Cheng Benhua: Her Defiance, Resistance and Valor in one Photograph

Chinese resistance fighter 1938
Fighting for the Chinese resistance against the Japanese invasion of China in the late 1930s, Cheng was already a trained scout by her middle school years. She had been engaged to be married to another fighter named Liu, when he was killed by the Japanese. She continued her scouting until captured by the Japanese in 1938 where she was tortured for days and raped by her captors. The photo was taken right before her execution by bayonet. This photo captures the essence of her resolve and valor in the face of certain death as her mocking smile towards her captors surpasses her fear. A statue of her stands in Nanjing to this day.

Although she did not live past age 24, her bravery and defiance will live forever. Valor is in you. Set it free.

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