In Thursday’s San Jose Mercury News, the newspaper reports, on the eve of the premiere of the documentary “Nanking,”the efforts of a group of engineers who started back in 1992 and helped author Iris Chang research her book, in the article “‘Nanking’: How valley engineers raised awareness of ‘forgotten holocaust’”
“Over the years, a handful of organizations struggled to shed more light on the atrocities of Japanese invaders throughout Asia. That hunger finally found its infrastructure in Silicon Valley. More than 15 years ago, employing database software and the nascent power of the Internet, a small group of engineers came together to build a network that eventually reached around the world. “I helped HP build its first relational database,” said Ding, a computer scientist who worked first for IBM, then for Hewlett-Packard. “That’s what we used, too.” But the breakthrough moment came when Chang, a writer who had already begun researching the invasion, found the group in 1994. With their help, she went on to write her book “The Rape of Nanking,” which lingered on the New York Times bestseller list for 10 weeks and lofted the tragedy back into the world’s eye…. Early Web sites, wireless communication devices and a laptop-toting membership characterized the group….“Iris used to say that ‘with 10 keyboard clicks, they can reach 345,000 of the most active, committed Chinese-Americans and tell them what was going on,’ ” said Susan Rabiner, Chang’s friend and former editor.
I thought the article did an excellent job of showcasing how individuals coming together to use their respective talents for a common goal uplifting. The article also states a fact that I didn’t really know or comprehend about the Japanese invasion of mainland China and World War II – over 35 million Chinese died (Wikipedia puts the figure at 20 million – in either case – a whole lot of people…)