December 14, 2018



Sequence number:s0311
Date of letter:1993-3-12
Address of author:Xuzhou City, Jiangsu Province
Date of event:1938-05
Location of event:Xuzhou City, Jiangsu Province
Name of author:Zhao Yuhua
Name(s) of victim(s):Zhao Yuhua’s townsmen
Type of atrocity:Other Massacres, Air Bombing(AB, OM)
Other details:In May 1938 the Japanese bombed Xuzhou and committed atrocious crime by burning, killing, raping after occupation of Xuzhou. On May 20, the Japanese searched from house to house and arrested more than 670 people, of which only Liu Zhide survived, while the rest were all killed. My (Zhao Yuhua) houses were also bombed.

Mr. Tong Zeng:

Your reply letter has been received, yet since I was too busy in work, I didn’t give you a prompt reply till now, please forgive me. Currently, is the work proceeding smoothly? According to the scope of Chinese civilian compensation claim against Japan mailed to me by you, I searched the Xuzhou City’s “Xuzhou Daily” (Atrocities of the Japanese Army in Xuzhou) that I have kept a copy, now I made an excerpt to you for your reference:

……In April 1938, after Taierzhuang Battle, the Japanese Invasion Army flew into a rage from shame, and mobilized massive military force to siege Xuzhou, aiming to annihilate KMT large grouped army troops, the enemy was strong and we were weak, the KMT troops were forced to retreat.

Since May 10, the Japanese Army dispatched several hundred sorties of aircrafts to bomb Xuzhou City and its perimeter repeatedly, according to the then “Xinhua Daily”: “On the morning and noon of May 10, Xuzhou received air attacks for four times, the total number of bombs being dropped was over 320, which were mixed with incendiary bombs……On both sides of Jinpu Road, the Japanese Army destroyed more than one thousand civilian houses, over 300 civilians were killed or wounded”. Apart from railway, both sides of railway station and residential quarters with concentrated civilian population in the city, the Japanese Army also wantonly bombed industrial transport facilities, bank buildings and cultural units in the city, e.g. Xuzhou Daily, Xuzhou High School, Xuzhou Women Teacher College and other places.

On May 19, after the Japanese Army occupied Xuzhou, they wantonly burned, killed, raped and looted; the whole city was almost totally plundered with nothing left. Seishirou Itagaki, commander of the Fifth Division of the Japanese Army to occupy Xuzhou on May 20, instructed his subordinates to go to the countryside to burn, kill, and loot in several routes. A group of the Japanese Army moved to Yanwo in Tongshan, and searched every household. Pots, bowls, gourds and ladles were smashed, chicken, ducks, cow and sheep were butchered. Seniors and children who were slow in seeking hideaway were massacred. From 8 o’clock in the morning till 12 o’clock in the noon, over 670 villagers who were captured from the mountains and fields were forced from mountain valleys and reed marsh into Teng’s Szu-ho-yuan courtyard house beside the reed marsh from Yanwo, Xingpo, Wangshan, Lindong villages, respectively imprisoned into northern house and eastern house. The barbarian Japanese Army first committed crime against people in the central room, while splashing petroleum around the house to set fire, they used machine gun to spray anyone rushing out with bullets, the dead bodies in front of the gate were piled high, flesh in house were scorched to emit sizzling sound, blood splashed inside the house; despite being hit by several bullets, 32 year old Liu Zhide climbed over the rooftop to flee to the reed marsh and survived. After killing more than 300 people in the northern house, the Japanese Army again slaughtered those detained in the eastern house. Excluding Liu Zhide and a few others, more than 670 compatriots were all killed, which resulted in the appalling “Yanwo Disaster”.

Furthermore, the Japanese Army also created “Hanwang Tragedy”, and “Luliang Tragedy” in Tongshan, and created “Tushan Tragedy” in Pi County……

I previously lived near the former Xuzhou Railway Station, in that time of wanton bombing by the Japanese Army, a Szu-ho-yuan with over a dozen rooms including assets were totally destroyed by the Japanese bombs and incendiary bombs.

About the atrocities of the Japanese Army, including tragedies in Yanwo and other places, if it is necessary to collect signatures, I have no idea what to do in the next step, today I specially take this opportunity to request your opinion; thinking over the humiliating history in the past, we have the responsibility to win credit for the compatriots who have suffered!

Hoping you can offer help.

Zhao Yuhua
Archive Section of Xuzhou Second Pharmaceutical Factory


Air Bombing(AB), Other Massacres(OM)
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