The Good Nazi Of Nanking

“If you saw a dog going to be crushed under a car, wouldn’t you help him?” —Oskar Schindler

In a Nutshell

When Japanese troops flooded the city of Nanking, embarking on an orgy of rape, murder, and wholesale destruction, a local Nazi official risked his life to save thousands of civilians. His name: John Rabe.

The Whole Bushel

In the dark days leading up to WWII, the Japanese army embarked on a sustained campaign of violence against the Chinese residents of Nanking. For four months, troops ran amok. Women were raped with broken glass. Men were herded up and bayonetted to death, set on fire, or buried alive. People were hacked to death in the streets. It was an atrocity unparalleled in modern warfare—and only one man stood up to it.

At the time the city fell, the local branch of the Nazi party was run by John Rabe, a German businessman. Shocked by the actions of the Japanese, he worked with local missionaries to establish an “international zone”—an area free from the violence infecting the city. Up to 250,000 civilians were protected there, with Rabe turning his personal property into a refuge for another 650. But his bravest acts came at night. Patrolling the streets armed only with his party uniform and swastika, Rabe managed to face down dozens of armed Japanese single-handedly, saving countless lives.

By March 1937, 300,000 Chinese civilians were dead and Nanking was in ruins. Japanese troops went from house to house, shooting anything that moved. At one point, 200 were killed in less than 10 minutes. In one night alone, over 1,000 women were raped. Yet Rabe managed to save nearly all 250,000 in his international zone. Despite being an ardent Nazi, in the end it was his humanity that stood out. His tombstone now resides at the site of the massacre—a shrine to his time as the “other” Oskar Schindler.

Show Me The Proof

At the Rape of Nanking: A Nazi Who Saved Lives
Scarred by history: The Rape of Nanjing
The Nazi Leader Who, in 1937, Became the Oskar Schindler of China

  • andres


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    • edzyl blane

      C’MON you are worse than Ni99a

      • N Rey

        At least Ni99a would make some witty reference or have some undertone that, at the very least would give you a bit of a chuckle. This guy is quite the intellectual weakling.

      • andres




  • inconspicuous detective

    well, i guess there were some good ones. some. what’s to be taken from this is that despite the ideology, we’re all human.


      I know this should be obvious but ‘human’ doesn’t constitute goodness at all… it doesn’t constitute anything, other than our biological definition of human.

      Nazism as an ideology could be evil… but the NaziS… well, let’s just say it totally depends on each individual. Some are evil, some are less evil… rarely, some of them turn out to be good. But maybe the whole thing is just a bandwagon- Hitler’s bandwagon, soldiers would kill in the face of officers, of others… but alone? Alone, they aren’t encouraged to be evil anymore, and they can’t stand what they do.

      A gang is made up of cowards… because if they weren’t cowards, they wouldn’t be together in the sh*t (not to be taken literally, you get the point).

      Honestly, maybe everybody considered as an individual… maybe even people like Hitler, if you put him in a remote desert island… is a good person. We just all like to turn evil with other people… sort of the like the reverse of the bystander effect- where one person alone seeing a victim is more likely to help than a hundred people crowding around him/her.

      We are deeply affected by each other… in profound ways.

      • inconspicuous detective

        “we are deeply affected by each other…in profound ways.” and we are also deep down, all exactly the same. same organs, same basic needs and wants, we’re all one race and not many. so despite the ideology, or thoughts, or our individuality, we’re all part of one greater thing: the human race.

        • d_jeffB

          Speak for yourself. My basic needs and wants are profoundly different from those of a psychopath.

          • inconspicuous detective

            i guess you don’t need to eat, sleep, drink….

          • d_jeffB

            Sure. But by that criterion, we’re “deep down, all exactly the same” as rats, or sparrows, or cockroaches. It may be true, but it’s not useful.

          • inconspicuous detective

            technically yes. but by your logic, we’re all different fundamentally from eachother with nothing really in common, and further, one can assume that you’d find fault in some and see superiority in others. that is a logical conclusion to draw based on your statements, though i’m certain you don’t believe in things like this, or rather you wouldn’t openly admit to that here. further still you could argue that based on your previous statements that such things as racism, sexism, ageism, and so forth are all justifable practices to engage in (through discriminatory practices that is).

            so knowing that you’re going to want to correct me where i’m wrong, especially concerning you, i’ll wait for you to explain where you draw the line at “different” and what is and isn’t acceptable and then use it to prove that you don’t actually believe what you said.

        • FILOSOFY

          We are also deep down exactly the same? Totally wrong.

          Literally speaking, I’m pretty sure no single human is physically identical to any other human- to be honest, all that I see IS the same is pretty much just body structure… things like DNA, number of cells… I can go on, are all different.

