John Rabe

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John Heinrich Detlef Rabe (November 23, 1882 – January 5, 1950) was a German businessman and Nazi Party member who is best known for his efforts to stop the atrocities of the Japanese army during the Nanking Occupation and his work to protect and help the Chinese civilians during the event. The Nanking Safety Zone, which he helped to establish, sheltered approximately 200,000 Chinese people from slaughter during the massacre.

Quotes[edit]

  • It is not until we tour the city that we learn the extent of destruction. We come across corpses every 100 to 200 yards. The bodies of civilians that I examined had bullet holes in their backs. These people had been presumably fleeing and were shot from behind.
    • 13 December 1937 diary per Woods, John E. (1998). The Good Man of Nanjing: the Diaries of John Rabe. p. 67.
  • Dear commander of the Japanese army in Nanking, We appreciate that the artillerymen of your army didn't attack to the Safety Zone. And we hope to contact with you to make a plan to protect general Chinese citizens who are staying in the Safety Zone... We will be pleased to cooperate with you in anyway to protect general citizens in this city.
    • 14 December 1937 letter per Nihon Senso-shi Shiryo 9, Kawade-shobo Shinsya, Tokyo. 1973, p. 120 [Nanking Anzen-ku To-U An No. 1 Bunsho (Z1)]
  • Two Japanese soldiers have climbed over the garden wall and are about to break into our house. When I appear they give the excuse that they saw two Chinese soldiers climb over the wall. When I show them my party badge, they return the same way. In one of the houses in the narrow street behind my garden wall, a woman was raped, and then wounded in the neck with a bayonet. I managed to get an ambulance so we can take her to Kulou Hospital... Last night up to 1,000 women and girls are said to have been raped, about 100 girls at Ginling Girls' College alone. You hear nothing but rape.
    get the normal city life going as soon as possible. In the latter process we are glad to cooperate in any way we can. But even last night between 8 and 9 p.m. when five Occidental members of our staff and Committee toured the Zone to observe conditions, we did not find any single Japanese patrol either in the Zone or at the entrances!
    • 17 December 1937
  • We are sorry to trouble you again but the sufferings and needs of the 200 000 civilians for whom we are trying to care make it urgent that we try to secure action from your military authorities to stop the present disorder
    • 18 December 1937

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