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John Rabe

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John Rabe (November 23, 1882January 5, 1950) was a German businessman who rescued more than 50,000 Chinese from slaughter during the Nanjing Massacre.

Born in Hamburg, Germany, Rabe pursued a career in business and went to Africa for several years. In 1908 he left for China, since 1910 he worked for the Siemens AG China Corporation in Beijing and later Nanjing. During the siege of Nanjing in November 22, 1937, Rabe, along with other foreign nationals, organized the International Committee and drew up Safety Zones to provide Chinese refugees with food and shelter upon the impending Japanese slaughter. The zones were located on all of the foreign embassies and at Nanjing University. Rabe also opened up his properties to help 650 more refugees. The following massacre would kill more than 250,000 people, while Rabe and his zone administrators tried frantically to stop the atrocities. Although he tried to appeal to the Japanese by using his Nazi membership credentials, this had little effect.

On February 28, 1938 Rabe left Nanjing, travelling to Shanghai and then back to Germany. He showed films and photographs of Japanese atrocities in lecture presentations in Berlin and wrote to Adolf Hitler to use his influence to persuade the Japanese to stop any more inhumane violence. However, Rabe was detained and interrogated by the Gestapo. Due to the intervention of Siemens AG, he was released. He was allowed to keep evidence of the massacre, excluding the film, but was not allowed to lecture or write on the subject. Rabe would continue working for Siemens, which posted him briefly to the safety of Afghanistan. Until 1945 Rabe worked in the Berlin headquarter of the company.

After the war, Rabe was denounced for his Nazi Party membership and arrested by the Russians first and then by the British. However, following investigations exonerated him of any wrongdoing. He was formally "de-Nazified" by the Allies in June 1946 but lived in poverty. Rabe was partly supported by the monthly food and money parcels sent by the Chinese government for his actions during the Rape of Nanjing. In 1950, Rabe died of a stroke.

His war-time diaries are published in English as The Good Man of Nanking (original German title: Der gute Deutsche von Nanking).de:John Rabe zh:约翰·拉贝

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