          Same basic needs and wants? Sure, but the complex needs and wants are totally different. Our personalities, totally different- you have people that would die to save others and people who murder without remorse for money living on the same planet. We are all EXTREMELY different from each other.

          The only valid point you have is that we’re all part of the human race; no offence, but I don’t see how anything else you said is anywhere near true since you mentioned ‘all exactly the same’.

          • inconspicuous detective

            physically identical down the very last cell, organ etc? nope. but overall? you’d be denying the existance of livers, hearts, lungs, intestines, kidneys, and so on then? is that what i’m expected to believe? you wanna talk cellular they all act the same way, have the same basic structure, work in the same way (barring disease and such of course). you really can’t dispute that, at all, unless you wanna dispute medical science and biology along with me, in which case good luck.

            needs, again, food, water, shelter, everyone dies without those. it’s not complex. wants? sure, kinda, but all you really want are to fill those wants and needs by any means possible, and if you can’t you’ll exhaust your way through all of them until you’re equal to this killer, or you die like everyone else.

            we’re different but exactly the same, and i could probably argue both points here. you just gave me the easier one.

          • FILOSOFY

            Your first paragraph:

            You clearly said previously that ‘and we are also deep down, all exactly the same’. How do you want me to interpret that? Do you wish to change your statement? Because as much as it is all sentimental, it’s not true. I’ve said that we have only ‘body structure’ in common, and in your reply you changed your perspective to ‘same basic structure’ from ‘exactly the same’. What are you really trying to say…?

            I don’t get what you’re trying to say after that. I never stated a circumstance… I just said that people are very different from each other in many ways.

            We are no where near ‘exactly the same’, you can say our BODIES are very similar, but our minds? Our experiences? Memories? Personalities? What makes us who we are, and what makes the guy across from the street who he is, is distinct and individual, and different from that of any other.

            Similar does not equal same. We are all different… even just a tiny little bit. It’s a very simple concept… how sophisticated do you want to make it?

          • inconspicuous detective

            deep down, we’re all very human. it’s not like it would matter what you went through in life, for example you’d still die to save someone you really cared about or kill to stop someone from doing the same to you. if you really think we’re different…well on the surface yea. everyone wants to be unique. but everyone can be made to act, think, and feel the same things and in the same ways with the proper guidence. besides, you don’t even believe what you’re saying yourself (not totally anyway). you’re just using the technicality to win this little debate i suppose it is. you’re welcome to do that, which i will confirm you have if you like, i already know what i’m saying is true.

          • FILOSOFY

            “deep down, we’re all very human. it’s not like it would matter what you went through in life, for example you’d still die to save someone you really cared about or kill to stop someone from doing the same to you.”

            That wasn’t your previous point… you said that ‘we’re exactly the same’ which is obviously not true, now you’re just changing it. We’re all very human? Well what can that possibly mean? We’re all humans, part of the species… yes… You’d still die to save someone you really cared about, but there are a ton of people who down right don’t give a crap about others, so yes they are different on the previous level already.

            “besides, you don’t even believe what you’re saying yourself (not totally anyway)”

            I don’t BS. And I don’t know what you’re trying to do here… expose me? Expose what? The truth is we’re different, and that your assertion that we’re exactly the same is not true.

            You can go ahead and abandon that point if you want, but so far you haven’t said anything of the sort and are just continuing. And as always, I don’t know what you’re trying to doing in the second half of your little paragraph… it’s ironic because this doesn’t serve to my ego like you think it does… and right now you’re just look like you’re trying to inflate your own.

            Stick to the point. Right now you’re casually slipping off- your original point was ‘we’re all exactly the same’ which I said was not true, but then you go off about supposedly deep stuff like ‘our feelings actions etc.’… and then accuse me of not knowing what I’m talking about?

            I find inconsistency in your comments. The point was very simple- we are not exactly the same… and yes I’m focusing upon that because you haven’t made a point to change it, and now you’re pretty much slipping into a completely different point than the one I replied to.

            Of course I believe what I’m saying. This very ‘debate’ if you want to call it, can easily serve to describe just how different we each are.

            I’ve already said that the only thing we have in common is pretty much our body structure, and to add, the pool of emotions we all seem to occupy… but that’s it- the very general characteristics, once you get specific you will see we are nowhere near alike each other. Two ants from different parts of the world could be said as more similar than a Caucasion person vs. an Asian person, because we are so much more complex, and that increases the magnitude of the differences.

