So you’re a middle-aged German business man, working for Siemens A.G. in Nanking, China in 1938. You’re a member in good standing of the Nazi Party (though you haven’t lived in Germany for almost 30 years) and you begin to see war crimes and atrocities with your own eyes.
What do you do – especially taking into consideration that the war crimes are being perpetrated by the military of a country on friendly terms with your own?
This was the situation of John Rabe, born in Hamburg in 1887 and living in China since 1908.
“Many Westerners were living in the Chinese capital city of the time, as Nanking was until December 1937, conducting trade or on missionary trips. As the Japanese army approached Nanking and initiated bombing raids on the city, all but 22 foreigners fled the city, with 15 American and European missionaries and businessmen forming part of the remaining group. On November 22, 1937, as the Japanese Army advanced on Nanking, Rabe, along with other foreign nationals, organized the International Committee for the Nanking Safety Zone and created the…