John H. D. Rabe (1882-1950)
AGerman businessman and Nazi Party member, John Rabe 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. He also opened up his properties to help 650 more refugees. He officially represented Germany and acted as senior chief of the European - American establishment that remained in Nanking, the Chinese capital
nd at the time, when the city fell to the Japanese troops. Rabe suffered from diabetes by the time he was working in Nanking, which required him to have his regular dose of insulin. On February 28, 1938, Rabe left Nanking. He first traveled to Shanghai and then back to Germany, taking with him a large number of source materials documenting the atrocities committed by the Japanese in Nanking. Rabe showed films and photographs in lecture presentations in Berlin and wrote to Hitler to use his influence to persuade the Japanese to stop any further inhumane violence. As a result, Rabe was detained and interrogated by the Gestapo.
In 2005, Rabe's former residence in Nanking (as it then was) was renovated and now accommodates the "John Rabe and International Safety Zone Memorial Hall", which opened in 2006.
John Rabe's tombstone in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China