Commemorating the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Nanjing and the Nanjing Massacre

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A memoir of China in World War II by Shu-Chin Yang

From generation to generation, let us not forget them.

In honor of the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Nanjing and the Nanjing Massacre this December, the new English translation of "Yang Dapeng: Remembrance of a Martyr of Nanjing 1937" is released. Originally written in 1975 by the late Shu-Chin Yang, the book commemorates the author’s brother Yang Dapeng who died defending Nanjing as a young officer--and by telling this story of one soldier and family, seeks to keep alive the memory of millions of Chinese soldiers and families who perished in the War of Resistance against Japan in World War II.

For nearly 40 years, Shu-Chin Yang had been haunted by the question posed by his family since the early days of World War II in China: “Where is Eighth Brother?” Yang’s brother Dapeng hadn’t been heard from since he entered battle after graduating as a young officer from the prestigious Whampoa Military Academy. Decades later, Yang finally faced the deep anguish of this early loss to launch an inquiry of his brother’s death at the Battle of Nanjing in 1937. The book he wrote in 1975 seeks to give recognition to Yang Dapeng, who essentially died an unknown soldier, and in doing so, to commemorate all the soldiers of China’s War of Resistance who pitted themselves against a far stronger enemy to save their nation. The narrative, now in English, tells one family’s story in these unstable times--from engaging anecdotes of childhood in Northeast China to the tragedy of war. From a natural-born storyteller, this book is a poignant history about extraordinary ordinary people who lived through one of China’s most harrowing eras. The book is available on Amazon at

The Battle of Nanjing in early December 1937 concluded with the fall of that capital city on Dec. 12. The Nanjing Massacre, one of the most horrific atrocities of World War II, followed, continuing through January. Scholars of the period agree that the Battle of Nanjing, the Nanjing atrocities, and China’s deep sacrifice during its exceptionally long World War II (1937-1945) have been under-recognized globally.

Thus, wrote author Yang: “In commemorating Peng, I also want to offer a prayer to the thousands upon thousands of our countrymen who died and suffered in the War of Resistance against Japan. In the eight years of the War of Resistance, our dead and wounded soldiers and civilians were unprecedented in number in both ancient and modern times, in China and in the rest of the world…. From generation to generation, let us not forget them.”

About the Author: The late Shu-Chin Yang (1916-2001) was an international development economist at the World Bank in Washington, D.C., where he was instrumental in the People’s Republic of China’s entry into the World Bank and in advising economic leaders in China and other countries. He earned his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison as one of the first recipients of a U.S. State Department scholarship established for Chinese students after World War II.

About the Translator: Catherine T. Yang is a former Business Week reporter, now a journalist and writer in the Washington, D.C. area.

Contact for more information: Catherine Yang at catherinetyang(at)aya.yale(dot)edu, or 240-381-5026.

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Catherine Yang