Progress on Nanjing Testimonies and Mandarin-Language New Dimensions in Testimony

Mon, 06/19/2017 - 5:00pm

USC Shoah Foundation’s newest testimonies of Nanjing Massacre survivors and its New Dimensions in Testimony interview of Nanjing Massacre survivor Xia Shuqin are drawing closer to being made available to the public.

In 2016 and early 2017, USC Shoah Foundation recorded nearly 50 testimonies for its Nanjing Massacre collection, bringing the total number of testimonies in the collection to 103. Institute staff traveled to Nanjing, China, to record the interviews with the survivors, most of whom are in their late 80s – and one survivor who is 100 years old. Unfortunately, a few scheduled interviewees passed away or were in poor health by the time the team arrived and could not be interviewed.

Only 12 known survivors of the Nanjing Massacre have not been interviewed by USC Shoah Foundation. But because the Institute and its partner Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall have not been able to get in touch with them, USC Shoah Foundation has concluded its efforts to collect testimonies in Nanjing.

Now that the testimonies have been collected, they are being translated by staff in China before they are indexed and integrated into the Visual History Archive alongside the first 30 Nanjing testimonies.

Survivor Shuqin Xia became the first-ever non-English speaking survivor to be interviewed for New Dimensions in Testimony, USC Shoah Foundation’s interactive testimony, in fall 2016.

Because Xia spoke and answered all questions in Mandarin, USC Shoah Foundation’s ITS department is creating a new Mandarin-language test platform that will allow Mandarin speakers to interact with Xia’s video testimony by typing and speaking to trigger her relevant responses. Staff will input data from Xia’s interview into the new test platform this week and plan to bring it to China in September so the system can be tested there.

December 13, 2017 will mark the 80th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre.