Hush little baby
The Story Behind This Picture: The story that inspired this picture was told to me by my father who brought it back after he learned of it on a business trip to China. Although he saw the WWII Japanese occupation of China first hand, it wasn't until the eighties or nineties that he learned of the Raping of Nanking. Here's the short version of the story as I remember my father telling it to me:Around the time of WWII, a group of invading soldiers was ordered to kill some civilians. Instead of simply shooting their victims, the soldiers found it more entertaining to take the babies from their mothers' arms, toss the children into the air, and spear them with their bayonets as they fell.
Update Mar 5, 2003. The tradgedy known as the Raping of Nanking occured in late 1937. I haven't found photo evidence of the tossing of babies in order to bayonette them, but there's photo evidence of similar atrocities and widescale death. I'll be getting the book "Rape of Nanking". There's an excellent website with more information, Nanking Massacre. Warning, there are some extremely graphic photos on that site. Note that documentation on that site includes a report from an unbiased third party source (F. Tilman, reporter for the New York Times).
Update Sept 23, 2002. I asked my father to look for the source of the story and as of June 2001 (yes, that's two thousand and one), he was unable to find any. There was a somewhat similar bayonetting incident where adults were tied to stakes (still alive) and used as bayonette practice. I personally saw a photo of that sad incident in the book "The Rape of Nanking". I think my father mentioned a movie depicting the story involving babies. It MIGHT be that the babies story is a dramatization of the adults story. Whatever the truth is, let's hope neither incident ever happens again. Be kind to your fellow humans, ok?
Notes: I had had an idea for a mother & child silhouette a few months before drawing this picture. I had also been planning to do a bayonet scene in some form. Then, while looking for references on flak vests on the web, I ran across the Philadelphia news article on the 1993 "Blackhawk down" incident in Mogadishu. I was sucked into reading the remainder of the story. Afterwards, I didn't feel like working on any of my intended projects.