Skip to comments.Chinese Memorial To 'The Good Nazi' Opens War Wounds
Posted on 12/17/2005 5:37:00 PM PST by blam
Chinese memorial to 'the good Nazi' opens war wounds
By Peter Goff in Beijing
A plan by China to honour "the good Nazi", a German who helped to save hundreds of thousands of civilians from Japanese troops, has reopened a dispute with Tokyo over its lack of atonement for the Second World War.
The Chinese authorities are drawing up plans for a museum dedicated to the memory of John Rabe, who defied the "Rape of Nanking" - a six-week massacre during which an estimated 300,000 Chinese were slaughtered by Japanese soldiers.
Honouring Mr Rabe gives China the chance to draw international attention to Japan's wartime atrocities at a point when relations between the two Asian giants are fraught.
A card-carrying Nazi, Rabe was a China-based Siemens employee in 1937 when the Japanese stormed Nanking, or Nanjing as it is now known. His superiors ordered him to return home, but instead he sent his family back and established a "safety zone" in the city where he offered shelter to terrified Chinese. Using his Nazi credentials, he and a small group of other foreigners kept the Japanese at bay, at considerable risk to themselves, and saved an estimated 250,000 lives.
Rabe wrote a 1,200-page diary that documented the killings and rapes in the city, information that was later used as evidence of war crimes.
The Japanese soldiers "went about raping the women and girls and killing everything and everyone that offered any resistance, attempted to run away from them, or simply happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time," he wrote. "There were girls under the age of eight and women over the age of 70 who were raped and then, in the most brutal way possible, knocked down and beaten up. We found corpses of women on beer glasses and others who had been lanced by bamboo shoots."
Chinese historians estimate that 80,000 girls and women were raped at the time.
"One was powerless against these monsters who were armed to the teeth and who shot down anyone who tried to defend themselves," Rabe wrote. "They only had respect for us foreigners - but nearly every one of us was close to being killed dozens of times. We asked ourselves mutually, 'How much longer can we maintain this bluff?' "
Beijing believes that Japan has never properly atoned for its atrocities. Chinese anger is further fuelled by repeated visits by the Japanese prime minister, Junichiro Koizumi, to the Yasukuni shrine, which honours Japan's war dead including some "Class A" war criminals held responsible for the massacre in Nanjing.
Last week, China's premier, Wen Jiabao, cancelled a summit with Mr Koizumi because "Japan won't own up correctly to its history". The shrine visits "seriously hurt the feelings of the Chinese people", he said.
When the pair did finally meet at a signing ceremony of a regional meeting on Wednesday, Mr Wen snubbed the Japanese leader by ignoring his request to borrow his pen.
Several awkward seconds elapsed in front of television cameras before the request was loudly repeated and the Chinese premier pasted on a smile and handed over the implement.
There were mass protests in March outside the Japanese embassy and consulates in China after Japan published a history textbook that glossed over the wartime atrocities. Tensions between the neighbours are exacerbated by other thorny issues, including a territorial dispute over resource-rich islands in the East China Sea and Japan's desire to become a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. China also fears what it sees as a growing nationalistic militarism in Japan.
"Part of the reason to honour John Rabe now is a response to Japan's bad attitude," Jiang Liangqin, a historian at Nanjing University, said. "For example, they honour the war criminals and have never properly said sorry. Some Japanese even deny the massacre took place. We know that Japanese often look down on Chinese and don't believe what we say. Well here is a European who told exactly what happened. We want to bring the world's attention to that."
While the killings were going on, Rabe wrote to Hitler several times begging him to intervene but never got a response. He said later that being based in China meant he was unaware of his leader's heinous plans in Europe.
After the massacre Rabe lectured in wartime Germany about what he had seen and submitted footage of the atrocities to Hitler, but the Fuhrer did not want to hear about Japan's actions. Rabe was detained by the Gestapo for a short period, denounced by the Nazis and barred from giving lectures.
