A pawn shop owner in Minnesota claims to have discovered the long-lost photos during the Nanjing Massacre.
In a video posted on TikTok that has garnered more than 9.5 million views, Evan Kail says a customer sent him an old album containing photos from World War II with the intention of selling it. When he opened the album and inspected its contents, he found disturbing photographs described as having been taken during the December 1937 massacre, which lasted six weeks and saw at least 200,000 Chinese civilians killed by the Imperial Japanese Army.
At first glance, the photos do not seem out of the ordinary.
“The soldier is stationed in Southeast Asia, probably around 1937-1938, and it starts off just fine,” Kyle says. “But the pictures start to get more war-like here.”
“When I got this book on Monday, opened it and got past that page, I screamed,” Kyle says. “In a way, that guy who took those photos, was present at the Nanking rape. He took about 30 unknown date photos worse than anything I’ve seen in color on the internet – these are black and white photos.”
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“I majored in Japanese studies, we covered the rape of Nanking, and I remember my teachers telling me that most of the photographic evidence was destroyed by the Japanese,” he continues. “There are very, very few pictures out there. This guy took pictures of things I read about in books that I didn’t even realize anyone had documented before.”
However, questions about the authenticity of the images currently remain unanswered. For example, the photo album lists the ship on which its owner sailed as the USS Augusta. According to the Naval History and Heritage Command, Augusta Not in Nanking At the time of the massacre, which began on December 13, 1937. Although the ship had previously been to Nanking several times, it was in Shanghai on December 12, about 300 kilometers away, when it attacked the survivors of a gunboat. And three oil tankers sank Japanese naval aircraft north of Nanking.
image via @pawn.man
Furthermore, Khail shared some of his Pictures on TwitterMost of them are very graphic. They depict beheadings, corpses with their hands tied behind their backs, the bodies of a man tied to a pole and an object tortured to death With knives written “Death of a thousand wounds”.
Twitter users were quick to point out that some of the photos shared have been posted online in the past with contexts that conflict with the captions written on the album. Similar photos of the man who was tortured to death previously existed Posted onlinee It was described as depicting the execution of a man named Fu Zulei. A picture of a headless man in public is available as a file stock photos It was listed as “a public execution of a communist in the streets of Nanking 1927.”
Kyle ends his video by calling on viewers to “blast this video so the right channels can see my videos and contact me” in hopes of keeping and studying its contents further.
Featured image via TikTok