Sunday, December 9, 2012 | Categories: Episodes
On December 13, 1937, the Japanese Imperial Army captured Nanking ... China's capital city under Chiang Kai-Shek's government. In the next six weeks, the Japanese army went on a spree of unspeakable cruelty, even by the bloody standards of the last century.
Hundreds of thousands of Chinese soldiers and civilians were raped, tortured and murdered.
The massacre of Nanking was front page news in the New York Times and the gruesome photographic record shocked readers of popular magazines. Westerners in Nanking kept diaries, wrote letters and verified the atrocities. And yet the massacre of Nanking faded from memory.
That has begun to change in recent decades.
The American historian Iris Chang re-opened the discussion with her
best-selling book of 15 years ago, The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten
Holocaust of World War II. The book touched hearts ... and a lot of
nerves. Ms. Chang received death threats and her Japanese publisher
refused to release the book.
That same year, 1997, Dr. Joseph Wong decided that Iris Chang was right, and more light needed to be shed on the events of Nanking. He founded ALPHA - the Association for the Learning and Preservation of World War II History in Asia.
The work of ALPHA led Ontario to become the first jurisdiction in the western world to include the history of the Second World War in Asia in the high school curriculum.
Joseph Wong is a family doctor in Toronto with a list of honours and accomplishments far too long to enumerate here.
Aside from his work with ALPHA, he established the largest
non-profit geriatric care center in Toronto, he's a former director of
the United Way for Greater Toronto, and he's a member of the Order of