A pawn shop owner is going extremely viral on TikTok after discovering what he says are never-before-seen World War 2 photos and wants help getting them into a museum, but not everyone is convinced the find is as special as he thinks.
TikToker Pawn Man has amassed a decent following by documenting rare items he’s found, but never in his life did he expect to unearth photos from World War 2.
According to Pawn Man, a client reached out to him with an old book of photos that had been in their family for years and were looking to sell it.
After going through some of the professional photos inside, they quickly go from being nice shots from China and South East Asia to much more WW2-focused and when he got to a certain page, he literally screamed.
TikToker unearths “rare” Nanjing Massacre WW2 photos
Eventually, as he flipped through the album, Pawn Man explained he would not be able to show other pictures on TikTok due to its content, but revealed he was shocked with what he found.
“When I got that book on Monday and I opened it up and I got on that page, I screamed.
“Somehow, that guy who took those photos was present for [Nanjing Massacre],” he explained. “He took around 30 photographs that are unknown to history.”
(click here if TikTok fails to load)
The TikToker went on to describe the images as “worse than anything” he’s ever seen on the internet.
He further detailed how he majored in Japanese history and remembered his professors telling him that a lot of the evidence had been destroyed, which makes these photos very rare.
Pawn Man continued to ask his fans for help, stressing how the photos are probably very expensive and needs a museum to take them.
“This is the most IMPORTANT historical find of my career and I need to get this to a special place where it can be preserved, studied, and talked about,” he explained on Facebook, hoping for his video to blow up to some proper channels will contact him.
So far, it’s done just that, amassing over 9.4 million views in under a day, but such claims have also resulted in some historians saying the find isn’t unique.
Fake History Hunter on Twitter made a thread explaining how the album seems to be common and some have even seen the photos inside before.
“So what have we got here? An album filled by sailors with photos they took and stuff they found during their tour, it’s a souvenir album,” they wrote.
In any case, if there is one thing that both Pawn Man and Fake History Hunter can agree on, it’s that the Nanjing Massacre needs to be remembered.