Very few people know the significance of the phrase Nanjing Massacre. Few are able to recall the devastating image of this city in China. The name “John Rabe,” is even less known to most. What do these have in common? They are both obscure historical names, whose stories have been forgotten and still remain unclear to this day. Yet, it is shocking how such a tragic event as the Nanjing Massacre or a magnanimous person like John Rabe could simply vanish from the pages of history.
History should not be forgotten, nor repeated, but it must be learned from lest it be repeated. The Nanjing Massacre is a holocaust which occurred even before World War II in which hundreds of thousands of innocent people perished. John Rabe was the man who saved hundreds of thousands of refugees by means of creating the Nanjing Safety Zone and the International Committee. He was a German and most ironically, a Nazi. But his political status must not throw a shadow on his works of humanitarianism in one of the darkest corners of history. Risking his own life and looking only to save others from death, torture, and rape, he is the “Oscar Schindler of China”, the “Living Buddha of Nanjing”, the “Good Nazi”—he is John Rabe, a forgotten hero from a forgotten tragedy in history.