Chapter

The Challenges of the Nanjing Massacre

Daqing Yang

in The Nanjing Massacre in History and Historiography

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2000 | ISBN: 9780520220065
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520923515 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520220065.003.0004
The Challenges of the Nanjing Massacre

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More than a decade ago, a debate about the Nazi Holocaust broke out in West Germany. The historian's debate (Historikerstreit) began when the famous philosopher Jurgen Habermas challenged the attempts by several historians to compare and even link the Nazi crimes with other mass atrocities. The debate about the Nanjing Massacre is therefore necessary to situate it in wider discourse about the nature and function of historical inquiry. Even though there may not be easy solutions to the challenges discussed in this chapter, or a productive way of working toward some answers, it is much more important to learn from the ongoing efforts of historians wrestling with the Holocaust and its representations. Similarly, the debate about the Nanjing Massacre should be a concern to historians because it has implications beyond the narrow confines of regional history.

Keywords: Nazi Holocaust; Germany; Historikerstreit; Habermas; regional history

Chapter.  16368 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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