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One of a kind

By Lia Zhu | China Daily | Updated: 2022-08-26 07:53

Two students give their Chinese calligraphy work-"remember the history and cherish peace"-to Florence Fang (center), founder of the San Francisco WWII Pacific War Memorial Hall, as a gift, during the opening ceremony of the Power of One Reading Room on Saturday.[Photo provided to China Daily]

"Please believe in the power of one. One person can make an enormous difference in the world. One person-actually, one idea-can start a war, or end one, or subvert an entire power structure."

The quote from Iris Chang, the late Chinese American historian and author, has inspired more people to retrace her footsteps to seek and preserve the truth in the history of Chinese people's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1931-45).

A reading room is dedicated to Chang at the San Francisco WWII Pacific War Memorial Hall, where visitors can read the writer's books, learn about her life and study the chapter of history she tried to preserve.

Chang is best known for her book, The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II, which chronicled the massacre and the atrocities committed by the Japanese Army during the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression.

The massacre unfolded when Japanese troops captured the city of Nanjing on Dec 13, 1937. Over a period of six weeks, they killed 300,000 Chinese civilians and unarmed soldiers. But this horrific mass killing is often overlooked internationally, compared with other atrocities committed during World War II.

When Chang's book was published in 1997, it became a best-seller, introducing the Nanjing Massacre to many Western readers for the first time.

"We name the reading room 'Power of One' because we hope her belief in the power of an individual can influence the next generation and other ethnic communities as well," Betty Yuan, a council member of the San Francisco WWII Pacific War Memorial Hall, tells China Daily.

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