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NFLS Students’ “Class Before Leaving”: Spreading “Seeds of Peace” to All Over the World

NFLS Students’ “Class Before Leaving”: Spreading “Seeds of Peace” to All Over the World

Striking the Peace Bell, visiting the exhibition on the historical facts of Nanjing Massacre, listening to historical experts and survivors’ stories, and watching the documentary Zhang Chunru. On April 11, 33 NFLS high school graduates went to the Memorial Hall of the Victims in Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders to take part in the 17th activity of the Zijincao International Peace School and have a special history class.

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These students have been admitted to Emory University, Brandeis University, University of Rochester, University of British Columbia, Tsinghua University, Fudan University, Nanjing University, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and other well-known schools at home and abroad. Before leaving, it was of great significance for them to learn the history of Nanjing Massacre.

When the heavy bell rang, their heart was touched.

On the morning, the students came to the assembly square, paid silent tribute to the victims and placed flowers before the national public memorial ding. Afterwards, these 34 students struck the Peace Bell, looked back on the history and cherished the memory of the victims.

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Shen Haolin, who has been admitted to Washington University in St. Louis, said, “It was a historic ceremony to strike the Peace Bell. I was impressed when the bell rang, as if I was in those war-ridden years.”

Experts tell about history

The Memorial Hall invited Zhang Sheng, a researcher of the Nanjing Massacre History and International Peace Research Institute and Head of the School of History, Nanjing University, and Wang Weixing, a researcher of the Nanjing Massacre History and International Peace Research Institute and the History Research Institute of Jiangsu Provincial Academy of Social Sciences, to give lectures on Nanjing Massacre in German literature and the Ark in Darkness: Nanjing Safety Zone During the Massacre.


Professor Zhang Sheng showed the students a copy of the Rosen report

Based on the German diplomatic archives, Professor Zhang introduced in detail the German perspective of Nanjing Massacre by Japanese invaders. John Rabe, George Rosen and other Germans used a large amount of irrefutable first-hand materials to record the suffering of the masses and disarmed soldiers, proving that Nanjing Massacre was a historical fact that cannot be erased.


Researcher Wang Weixing

Wang elaborated on the Nanjing Safety Zone for almost 250,000 Chinese refugees set up during the Nanjing Massacre in terms of establishment, general situation and function. “The reason why it was called an ark was that the Nanjing Safety Zone enabled people to see the light in the darkness and the hope in the despair,” he said.

“What were the conditions for refugees to enter the Nanjing Safety Zone?”, “Why the American writer Zhang Chunru committed suicide?” “Did other organization help the refugees in the Safety Zone?” The students listened to the experts and asked questions.

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Face-to-face with survivors

On the afternoon, Liu Minsheng, a survivor of Nanjing Massacre, came to the Memorial Hall to tell of his own experience.


Liu showed the students the scars on his leg

Liu said, “My father was captured and killed by Japanese soldiers in the refugee area of Jinling Women's College of Arts and Science. I was stabbed in the right leg with a bayonet by Japanese soldiers and still bear the scars. It has been more than 80 years since that fateful day but I was still sad to think of my father and the scars on my leg.”

“The war brought us misery and suffering, and I hope you firmly remember this history and cherish the hard-won peace of life,” the old man said.

The students’ remarks

After touching the history of Nanjing Massacre from different perspectives, the students had a deeper understanding of the history and expressed their feelings.

Lu Yisu, who will go to University of British Columbia, said that the future of a country depends largely on how it faces its own history. “A nation must have experienced pain and struggle in its development, and I went through that process to live in the era of peace and happiness, so I must cherish the good life now.”

Like the seeds of peace, the students have taken root all over the world. “I will tell my classmates and friends the truest history of my hometown and pass on peace, kindness and love to the world. Of course, I will also introduce the Memorial Hall to them and recommend them to visit here.”

You are like 'the seeds of peace' spreading all over the world 

Ling Xi, Deputy Director of the Memorial Hall, attended the graduation ceremony and sent his words:

His words

You're going away. With the answer of “where I am going”, you should be clear about “who I am and where I come from.” You will depart from Nanjing, and you should deeply understand the 2,500-year history of Nanjing and the experience of the city. It is very hard for you to study abroad, and I hope you have as strong spirit as the city.

You should follow the school mott Chinese spirit and global vision. You are like the seeds of peace that Nanjing has spread all over the over. I hope you tell more people Nanjing Massacre and pass on the philosophy of cherishing peace to more people.


Ling granted the certificate of “peace envoy” to the 34 students

Chinese spirit and global vision

Secretary Liu Qianshu of the NFLS Party Committee said that this was not only a history class, but also a special ideological and political course. General Secretary Xi Jinping said that we should promote the reform and innovation of the ideological and political theory course. Senior 3rd graders are set to go their separate ways, and many of them will study abroad. It was necessary for these students to have a special and impressive ideological and political class before they leave.

Nanjing Massacre was not only the history of Nanjing, but also the history of the world. Not only the Nanjing people but also the national people and even the people around the world should know about it. As a NFLS graduate, we hope they have a deeper understanding of the history, view it accurately and objectively, and introduce it to more people in their own way. At the same time, we hope the class enabled the students to remember history, cherish peace, arouse the students' patriotic enthusiasm, make them realize their mission and social responsibility, and become a modern man with Chinese spirit and global vision, said Secretary Liu.

Remembering history

Cherishing peace

In the face of these young people

We see a bright future