Testimonial Matysik

Catherine Matysik
Fair Lawn High School, Fair Lawn, New Jersey
2007 China Study Tour Participant 

It is hard to write about the experience of this study tour. I would have to write a book in order to give justice to all we accomplished in those 17 days.

After meeting the survivors, I still could not imagine what their lives must have been like during WWII. For example, this was the account from survivor Grandma Xia Shuqin: When the Japanese arrived in Nanking, they were going from house to house murdering, raping, and stealing. The Japanese soldiers knocked on Grandma Xia’s door and her father answered. The soldiers immediately killed Grandma Xia’s father, sisters and grandparents. Her baby sister was thrown out the window and shot. Her mother was raped and then murdered. Xia was stabbed in the shoulder and in the back through her ribs. Grandma Xia had passed out and presumed dead by the Japanese. When Grandma Xia woke up, everyone but her 4-year old sister, who was hiding in the closet, was dead.

I have no idea how they can go on day by day, always reliving these tragedies in their heads.

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