In December of 1937, during the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Japanese military invaded Nanjing, China and engaged in a campaign of mass killing.
USC Shoah Foundation partnered with the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall in 2012 to preserve the testimonies of the last survivors of these atrocities, also known as the Rape of Nanjing, in which 300,000 civilians and unarmed soldiers were killed over the course of two months.
In late 2012, through the partnership, a dozen video testimonies of survivors of the 1937-38 Nanjing Massacre were recorded in Nanjing, China, all conducted in Mandarin. After being catalogued and indexed, the 12 testimonies were integrated into the Institute’s Visual History Archive in early 2014.
The next 18 testimonies were recorded in the fall of 2014. As of January of 2015, the average interviewee age for the survivors was 85 years old; the oldest was 94.
Testimonies in the Nanjing collection seek to establish full-life histories of the individuals, including their social and cultural life before and after the Nanjing Massacre.