In post-war Germany he was again denounced - this time be being a Nazi Party member - and was arrested first by the Russians and then by the British, but was ultimately exonerated following an investigation. He and his family lived in abject poverty, surviving on occasional care packages posted to him by the grateful people of Nanjing. He died of a stroke in 1950 at the age of 68.
"The people of China will never forget the good German John Rabe, and the other foreigners who helped him," said Ma Guoliang, an 89-year-old woman whose parents were killed by the Japanese. "He saved so many people and yet at any time he could easily have been killed himself. He could have left, but he stayed with us. We called him the living Buddha of Nanking."
One is known by one's deeds.
"He and his family lived in abject poverty, surviving on occasional care packages posted to him by the grateful people of Nanjing"
How often that is the fate of those who would do good in this world.
Meanwhile, Arafat stores away billions in Switzerland and gets a Nobel peace price.
(This world loves its own, and judges by the wrong standards.)
Sounds pretty heroic to me.
The ironic thing is that over the next fifty years if japan had maintained control over China and we had not liberated China millions less Chinese people would have died via murder and famine and torture and China would be a lot wealthier and modern today.
I thin we should let Japan at em again.
Well who knew?, a good Nazi.
"The Japanese soldiers "went about raping the women and girls and killing everything and everyone that offered any resistance, attempted to run away from them, or simply happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time," he wrote."
The rape of maintaining was horrible, but the reason the Chinese are reviving its memory now is to stir up fears of a possible Japanese military invasion at this time. This is driven, not by any Japanese desire to invade Japan, but by the need for Chinese leadership to distract the Chinese people from the devastating poverty that many are experiencing as a result of the new changes in China.
The Chinese are driving the Japanese into a stronger military stand by doing things like sending Chinese subs into Japanese territorial water. As the Japanese military posture, gets stronger, the Chinese government will fan these fears in the Chinese people.
"The rape of maintaining was horrible,"
meant "the rape of Nanking was horrible"
The Chinese Communist Party is nothing if not expert at the use of the psychological sleight of hand in times of ideological crisis.
They were at their most belligerent in the 50s and 60s when they had a barefoot army with no force projection ability whatsoever. Now, they cry openly about their victimhood while they work around the clock to increase their supply of ballistic missiles and establish a blue water navy.
The idea is to distract the world's attention by inviting discussions on events that took place a lifetime ago. As soon as the Chinese relinquish their control of Tibet (where the actions of their soldiers were not appreciably more honorable than the Japanese in Nanjing, according to Tibetan sources) and apologize profusely for their unjust occupation of Eastern Turkestan and Southern Mongolia, then I will stand with them in their quest to acquire a sincere apology for the Japanese.
Thank you, a very interesting read. Herr Rabe was certainly a very complex man.
Therein lays the problem. There is no denying what the Japanese did was horrible. But Mao's Communists would go on to outdo the atrocities at Nanking en masse on a scale unimaginable. Chiang Kai-Shek's Nationalists, had they been able to maintain mainland China to this day, would've been the only political entity that could've, without incredulous hypocrisy, demand an accounting from the Japanese.
It has always been a source of irritation to me that we let the Japanese slide compared to the justice we sought from the Nazis. We have former prisoners of war that are still trying to get justice after being used for slave labor by the japanese in WWII. We should be ashamed of our actions toward this country who initially bombed us and started us on the road to WWII.
We hardly "liberated" China.
One of the reasons Truman decided to use the Atomic bomb was because fully 3/4 of the Japanese Army was stationed in China and it's enviorns, left completely unfought, and with relatively easy passage back to the Japanese main islands.
China's role in the Second World War is hugely misunderstood, particularly by the Chinese themselves. The Chinese Nationalists and Communists spent more time fighting each other than they did the Japanese (when they DID decide to fight), and many Chinese simply collaborated, taking a page from the French playbook.
China's great value was not as a fighting ally of the United States, but as a sponge soaking up Japanese troops and equipment that would have been used against us elsewhere.
The Chinese are making a bid for mastery of the Western Pacific, while at the same time, creating a new bogeyman: the Japanese Invader. It's not hard to do. The Japanese were beastly to the Chinese during the Sino-Japanese War of 1931-45.
