The Good Man of Nanking
by John Rabe
A unique and gripping document: the recently discovered diaries of a German businessman, John Rabe, who saved so many lives in the infamous siege of ... Show synopsis A unique and gripping document: the recently discovered diaries of a German businessman, John Rabe, who saved so many lives in the infamous siege of Nanking in 1937 that he is now honored as the Oskar Schindler of China. As the Japanese army closed in on the city and all foreigners were ordered to evacuate, Rabe felt it would shame him before his Chinese workers and dishonor the Fatherland if he abandoned them. Sending his wife to the north, he mobilized the remaining Westerners in Nanking and organized an "International Safety Zone" within which all unarmed Chinese were to be -- by virtue of Germany's pact with Japan -- guaranteed safety. As hundreds of thousands of Chinese streamed into the city, the Japanese army began torturing, raping, and massacring them in untold numbers. All that stood between the Chinese and certain slaughter was Rabe and his committee, and it is thought that he saved more than 250,000 lives. When the siege lifted in 1938 and Rabe finally felt able to leave, the Chinese gave him a banner that called him their Living Buddha, or Saint. Back home in Germany, he wrote Adolf Hitler to describe the Japanese atrocities he had witnessed. Two days later, the Gestapo arrested him. He was not sent to the camps. As it turned out, Rabe survived the war and the starvation that followed because the Chinese government learned that he was alive, and Madame Chiang Kai-shek had food parcels sent to him.