The death of Iris Chang

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Karl
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Post by Karl » 11 Sep 2005 16:43

A short note first of all because this is important!

Second of all, Nanjing Massacre is H U G E!…so this will just have to develop, and I think this will capture some mood:

Peter H wrote:Chang's suicide last year may have been prompted by some debunking of her findings?


Any sources for this wild (very cheap shot) and irresponsible speculation.

Also how do you know it was suicide btw.

[And I'm glad Mike that you were interested enough to bring this otherwise much too ignored outrage to the attention of the board again. This tragedy and war crime surely does not get enough.]

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Post by David Thompson » 11 Sep 2005 18:04

Karl -- You remarked:
Peter H wrote:
Chang's suicide last year may have been prompted by some debunking of her findings?

Any sources for this wild (very cheap shot) and irresponsible speculation.

Also how do you know it was suicide btw.

It's a little inconsistent to denounce one question (not a statement) as wild and irresponsible speculation, and then follow it up with a speculative question of your own.

For readers interested in the death of Iris Chang:

Iris Chang's suicide stunned those she tried so hard to help -- the survivors of Japan's 'Rape of Nanking'
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... 9TV0G1.DTL
Nanjing Massacre claims another life
http://atimes.com/atimes/China/FK18Ad02.html
Chang, Interrupted -- The fearless author's suicide made at least one thing clear: her subject matter was far more harrowing than anyone realized.
http://www.sanfranciscomagazine.com/hom ... story/242/
Author Iris Chang found dead from self-inflicted gunshot along Calif. highway
http://www.usatoday.com/life/people/200 ... obit_x.htm
Author described as 'exhausted' before she was found dead: Chang had breakdown earlier this year while researching Bataan Death March
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... 9QGVV1.DTL
Chinese American writer found dead in South Bay
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... 9PKL01.DTL

Speculation on a murder theory discussed at:
Iris Chang Suicide? Not So Fast: Officials Should Be More Responsible
http://www.richardmullenax.com/?page=columns&art=32876
and on the thread "I think the Nanjing Massacre was terrible"
http://bbs.chinadaily.com.cn/forumpost1 ... pid=348537

Karl
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Post by Karl » 12 Sep 2005 01:23

David Thompson wrote:Karl -- You remarked:
Peter H wrote:
Chang's suicide last year may have been prompted by some debunking of her findings?

Any sources for this wild (very cheap shot) and irresponsible speculation.

Also how do you know it was suicide btw.

It's a little inconsistent to denounce one question (not a statement) as wild and irresponsible speculation, and then follow it up with a speculative question of your own.


That was done to show how speculative his short musing was.

Reference:

