John Rabe (November 23, 1882 – January 5, 1950) was a German businessman who is best known for his efforts to stop the atrocities of the Japanese army during the Nanking Occupation and his work to protect and help the Chinese civilians during the event. The Nanking Safety Zone, which he helped to establish, sheltered approximately 200,000 Chinese people from slaughter during the massacre. He officially represented Germany and acted as senior chief of the European–American establishment that remained in Nanking, the Chinese capital at the time, when the city fell to the Japanese troops.
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“Of all the men who were said to be my contemporaries, it seemed to me that John Brown was the only one who had not died.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)