This will have a deleterious effect. The Japanese signed a Naval Pact with the Americans in January. The key fact in the Pacific right now is that the U.S. Pacific Fleet and Combined Fleet will basically train to act as one unit, with an eye towards joint operations against the PLAN. Throw in the Royal Australian Navy and the Indian Navy as a possible wild card and I'd say you have the PLAN contained.
However, this doesn't alter the fact that there is an enormous need for a naval construction program here in the U.S..
Be Seeing You,
And the Chicoms own up correctly to their own??
Japan * ping * (kono risuto ni hairitai ka detai wo shirasete kudasai : let me know if you want on or off this list)
We have to be pragmatic, unfortunately. Because Communist China remains the 800-lb bad guy gorilla in the region, the Japanese are the de facto good guys now. Fortunately, it's not nearly as bad a choice when we were backing Saddam's Iraq against Ayatollah Khomeini's Iran in the early '80s.
I am not defending Japan but does China teach about the communist attrocities or is this a one-way street with them? /retorical question
Construct all the ships you want, but where do you get the sailors for them afterwards? As it is now, we have naval superiority, and can achieve air superiority from carriers and land-based aviation around Taiwan right now.
Given help from the Japanese, South Koreans, Aussies and especially the Indians, the Chinese would never get so much as a fishing junk out on the open oceans anywhere around West or Southeast Asia, if hostilities erupted.
What we need is not new construction, although a few new DD(X)'s and some new attack subs would be especially welcome.
"The rape of maintaining was horrible,"
meant "the rape of Nanking was horrible"
Man you must be a fast typist to make that mistake. LOL
Disagree. China is a sham. It is NOT the 800-pound gorilla in the living room.
The "economic miracle" has not reached beyond the coastal cities. 99% of China lives in such reprehensible economic conditions that the addition of a vending machine automatically raises the "economic productivity" of those areas by 1,000%.
When it comes to military power, China can exert influence in it's direct enviorns, but not project power beyond it's borders. Doing such would require an industrial base and logistical capabilities far beyond their current levels.
Civil unrest in China is possible at any moment, and with the advent of the internet, cell phones, satellite phones, 24-hour cable news, cable and satellite TV, and other modern communications, would only be a more effective weapon against the Communist Party. Tianamen Square might actually have succeeded if it had the communications capability afforded by millions of cell phones able to transmit still and live video, e-mail, etc. An informed public, able to communicate, is the most dangerous thing in China.
China is dependant on the flow of Middle Eastern oil, just like we are. It is suceptible to interruptions of that supply, just as we are. We currently patrol the Persian Gulf, the Straits of Oman and the Indian Ocean, and have troops and bases in Iraq. We have the Gulf covered. If China should turn to Iran, however, that may be a problem, but it would be an interesting debate as to whether the Iranians would come to the aid of the (more) godless ex-communists.
China is dependant on the flow of Western, particularly American, investment money, which finances it's apparent economic growth, which is easily turned off at the source (just remove 'permanent' MFN status by act of Congress and tell the Wall Streeter's protecting their bad investments to pound sand). The resulting economic dislocation it would cause in this country would sort itself out in time, but totally destroy the Chinese economy.
China is surrounded by Western-style democracies (South Korea, Japan, India, Australia, The Phillipines) which in the event of war would serve as adversaries or bases for adversaries. China cannot depend on it's allies in the region (North Korea)for aid. The Russians still fear the Chinese more than they fear the West. China stands alone.
China, in other words, is f*cked. We cannot even call them "communists" anymore, since they hardly practice it. Where it not for the Chinese nuclear arsenal, we'd hardly consider them a threat at all.
"However, this doesn't alter the fact that there is an enormous need for a naval construction program here in the U.S."
In the long run, it will alter that fact. The Japanese will take on more of the burdent, reducing ours.
Presumably, they should shoulder some R&D (and provide us with new weapons), which they are at least as capable of as we are.
"Japanese are the de facto good guys now."
Japan is a democracy. They are committing no crimes against their own people or anyone else. They are excellent allies.