Western Nationals Who Stayed Or Visited Nanjing, 13 December 1937-Mid-March 1938

01) Frank Tillman Durdin American The New York Times Dec. 13-15
02) Charles Yates McDaniel American Associated Press Dec. 13-16
03) Arthur von Briesen Menken American Paramount Newsreel Dec. 13-15
04) Archibald Trojan Steele American Chicago Daily News Dec. 13-15
05) Leslie C. Smith British Reuters Dec. 13-15
06) John Rabe German Siemens Dec 13-Feb.23
07) Christian Kröger German Carlowitz & Co Dec.13-Jan 23
08) Eduard Sperling German Shanghai Insurance Co Dec.13-
09) Auguste Zautig German Kiesseling & Bader Dec.13-Feb.28
10) Richard Hempel German North Hotel Dec.13-
11) Rupert R. Hatz Austrian Nanjing Safety Zone Dec.13-Feb.28
12) Nicolai Pdshivoloff White Russian Sandgren’s Electricshop Dec. 13-
13) A. Zial White Russian Nanjing Safety Zone Dec.13-
14) Miner Searle Bates American Univ of Nanjing Dec.13-
15) Lewis Strong Casey Smythe American Univ of Nanjing Dec.13-
16) Charles Henry Riggs American Univ of Nanjing Dec.13-
17) Robert Ory Wilson American Univ of Nanjing Hosp Dec.13-
18) Clifford Sharp Trimmer American Univ of Nanjing Hosp Dec.13-
19) Iva Hynds American Univ of Nanjing Hosp Dec.13-
20) Grace Bauer American Univ of Nanjing Hosp Dec.13-
21) Minnie Vautrin American Jinling College Dec.13-
22) George Ashmore Fitch American YMCA Dec.13-Jan 29 Feb.10-20
23) John Gillespie Magee American Amer. Church Mission Dec.13-
24) James Henry McCallum American Unit.Christian Miss.Chur. Dec.13-
25) Wilson Plumer Mills American Northern Presb. Mission Dec.13-
26) Hubert Lafayette Sone American Nanjing Theological Seminary Dec.13-
27) Ernest Herman Forster Americn American Church Mission Dec.13-
28) Bernhard Alp Sindberg Danish Jingnan Cement Works Numerous trips since Dec.13
29) John Moore Allison American American Embassy Jan.6
30) James Espy American American Embassy Jan.6
31) Archibald Alexander McFadyen, Jr. American American Embassy Jan.6-Mar.13
32) John M. Sheehan American USS Oahu Jan.7, Feb.17,23
33) H.I. Prideaux-Brune British British Embassy Jan.9-29
34) W.A.Lovat-Fraser British British Embassy Jan.9-16
35) Georg Rosen German German Embassy Jan.9-
36) Paul Scharffenberg German German Embassy Jan.9-
37) Alfred Huerter German German Embassy Jan.9-
38) J.S. Wasler British British Embassy Jan.12-16
39) Naval Radio Operator American American Embassy Jan.19-
40) Stanley Bishoprick American China Export & Import Lumber Co. Jan.23-Feb.6
41) E.W. Jeffery British British Embassy Jan.27-
42) Walter Henry Williams British British Embassy Jan.27-
43) Ferrolo Italian Italian Embassy Jan.29-?
44) Prinela Gozio Italian Italian Embassy Jan.29-?
45) Medical Officer American USS Oahu Feb.17
46) J.F. Armstrong British HMS Bee Feb.17
47) Hendrick Bos Dutch Netherlands Legation Feb.8-12
48) James F. Kearney American American Jesuit Mission Feb.11-13
49) French Air Attaché French French Embassy Feb.11-13
50) Richard Freeman Brady American Univ Hospital Feb.21
51) George Atcheson American American Embassy Mar.11-13

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Kim Sung
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Who killed Iris Chang?????

Post by Kim Sung » 13 Sep 2005 05:09

Peter H wrote:Thanks--it is a first rate article.

Chang's suicide last year may have been prompted by some debunking of her findings?


No. Absolutely no. She believed what she wrote until the last day of her life. It is reported that she was constantly molested by Japanese right wing members' murder threats.


http://www.sszg.com/2004/11-15/10101781452.html

张纯如生前多次遭恐吓威胁 - Iris Chang was constantly threatened and blackmailed when she was alive.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2004-11-15 10:10:17 点击次数:280


  《南京大屠杀》一书的作者、36岁的青年作家张纯如突然自杀身亡的消息,震惊了纽约华人社区。熟悉张纯如的华裔人士认为,张纯如以其追求历史真相的勇气和才华,重新揭示了二次世界大战中发生在中国的那段悲惨历史。但随后她不断收到的威胁信件和电话,使得她一直生活在恐惧之中,忧郁症不断加深。

*英才辞世纽约痛悼* - It's sad to lose an intelligent young person.

星期六,亚太事务研究中心在纽约法拉盛举行张纯如追悼会。一些熟悉张纯如的人士在会上高度评价张纯如作为一名有影响力的作家和优秀的年轻历史学家在短短一生中做出的成就,其中最重要的是《南京大屠杀:一场被遗忘的浩劫》一书的出版,使这一原先不为西方世界重视的历史事件引起了美国主流社会的关注。

*美国198报刊刊登自杀消息* - 198 American newspapers reported the news of her suicide.

国际笔会成员、作家丛苏说,全美国有198个书报杂志刊登了张纯如自杀身亡的消息,可见她的影响力之大。而她最出名的书就是在纽约时报高居最畅销排行榜达2个月之久的《南京大屠杀》。丛苏说,因为她的这本书,使这一历史事件进入了英文世界的视野。

*张纯如着作影响深远* Her influence was very deep.

