11     China -- Occupied and Splintered (1937 - 1945)                     


Primary Resources 


Document 11.1

"Military Door Gods," a print by Huang Yao, late 1930s

Document 11.2

"Study," a woodblock print by Jing Yun, 1937-1945

Document 11.3

Excerpts from The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck, 1931


Document 11.4


Interview with Hsu King-Ming, May 2007

Document 11.5

Excerpts from the diary of John Rabe, a witness to the Nanjing Massacre, 1937

Document 11.6

The Empire of Japan's 66th Regiment 1st Battalion Report, December 13, 1937


Document 11.7


Photo at Nanjing Massacre Museum, 2006

Document 11.8

“Snow Falls on China’s Land,” a poem by Ai Qing, 1937

Document 11.9

Excerpts from “New Faith,” a short story by Ding Ling, 1939


Document 11.10


Excerpt from Shanghai Diary: A Young Girl’s Journey from Hitler’s Hate to War-Torn China by Ursula Bacon, 2002

Document 11.11

General Joseph Stilwell bust outside the Stilwell Museum, Chongqing 

Document 11.12

Excerpts from Red Star Over China by Edgar Snow, 1968 


Document 11.13


Chinese Germ Warfare Victims Call for Just Ruling by Japanese Supreme Court,” in China Daily, June 26, 2006




Supplementary Resources


Item 11.A

Map of occupied China, 1940



Activity Websites


Activity 3

Part 2 - #7-25 Principles of the Nazi Party

A summary of the 25 principles of the National Socialist German Workers' Party (Nazi Party), 1920.


Part 3 - Photos from Nanjing Massacre Museum

The Nanjing Massacre Museum in Nanjing; includes additional information and a number of photographs of the memorials.



Suggested Resources




Bix, Herbert. Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan. New York: Harper Perennial, 2000.


Chang, Iris. The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II. New York: Penguin, 1998.

An account of the 1937 events in Nanking, often considered controversial. For a historian’s review of Chang’s account, see http://ess.uwe.ac.uk/genocide/reviewswc3.htm by Robert Entenmann.


Ding Ling. I Myself Am a Woman: Selected Writings of Ding Ling. Boston: Beacon Press, 1989.


Fenby, Jonathan. Chiang Kai-Shek: China’s Generalissimo and the Nation He Lost. New York: Carroll & Graf, 2004.


Ha Jin. Nanjing Requiem: A Novel. New York: Pantheon Books, 2011.

A novel about an American missionary and college dean who decides to stay in Nanjing during the 1937 Japanese attack.


Honda, Katsuichi and Frank Gibney. The Nanjing Massacre: A Japanese Journalist Confronts Japan’s National Shame. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1999.


Ishikawa Tatsuzō. Soldiers Alive. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2003.

Originally written in 1938, this novella written by a Japanese author describes the march on Nanjing in 1937.


Ropp, Paul. “Civil Wars, Invasion, and the Rise of Communism (1920-1949).” China in World History. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.


Snow, Edgar. Red Star Over China. New York: Grove Press, 1993.

U.S. journalist’s account of the Chinese Communist movement and its leadership until the late 1930s. Originally published in 1937.


Tobias, Sigmund. Strange Haven: A Jewish Childhood in Wartime Shanghai. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1999.


Webster, Donovan. The Burma Road: The Epic Story of the China-Burma-India Theater in World War II. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2003.


Zarrow, Peter Gue. China in War and Revolution, 1895-1949. New York: Routledge, 2005.


Zhao, Yali and John D. Hoge. “Countering Textbook Distortion: War Atrocities in Asia, 1937–1945.” Social Education 70 (2006): 424–432.




Asia for Educators

Select 1900–1950 to view primary sources and a video unit about the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945).


Madame Chiang Kai-Shek Addresses Congress

Madame Chiang addressed Congress on February 18, 1943, and asked for aid for the Guomindang in their Civil War against the Chinese Communists.


The Memorial Hall of the Victims in Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders

The Nanjing Massacre Museum in Nanjing. Site includes photographs and witness statements representing Chinese accounts of the events. Note that this website contains graphic footage from the massacre.


Modern History Sourcebook: The Nanking Massacre, 1937

From F. Tillman, “All Captives Slain,” The New York Times, December 18, 1937, pp. 1, 10.


The Nanking Massacre Project: A Digital Archive of Documents & Photographs from American Missionaries Who Witnessed the Rape of Nanking

From the Special Collections of the Yale Divinity School Library.




City of Life and Death (135 mins; 2009)

A feature film about the Japanese attack of Nanjing on December 9, 1937.


Nanking (90 mins; 2007)

A documentary about the Japanese invasion of Nanking told through interviews with Chinese survivors, archival footage, and testimonies of Japanese soldiers, interwoven with staged readings of the Westerners' letters and diaries.


Shanghai Ghetto (95 mins; 2002)

This documentary includes interviews with survivors and historians, photographs, and footage of the “Jewish ghetto” and synagogue, which remain in Shanghai today. In English, German, and Chinese with subtitles. 



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