Tourists flock to offer condolences, cherish memories

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-02-09 10:44
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This photo taken on Jan 25, 2024 shows a view outside the Exhibition Hall of Evidence of Crimes Committed by Unit 731 of the Japanese Imperial Army in Harbin, Northeast China's Heilongjiang province. [Photo/Xinhua]

HARBIN -- Since the beginning of the year, Harbin, Northeast China's Heilongjiang province, has emerged as a top winter destination. But, amid the joyous festivities at popular spots like the Ice-Snow World theme park, tens of thousands have also flocked to a memorial outside the city center.

On a frigid weekday morning, with the temperature in the city dropping to minus 26 degrees Celsius, the spirits of those visiting the Exhibition Hall of Evidence of Crimes Committed by Unit 731 of the Japanese Imperial Army remained undeterred.

Braving the freezing weather, people queued up at the public square outside the exhibition hall. Among the visitors were many young people, some accompanied by their children. Despite the harsh weather, they patiently waited for one or two hours, with volunteers distributing hot water and warming pads to alleviate the cold.

The notorious Unit 731 was a top-secret biological and chemical warfare research base established in Harbin as the nerve center for Japanese biological warfare in China and Southeast Asia during World War II. At least 3,000 people were used for human experiments by Unit 731, and more than 300,000 people in China were killed by Japan's biological weapons.

This winter the exhibition hall has been ranked third among all other tourist attractions in Harbin by the world's leading travel platform TripAdvisor.

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