The Nanjing Massacre took place when Japanese troops captured the then-Chinese capital on Dec. 13, 1937. Over six weeks, they killed approximately 300,000 Chinese civilians and unarmed soldiers in one of the most barbaric episodes of World War II.
Xiang’s brother and uncle were killed by Japanese invaders. On the way to retrieve the bodies of his family, Xiang saw corpses piled up on the river beach, and men, women, and children lying in blood. He survived as he had escaped to a refugee area.
In 2014, China’s top legislature designated Dec. 13 as the national memorial day for the victims of the Nanjing Massacre.
The Chinese government has preserved the survivors’ testimonies, recorded in written documents and video footage. These records of the massacre were listed by UNESCO in the Memory of the World Register in 2015.