Refugees, Poor Refugees 120

11 Miseries Continue 135

12 Refugees Would Rather Starve than Leave Ginling 155

13 Violation of Women Still Rampant 173

14 Thousands of Victim Bodies Remain Unburied 191

Notes 217

Index 255

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