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The Nanjing Massacre in History and Historiography$
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Joshua Fogel

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780520220065

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520220065.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021

The Challenges of the Nanjing Massacre

The Challenges of the Nanjing Massacre

Reflections on Historical Inquiry

(p.133) 4 The Challenges of the Nanjing Massacre
The Nanjing Massacre in History and Historiography

Daqing Yang

University of California Press

More than a decade ago, a debate about the Nazi Holocaust broke out in West Germany. The historian's debate (Historikerstreit) began when the famous philosopher Jurgen Habermas challenged the attempts by several historians to compare and even link the Nazi crimes with other mass atrocities. The debate about the Nanjing Massacre is therefore necessary to situate it in wider discourse about the nature and function of historical inquiry. Even though there may not be easy solutions to the challenges discussed in this chapter, or a productive way of working toward some answers, it is much more important to learn from the ongoing efforts of historians wrestling with the Holocaust and its representations. Similarly, the debate about the Nanjing Massacre should be a concern to historians because it has implications beyond the narrow confines of regional history.

Keywords:   Nazi Holocaust, Germany, Historikerstreit, Habermas, regional history

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