亚太事务研究中心负责人陈宪忠是纽约最早的对日索赔组织的负责人之一。他说,张纯如的书是他们将近20年辛勤播种后的开花结果。他说:“我们所有人做的都不如张纯如一个人的影响力大”。

陈宪忠说:“像她这样有才气的人,这样逝世对中国人实在是莫大莫大的损失。这本书的影响非常大,我们做了这么多年都没有她这本书的效力大。”

*勇敢揭示华裔在美经历* - She adamantly wrote about Chinese experience in the United States.

着名记录电影制作人崔明慧说,如果一个人要永生,就必须生活得有意义,张纯如做到了这一点。她留下了丰富的遗产。崔明慧说:“张纯如是第二代美籍华裔。她不仅勇敢地探索了中国的历史事件,也揭示了华裔在美国的经历。我想她应该可以安息。”

张纯如去年出版了她的第三本书《华裔美国人》,讲述了中国移民的历史以及他们的后代在美国生活的状况。《洛杉矶时报书评》称此书既是华人移民的故事,又是美国史诗的一部份。张纯如的第一部着作《春蚕吐丝》讲述了中国的导弹之父钱学森在麦卡锡主义浪潮下的遭遇。

*精神忧郁症可能导致自杀* Depression may have caused her suicide.

在追悼会上发言的人士,对于这样一位年轻的作家、人权和社会活动家以自杀方式结束自己的生命感到不可理解。他们认为,可能导致张纯如自杀的精神忧郁症同她的《南京大屠杀》一书出版后受到的不为外人所知的沉重压力有着密切关系。

*恐吓信和电话似来自日本右翼人士* -Japanese right wing members sent blackmailing letters and telephone calls.

纽约大学电影系主任崔明慧说,2003年夏天,她为拍摄钱学森一片采访过张纯如。在采访过程中,崔明慧了解到张纯如在《南京大屠杀》出版之后,不断收到疑似日本右翼人士的恐吓信和电话。这些年来她一直生活在恐惧之中,直到她用手枪结束了自己的生命。

崔明慧说:“有人打电话、写威胁信,她都自己承受着,她把这些事情告诉了我,告诉了她的律师。我认为这就是为什么她会有一把枪。”

*张纯如不敢透露家庭信息* She coudn't tell about her family, (because of murder threats)

崔明慧说,这些威胁信和电话,使得张纯如不断变换电话号码,平时不敢打电话,只用电子信件联络,甚至不敢在家里接受采访,不敢向朋友透露丈夫和孩子的信息。崔明慧说,她曾问起张纯如。

崔明慧说:“我说没想到你结婚有孩子。她说是啊,我有个小孩子。她说最好不要告诉别人。我说为什么呢?她说,她非常担心他的安全。在车子里,她再次跟我讲,她收到很多神秘的信和电话,心里非常非常紧张。”

*日右翼势力攻击张纯如* - Japanese right wing members attacked Iris Chang.

纪念《南京大屠杀》受难同胞联合会顾问、医生姜国镇说,《南京大屠杀》在日本出版受到多方阻挠,原先答应出版的出版社,因为受到威胁取消了出版计划。后来此书由一家左派出版社出版后又遭日本右翼势力的攻击。

姜国镇说:“她当时承受的压力非常大,日本的右翼不仅在文章上攻击她,报纸上攻击她,甚至人身攻击非常厉害,骂了很多不好听的话。”

*张纯如:真相不可毁灭* - Iris Chang said nobody can distort the truth.

星期六,许多读过张纯如书的华裔民众,在看了报导后也纷纷前来为她吊唁。会上放映了张纯如1998年3月前来纽约为《南京大屠杀》一书作推广活动时应邀发表演讲的录影。张纯如在演讲中显示了她为追求历史真相锲而不舍的决心。

张纯如说:“我相信最终真相将大白于天下。真相是不可毁灭的,真相是没有国界的,真相是没有政治倾向的。我们大家要同心协力,以确保真相被保存、被牢记。使《南京大屠杀》那样的悲剧永不再发生。”

I'll translate this article later when I have time.