Most Japanese who fought in WWII are dead. To hold their children and grandchildren accountable for their actions would be akin to racism.
" if japan had maintained control over China and we had not liberated China millions less Chinese people would have died via murder and famine and torture and China would be a lot wealthier and modern today."
I think you gravely underestimate just how badly the Japanese treated subjected people.
You want to know what China would have looked like if Japan had maintained control over the ensuing fifty years? Think Olongapo, circa 1975.
"Construct all the ships you want, but where do you get the sailors for them afterwards?"
As I understand it, the next generation of Navy ships will require next to 0 sailors, proportionally compared to current ships.
Oskar Schindler was also a "card carrying" Nazi.
"Most Japanese who fought in WWII are dead. To hold their children and grandchildren accountable for their actions would be akin to racism."
I would apply the same argument to those screaming for reparations for slavery in this country. Doesn't seem to work here, I doubt it would work there.
"Japan is a democracy."
Japan is a mercantilist bribe-ocracy.
"Man you must be a fast typist to make that mistake. LOL"
Spoken input, not typed.
"We hardly "liberated" China."
Sure we did. When Japan lost, they had to withdraw their troops from China.
"left completely unfought"
I think those who fought and died with Chiang and Claire Chennault would take strong exception to that.
Spent 11 years in the US Navy. Any job the needs to be done typically requires at least four more sailors than actually necessary because of the paperwork and safety concerns, never mind actually doing the job at hand.
Automation is a wondeful thing (I'm an automation programmer) but occasionally, it fails. The systems that run the automation fails, software upgrades don't work as planned, etc. Of course, you still need people to plug the holes and repair combat damage on this "next generation" of ships, don't you? Who feeds those sailors? Who sees to their medical needs? Who makes sure the machinery is maintained? Who manually operates the ship when the systems fail?
You still need people standing on the deck.
"99% of China lives in such reprehensible economic conditions that the addition of a vending machine automatically raises the "economic productivity" of those areas by 1,000%..."
"China is dependant on the flow of Western, particularly American, investment money, which finances it's apparent economic growth, which is easily turned off at the source (just remove 'permanent' MFN status by act of Congress and tell the Wall Streeter's protecting their bad investments to pound sand). The resulting economic dislocation it would cause in this country would sort itself out in time, but totally destroy the Chinese economy."
I completely agree. I am surprised how many "experts" can't get this fact that is so obvious to you and me. I really consider it a byproduct of the tremendous disinformation campaign our society is subjected to by the Hard Left (on a worldwide basis.)
"I would apply the same argument to those screaming for reparations for slavery in this country"
Not ALL of any group are bad, and not all of any group are good.
It's harder to be good when you're pressured to be bad: This seems to have been a very good man.
I'm sure they would. Perhaps that was a bit literal.
However, Stillwell constantly complained that he couldn't get the Chinese to fight the Japanese rather than each other. When Chinese troops did go into combat, very few units acquitted themselves well.
China stands as the only Ally of World War Two that ended the war with enemy troops still on it's native soil.
"Spent 11 years in the US Navy."
OK. I just read an article somewhere, you actually know something about it.
All I am saying is, the Navy is projecting unbelievable reductions, percentage-wise in the next generation of sailors needed to man the next generation of ships. Repair may be just as labor-intensive, but it seems to me if you cut down the number of sailors on board---the "tail" gets smaller too.
I believe, in fact, the current generation of ships was designed under the philosophy, "Why have a machine do it when sailors are so cheap?" No?
Here's another one:
In the event of war, China's "One Child" Policy would really screw the country up. In Chinese society, the eldest son is responsible for taking care of the parents intheir old age. If enough young men die (i.e. each family's "Little Emperor"), how long do you think it would take for the older generation to take to the streets demanding the end of hostilities?
If I recall properly, China comitted over 1 million men against the UN in Korea and wound up losing 400,000. By my math, that's a 40% casualty rate. With the lethality of modern warfare, I think it would be possible to achieve 60% or greater casualties on any Chinese force with not much effort.
Sailors are not exactly cheap. Good ones require a huge investment in time, money and education to produce. An experienced sailor, regardless of rating or MOS, is a valuable commodity.
