The Legacy of a Forgotten Hero
Yes, he was a Nazi, but he is also a hero. John Rabe, the legendary head of the International Committee, left behind a legacy of remarkable collections of written work, including 2,000 pages of documents of other witnesses, newspaper articles, radio broadcasts, telegrams and photographs that he painstakingly typed, numbered, bound and illustrated¡Xthe evidence of the forgotten massacre. His diaries were found ten years after his death, and passed down through his family members. The diaries did not surface until 1996 when they were publicized by Rabe's granddaughter, Ursula Reinhardt, published, and read across the world.
Records of other International Committee members especially of other Nazis were also discovered, but few were made public until the present, probably silenced because of the infamy of "having been Nazis". The discovery of Rabe's documents and diaries has led to the enhancement of the credibility of the Nanjing Massacre, and his wish that "one day, the truth will out" is slowly becoming reality.
In 1997, John Rabe¡¦s tombstone was moved from Berlin to Nanjing at the massacre memorial site in a place of honor, and a bronze bust of Rabe was also erected at the Siemens Firm.
John Rabe, forgotten in many of the records of history, the "Good Man of Nanjing", "Living Buddha of Nanjing", "Oscar Schindler of China", savior of 250,000 people, chairman of the International Committee, and a well-meaning ex-Nazi, is a hero whose voice continues to live in his writings of the stark horror of a forgotten massacre. His legacy continues today reminding us that the lessons of history should not be forgotten.