Her 2004 Photos: http://blog.naver.com/kojaka23/80014201084

She was a very beautiful, charming and intelligent Asian woman!!!
Last edited by Kim Sung on 13 Sep 2005 13:38, edited 2 times in total.

Larry D.
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Post by Larry D. » 13 Sep 2005 13:09

Thanks for the photos, killchola. I agree with your comments. I have had great respect and fondness for Iris Chang since I read her book 7 or 8 years ago, mainly for her intellect and perseverence. I didn't know until recently that she was married to a non-Asian and had a young daughter, nor did I know that she had been continually threatened by Japanese fascists and militarists. She was a brave lady and I was shocked and saddened when I learned of her death last November.

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Post by michael mills » 14 Sep 2005 01:01

It seems unlikely to me that Iris Chang's suicide had anything to do with her writings, her political and historical opinions, or any reaction to them, either positive or negative.

It is far more likely that it was due to reasons stemming from her personal life, perhaps clinical depression combined with possible relationship problems. Propagandists do not commit suicide because of the occasional blast of counter-propaganda; rather they see it as confirmation of their self-worth and a justification of their "struggle".

I would doubt that empty threats from Japanese right-wingers would have had any influence. The Japanese Right is very noisy, and its members drive around the streets of Tokyo in loud-speaker vans obtrusively proclaiming their message, but it has very little influence and is generally treated as a joke, although in line with Japanese tradition it is allowed to have its place. To my knowledge the Japanese Right has not succeeded in recent years in killing anyone whose views it disagrees with, certainly not outside Japan.

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Post by michael mills » 14 Sep 2005 01:10

Chang's husband, Brett Douglas, believes that she was already exhausted, emotionally and physically, when she left for Kentucky. She suffered a breakdown shortly after her arrival.

"She was so driven," he said. "On top of the demands of being a working mother, she always pushed herself right to the limit. She would work until she crashed. She pushed herself far beyond what she should have done and had to be taken to the hospital."

After three days of hospitalization in Kentucky, she flew home. Chang soon began seeing a psychiatrist who put her on medication, Douglas said.

"There were up and down periods, but actually, we thought the suicide risk was low," Douglas said. "There had been another time earlier in September, but she seemed to come out of that."

In October, her condition was serious enough that the couple sent their son to live with his paternal grandparents in Illinois.





Chang's agent, Susan Rabiner, said, "She had clinical depression, and it deepened rapidly over a period of about five months. I spoke to her on a regular basis, and recently she told me she couldn't go on with the project. It was clear she was very sad."



The woman was apparently mentally ill, a condition that appears to have been reflected in the often hysterical nature of her writings.

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Kim Sung
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Post by Kim Sung » 14 Sep 2005 17:16

michael mills wrote:It seems unlikely to me that Iris Chang's suicide had anything to do with her writings, her political and historical opinions, or any reaction to them, either positive or negative.


Michael, what you said is explaining only the symptoms of her mental illness, not the cause of her mental disorder. If it had not been for Japanese right wing members' constant death threats, would she have chosen a suicide as an exit from agony in this world?

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 15 Sep 2005 01:59

Chang wrote her book in 1997.Most mental illnesses are progressive and worsen with age.Tales that she feared death threats or she was herself the last victim of Nanking are just that.

Criticisms on her 1997 writings seem to be of the nitpicking variety such as this:

http://www.edogawa-u.ac.jp/~tmkelly/res ... nking.html

The plagiarism issue mentioned by Kelly is also of interest.Kelly taught history at the time in Japan,a minor academic.

This link states she "was diagnosed with "brief reactive psychosis" and possibly bipolar disorder":

http://www.moodswing.org/bpnews/archive/001503.html

michael mills
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Post by michael mills » 15 Sep 2005 02:44

The review of Chang's book is hardly nitpicking.

It accuses her of wholesale plagiarism from a chapter of the book "Japan's Imperial Conspiracy" by David Bergamini.

It casts doubt on whether she actually consulted a lot of the sources on which her book is supposed to be based, and suggests that she merely copied the material from those sources that was published in the Bergamini book.

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 15 Sep 2005 03:26

No mention of the "hysterical nature of her writings" though.

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