The Last Witness: 'I blame the Japanese Emperor' for massacre
2017-12-14 14:10:00

Lu Hongcai and his father hid in the marshes for days when Japanese troops stormed the city. They survived but on reaching home found that their loved ones who couldn’t run had been brutally murdered. Here’s his account:

"We left home on December 11 or 12. I was five years old. There were ten people in my family. We lived in two cottages we built ourselves.

"After the Battle of Shanghai, people fled west and told terrible stories about the Japanese. They told us to hide or to run.

"But the situation in my family was that my grandparents were too weak. My mother was about to give birth, so they couldn’t go away. My father took me and my maternal uncle, who was about 15 years old. Father said if anything happens at home, at least each of our two families would have someone to pass down the bloodline.

"Those who stayed home dug a silo in the ground, and covered it with some tarpaulin and earth. They thought by hiding underneath, like children playing hide and seek, they’d escape a terrible fate.

"My father shouldered two baskets on a stick, some daily necessities in the front basket, and me in the back. He and my uncle would take turns to shoulder the load.

"We fled to a desolated area in western Nanjing called Sha Zhou Wei. It was a reed marsh just along the Yangtze River. About a dozen people were hiding there. We lived on a wooden board, which we covered with reed and some bed sheets that we brought from home. That was all we had against the elements.

"The Japanese eventually found us. They spoke only a few Chinese words. They pointed to their hearts, and said my father had a bad heart. Then they pointed to the Japanese flag, probably telling him to confess how he’d fought against them. But none of us understood them.

"They got angry. They pierced my father’s thick winter coat with their bayonet, and were ready to kill him. For the first time, I was frightened. Then, two other Japanese soldiers came on their horses. They spoke as though something urgent had happened, then all of them left in a hurry and spared my father's life. I remember the sun was setting.

"We ran again that night to a village called Taowu in the hills. People said the Japanese won’t go there because of the harsh terrain.

"A few days later, an old neighbor saw us. He shouted at father and said, “Your home’s been hit. Your family’s been killed by the Japs. Hurry up and go bury them.” My father collapsed.

"The Japanese were still on their killing spree. It would be dangerous for us to go home. But if we didn’t go, should our loved ones just lie there? I don’t remember how many days it took us to walk home.

"Father lifted open the silo, and we saw them. All six of them, their blood and flesh mixed with the soil. They held each other tight. Father separated the bodies. We saw my mother’s belly was pierced open. Her unborn baby died.

"When we left home, I thought they’d be safe. We’d hide a while and come home and we’d still be a family. How simple and foolish was I!

"To this day, I miss my mother and my other loved ones. But I don’t blame the massacre on every Japanese soldier. There are good people and bad people everywhere. I remember seeing Chinese people giving food to stranded Japanese people after the war. They would eat the food and be moved to tears.

"I blame the war on the Emperor and his imperialist subordinates.

"Even now, some Japanese people don’t like what the current government is doing. They want peace. It’s the right wing who is causing trouble. They are playing the victim card. The Massacre, they deny; sex slaves, they deny; war of aggression, they deny; the verdict of the military tribunal, they deny. Have they ever thought about the tens of millions of Chinese people who died in their war of aggression?

"These innocent lives perished so tragically. It’s a nightmare that shouldn’t have happened. But it’s not enough to just remember the victims. We want an answer from the Japanese right wing. And what’s more, we need to safeguard peace. History like this should never be repeated."

Source:CGTN Editor:Hiram