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HCTS Stadtgespräch about the Massacre in Nanjing

Jan 08, 2018

On Wednesday, January 17, at 4 pm, the newly established series "HCTS Stadtgespräch" continued with an event at the Kulturhaus Karlstorbahnhof in Heidelberg. The event "Im Gedenken: 80 Jahre nach dem Massaker von Nanjing", featured readings, a movie presentation and a panel discussion with Thomas Rabe and researchers from Heidelberg University.

The HCTS Stadtgespräch focused on the Nanjing Massacre that started, when on December 13, 1937, the then Chinese capital Nanjing fell to the Japanese army. In the weeks that followed, many atrocities were committed to the Chinese population of the city. This period in time was later coined the Massacre in Nanjing. In this difficult time, however, some people advocated protecting the city's population from harm. Among them was the German John Rabe, who then worked for Siemens AG in Nanjing.

The event opened with a reading about the Nanjing massacre and its cultural adaptions in memoires, graphic novels, comic books, schoolbooks and documentaries. The reading was followed by a panel discussion on how to “read” Nanjing and the massacre. The panelists were Thomas Rabe, grandson of John Rabe and head of the John Rabe Communication Center, Hans Martin Krämer, Professor at the Institute for Japanese Studies, Anja Senz, Professor at the Institute for Chinese Studies and Andrea Edel, Head of the Cultural Office of the City of Heidelberg and of the Project UNESCO Creative City Heidelberg / City of Literature. They discussed their readings and interpretations on the topic.

Barbara Mittler, Acting Director of the Cluster “Asia and Europe” and the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies (HCTS) moderated the discussion that functioned as a response to the readings. After the panel discussion, the movie “City of Life and Death” (CN, HK 2009) by director Chuan Lu was screened at the Karlstorkino.

This event was organized by the Heidelberg Center for Transcultural Studies (HCTS) in cooperation with the Heidelberg Institute for Chinese Studies, the Konfuzius-Institut e.V. at Heidelberg University, the Office for Cultural Activities of the city of Heidelberg and the Karlstorkino Heidelberg.


The event was held in German and tookplace in connection with the UNESCO City of Literature of the city of Heidelberg. Please find more information on the Cluster's  eventpage or on the homepage of the Karlstorkino.

The HCTS Stadtgespräch was initiated in 2017 to establish a lasting connection with the city of Heidelberg and its citizens. The format seeks to create a platform for dialogue and discussion and wishes for researchers and citizens to come together and connect. The events, which can be lectures, discussions, film screenings or concerts amongst others, also always include a representative of the city of Heidelberg and take place in well-known places across the town.


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