Oldest survivor of Nanking massacre dies at 100, just before memorial day

Guan Guangjing was 20 when Japanese soldiers captured the city in 1937

PUBLISHED : Monday, 11 December, 2017, 3:54pm
UPDATED : Monday, 11 December, 2017, 7:55pm

The oldest survivor of the 1937 Nanking massacre died on Sunday at the age of 100, China’s state media reported, just days before the 80th anniversary of the mass killings on Wednesday.

There are now fewer than 100 survivors still alive, China News Service reported on Sunday.

Guan Guangjing was 20 when the massacre began on December 13, 1937 – the day the Japanese captured the city now known as Nanjing, which was then the capital of China under the Nationalist government of Chiang Kai-shek.

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The massacre occurred over a period of six weeks during the Sino-Japanese war (1937-45). The death toll has never been conclusively established, but China’s official estimate puts it at more than 300,000.

Guan had talked about seeing Japanese soldiers killing civilians after they occupied the city, according to the report.

He earned a living making and repairing buckets and his family was recognised by the local government for their contribution to society.

A decade ago, at the age of 90, Guan visited the Nanking massacre memorial hall, the report said. The memorial opened in 1985 on the site of one of the mass killings.

His family told the news outlet they would donate Guan’s paper fan, watch and tea flask, which he used for many years, to the memorial hall.

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