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Nanjing survivors turn to weibo to keep memory alive

By Xu Wei and Song Wenwei (China Daily)

15:16, December 14, 2011

Zhu Chengshan, director of the Memorial Hall of the Victims in Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders, presents a copy of the Asahi Shimbun newspaper, which was donated by a Japanese monk surnamed Ohigashi (left), who has given the memorial hall more than 1,000 items in the past. The paper, published on Dec 17, 1937, recorded how Japanese soldiers entered the city of Nanjing. Sun Can / Xinhua

On 74th anniversary, vigils mark sorrow and will to preserve peace

NANJING - While the city marked the 74th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre on Tuesday, survivors have taken to micro blogs to tell about their experiences during the historic period.

At 10 am on Tuesday, as sirens wailed across the city of Nanjing and people gathered in squares to mark the grim anniversary, 74-year-old Zhao Zhenhua wrote on her micro blog: "The sirens are taking me back to that miserable historic period. I pray for my compatriots who died in the tragedy, and I hope they know that I am enjoying a happy life today."

Zhao is one of six survivors of the massacre who have accounts on Sina Weibo, the country's most popular micro blog website, where the words of other witnesses to the horror, too, were posted by their children and grandchildren.

Some posts had photos of relatives from the time of the massacre and some told how they managed to escape the carnage.

As invading Japanese troops occupied Nanjing on Dec 13, 1937, and were about to launch a six-week massacre, Zhou Shaohua, 17, had no idea of the emerging danger until he saw the soldiers escorting four men tied with rope walking on a street in Gulou district.

"My father said he heard shouts when he saw those soldiers, and he immediately started to run, and the soldiers began firing at him. Later he ran into a French church and managed to escape the mass murder," the son of the 91-year-old wrote on his micro blog. Chinese records show that more than 300,000 people - not only unarmed soldiers, but also civilians - were butchered during the six weeks of terror.

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