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John Rabe
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    (November 23, 1882-January 5, 1950)
    Born in Hamburg, Germany
    Birth name was John Heinrich Detlev Rabe
    German businessman, Nazi Party member, and representative of the Nanking chapter of Siemens AG
    Established the Nanking Safety Zone, sheltering the city's residents from the Japanese invaders
    Credited with saving between 200,000 and 250,000 Chinese civilians during the infamous 'Rape of Nanking' massacre of 1937-1938
    Officially represented Germany and acted as senior chief of the European–American establishment that remained in Nanjing
    Formally declared 'de-Nazified' by the British in June 3, 1946
    Came to national attention with the publication of Chinese-American historian Iris Chang's 'The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II' (1997)
    Tombstone was moved from Berlin to Nanjing, where it received a place of honor at the massacre memorial site (1997)
    War-time diaries were published, in 1998, as 'The Good German of Nanking' (or 'The Good Man of Nanking')
    Residential home in Nanking was renovated, in 2005, and reopened as 'The John Rabe and International Safety Zone Memorial Hall,' which opened in 2006
    Portrayed by Ulrich Tukur in Florian Gallenberger's 'John Rabe' (2009)
    His last name sounds like 'rabies.'
    He was called 'a living Buddha' (actually meant as a compliment).
    He is the token 'good guy' for Nazi sympathizers and apologists.
    He tends to get sole credit for the Nanking Safety Zone when it was an international effort.
    His membership of the Nazi party ironically factored into the decision to elect him the leader of the Nanking Safety Zone (the Japanese-German bilateral Anti-Comintern Act ensured him diplomatic immunity).
    He naively wrote to a letter to Chancellor Hitler pleading him to intercede on the behalf of the Chinese people. Uncle Adolf couldn't be bothered (the letter was intercepted by the Gestapo anyway).
    It was never entirely clear what he thought about the Nazis' treatment of the Jews. Presumably, he would have disapproved of the 'Nazi Final Solution' if he knew about it, although his writings suggest he might have held anti-Semitic leanings.
    Iris Chang's Amiannoying profile strangely claims that he dubbed her 'the Oskar Schindler of Nanking' (impossible because she wasn't even alive during his own lifetime).
    Iris Chang dubbed HIM the 'Oskar Schindler of Nanking' (although the title was initially bestowed on him in jest by a British newspaper).
    His status as a 'loyal' Nazi officer resulted in his efforts being brushed under the rug by historians, for years.
    That the Japanese government refused to formally acknowledge that the Nanking massacre was anything more than 'wartime casualties' didn't help much either ('Nanking deniers' painted him as an hypocritical opportunist and coward).
    He was in Nanking when the Nazis came to power and joined the party from China, seemingly out of bureaucratic necessity. He did grow disenchanted with the Nazis' oppressive policies as time went on, however.
    This was evinced by his neglecting to fly a large Nazi flag outside of the Siemens Nanking branch, much to the Nazis' chagrin.
    This, ironically, served as the earliest basis for the Nanking Safety Zone (he urged Chinese civilians to huddle under the flag during preliminary bombing with the knowledge that the Japanese would never bomb the flag of an ally).
    He stayed in Nanking when most of Germany's diplomats chose to flee China to avoid the impending violence (this included his own wife, who was mistakenly reported dead when the ship she boarded was attacked in a Japanese airstrike).
    He opened up his properties to help over 600 additional refugees/prisoners of war. He also worked to prevent the Japanese from raping women/girls in his care.
    He returned to Germany in disgrace, identified by the Gestapo as a 'person of interest' suspected of collaborating with the Chinese government.
    He was prevented from lecturing about the atrocities in China as soon as it became known. The Gestapo confiscated his evidence/diaries and forbade him to ever lecture on the subject again (his documents didn't resurface for decades).
    He eventually left Germany, fleeing first to the Soviet Union, and later to the United Kingdom (only to be detained and intensely interrogated each time).
    He eventually returned to Germany to live in virtual poverty, abandoned by his government colleagues (supporting his family on wild seeds and dry bread).
    When word of this reached the people of Nanking, fundraising efforts raised substantial amounts of money on his behalf to pay off his debts. The Mayor of Nanking, himself, traveled to visit Rabe to deliver food to his family (the donations continued until his death in 1950).

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


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