Nanjing Massacre memorized by Rabe's tombstone in Berlin

BERLIN -- A team from China's Nanjing University held a memorial event by John Rabe's tombstone in Berlin on Saturday to remember the German's heroic action of protecting hundreds of thousands of Chinese in Nanjing during World War II.

Christoph Reinhardt, great-grandson of Rabe, joined the event organized by the "Diaries of John Rabe and the City of Peace" scientific investigation team from Nanjing University.

Reinhardt said: "To forget history is to risk its repetition while commemorating allows us to remember the past and build a peaceful future together." He stressed that the China-Japan relationship must be based on honesty, and the diary of Rabe is one of the most authentic records of the Nanjing Massacre.

After the Japanese Imperial Army captured Nanjing in eastern China on Dec. 13, 1937, the Japanese invaders brutally killed approximately 300,000 Chinese civilians and unarmed soldiers in over six weeks. Later known as the Nanjing Massacre, this episode of history was one of the most barbaric atrocities during World War II.

Rabe, then working as a representative of Siemens during the Japanese occupation of the city, set up an international safety zone with other foreigners and protected civilians from Japanese invaders. That zone saved the lives of around 250,000 Chinese people between 1937 and 1938, and Rabe was dubbed the "Oskar Schindler of China."

During his time in China, Rabe recorded written entries and photographs in his diary, which has become an indispensable source of historical evidence for studying the Nanjing Massacre.

"By making these records public, the truth of history can be recognized by the world," Reinhardt said, adding that "Memory cannot be altered by voting; history is what truly happened, and we must face and remember it."

During the event, Reinhardt and the Chinese students and teachers laid flowers at Rabe's tombstone, paying tribute to this great humanitarian.

Chang Xuan, a team member and teacher at the School of Foreign Studies in Nanjing University, highlighted the significance of jointly memorizing the history with Rabe's descendants on-site.

"Every generation has the responsibility to pass on history and memory to prevent repeating past mistakes," Chang said, adding that "Rabe's spirit of great love and pursuit of peace is a valuable legacy for every generation to learn from."

"Being able to come to Berlin today to pay respects to Rabe has fulfilled a long-held wish for me and our team. This is not only a tribute to history but also a commitment to peace," said Lei Qianhao, an undergraduate from the School of Journalism and Communication at Nanjing University.

"Rabe's story also echoes the Chinese traditional cultural spirit of mutual support and is a vivid practice of building a community with a shared future. In the face of the current complex international situation, we should revive this belief and contribute the strength of youth to peace," Lei stressed.

The Diaries of John Rabe and the City of Peace scientific investigation team was established in 2021 and has been dedicated to uncovering the historical details of the Nanjing Massacre while actively promoting peace.

Source: China Daily

Nanjing Massacre memorized by Rabe's tombstone in Berlin - World -