It also does not automatically follow that if you reduce the number of men per ship, but then increase the number of ships available (this is one of the selling points of Streetfighter, for example, cheap surge production), you do not necessarily reduce the tail. Particularly if you have to stage them out of overseas bases, which we might have to do in the event of war against China. We wouldn't ncessarily just operate out of Japan, Okinawa and South Korea.
"Sailors are not exactly cheap."
You misunderstood my intent there. I am saying they made a mistake in this regard and now realize it.
The rest of your post is well-taken.
"Stillwell constantly complained "
Yes, he certainly did, when he wasn't putting broomsticks in Chennault's spokes. Yadada yadada yadada, shut the hell up, Vinegar Joe.
Chiang tried to get rid of him from almost the day he arrived.
Have you read "The Flying Tiger," by Jack Samson?
Please send an email to confirm your identity.
I do not mean to run down the Flying Tigers or those Chinese troops that fought alongside Merril's Maruaders at Mytchkina (sp?), for example. All I'm saying is that lives and treasure were expended (opening the Ledo Road, Flying the Hump, Keeping the 14th Air Force supplied, etc)on a scale that far outweighed the Chinese contribution to the overall fighting.
China served best as a magnet for Japanese troops and materiel that would have gone elsewhere.
Chiang played Roosevelt like a fiddle, getting the money, supplies and other aid that he artfully avaoided using against the Japsanese. He instead used it against the Commies, and look where it got him? The fact is that the Chinese Army was rife with corruption, staffed by political cronies and ineffective officers and served mainly by standing in front of the Japanese who had to station troops to merely watch them.
Over 2 million Japanese troops were still in China in August of 1945. No Chinese troops were in Japan, or anyplace else for that matter.
I wasn't making the argument for the state of their economy, but solely when you have a totalitarian government in place with the aformentioned nuclear weaponry, and a population 4 times ours, I'd still call it an 800-lb gorilla.
I probably should not have used "de facto" as a modifier, please excuse me. That being said, they still should not whitewash their history. For the record, I favor the remilitarization of Japan.
What a bizarre, inhumane and irrational statement.
Read Iris Chang's book about the Rape of Nanking and
see if theres a shred of decency in your heart.
I admire your in-your-face attitude toward the Chicoms, but I must disagree with the outcome of your thought experiment.
Japan is an important US ally and a responsible actor on today's international stage. But Japan has a problem with getting fully in touch with the humanity of non-Japanese people (and they have trouble looking honestly at history). My guess is that China under the Japanese would have been horrific beyond description. It gives me no pleasure to say this.
I'll give you an example of what I mean.
I believe it was about 15 years or so ago that the Economis (not exactly America's friend) ran a cartoon in which Saddam Hussein sat astride a nuclear weapon, shouting loudly "We're a Superpower! We're a Superpower!"
The missile was tied with rope to the back of a donkey (or perhaps a camel, I forget).
The point was, simply, that possession of a nuke means nothing when your country cannot even produce it's own food, toilet paper or lacks even rudimentary mineral wealth and the means to turn them into finished products, with indigenous financing, indigenous industry and technical skill. (I will, however, give the CHinese credit for formidible technical skills).
So China has a nuclear arsenal? So what. If China launches nukes, we have the capability to turn it into a self-lighting, glass-topped parking lot for the next 1 million years. The damage they can do, by comparison, is puny (although it would be tragic).
So China has 1 billion+ people? So what. It's still a static society that had to reach outside of it's borders and heritage to find a political philosophy (invented by the same Westerners they despise, no less!). It's still a society in which repression (political and economic) is the rule. It is a society that demands conformity and does not unleash the imaginations and talents of those 1 billion souls. It is a country that still labors under the mistaken impression that it is the center of the universe, and that it's people are a "Master Race", while the reality is on display for everyone to see. China is a cardboard cutout with a glass jaw.
I laugh at China. I laugh even harder that those that fear it because it will collapse from within long before it has to be defeated from without.
I don't think you know what you are talking about.