            So if you have point, say that, because right now you’re just look like you’re using a blank assumption as leverage… you look like you’re talking about yourself. Honestly. If you read closely, I replied to your original point, but you took that reply and made it incompatible by inserting another point. Either you have no idea what you’re talking about or you’re not being honest about what you’re saying.

            I can’t read your mind inconspicuous.

          • inconspicuous detective

            my point was in the first post. we’re all human. argue it if you want but there really is no way around it.

            anyway, i’m leaving this one behind (we both should now). as for the one on china’s sumaritain laws i’d like to add this: i’m walking away from that one as well more on the grounds that i can hardly articulate what i wanna say, plus you’re not having any trouble making good points. a rarity here for me, but i can’t debate today (and yesterday was also a failure, see the list on genocides). it’s been a rough two days. forgive me, usually i can do much better than this.

          • FILOSOFY

            “my point was in the first post. we’re all human. argue it if you want but there really is no way around it”

            Like I said, if you say that’s your point, then I would have agreed. Well you don’t say? I point at a novel, hey that’s a book! I point at a computer, hey that’s a computer! What I disagreed upon was when you said ‘we’re exactly the same’. Just because we’re all human doesn’t mean we’re exactly the same… I think you know that… I just don’t know why you’re even trying to argue against it. I think that you think I disagree with you on something different than that. My points are typically very simple, the explanations are long.

            “anyway, i’m leaving this one behind (we both should now). as for the one on china’s sumaritain laws i’d like to add this: i’m walking away from that one as well more on the grounds that i can hardly articulate what i wanna say, plus you’re not having any trouble making good points. a rarity here for me, but i can’t debate today (and yesterday was also a failure, see the list on genocides). it’s been a rough two days. forgive me, usually i can do much better than this.”

            Peace then. Your point was simple, so was mine. It’s really that easy.

            It won’t make me any more prideful knowing that you’ve had a rough 2 days. But if you wish to move on then I don’t see why not. All I wanted to do was to articulate my own point.

            So to summarize: We’re all human (the humans, are all human), but we’re not all exactly the same.

            All those paragraphs^ for that one line. Sounds like the typical me.

          • inconspicuous detective

            thank you for understanding

          • FILOSOFY

            Yeah no prob.

            Just remember, my points are very simple. I believe in what I say, and if a lengthy explanation is necessary, then I would provide one.

            Good day to you id.

    • malti001

      Human After All

      • FILOSOFY

        Daft Punk is da best.

    • Supbro

      Shutup, you’re really irritating

      • inconspicuous detective

        fuck off, you’re really irritating.

        • Supbro

          Your pompous, know-it-all attitude and comments on almost every list i’ve seen, really grinds my gears. Just shut up and enjoy the lists without voicing your annoying opinions which not one fuck is given about.

          • inconspicuous detective

            then explain why you bothered to respond? because you have given me all your fuck for the day. not positive, but negative, and you still cared enough to say something. whether i’m causing good, bad, informative, or debating commenting to happen i’m causing it. so lay off or you won’t have anyone to whine to

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  • Hillyard

    Sometimes a great tragedy can bring out the humanity in people, even nazis.

  • none

    Fucker,he should just let the japs do that to them.

    • Brp Goyo

  • gillybean

    A testament to the saying that there’s good and bad in all of us. The politics in your life don’t define all that you are.

  • jesper

    His tombstone now resides at the site of the massacre—a shrine to his time as the “other” Oskar Schindler.

    Oskar shindler aint got shit on this dude

  • Steve Kahn

    he wasn’t important enough for a movie because he saved slanty eyed people not jews

    • Bored


    • abbeyfox

      Actually he has been portrayed in a few films about Nanking. There is even a movie titled John Rabe. In the documentary/film “Nanking” he was portrayed by Jurgen Prochnow, an amazing actor.

      • Hotspaghetti

        Oh well. So much for that bigoted response. Many derps were had.

        • George Babbitt

          And how many trailers for that movie did you see during your prime time TV watching?

          • Hotspaghetti

            Who gives a shit. The OP was wrong in making a stupid bigoted assumption. Way to miss the point.

          • George Babbitt

            If by OP, you mean Steve Kahn, then yes, it was offensively put, but not untrue. Hollywood has no interest in that story for the indelicate reason that Steve Kahn voiced. And the movies that abbeyfox spoke of were given little to no marketing.

          • Hotspaghetti

            In *your* market. If all you do is turn on LMN, SyFy, and CNN in Missouri then ya you will miss it.

          • George Babbitt

            That was a very sly culturally based ad hominem attack there. Make your assumptions based on half a sentence, that’s fine, it won’t give you any insight, but it will serve your purposes I imagine.

          • Hotspaghetti

            Ok, totally my fault for that. I can be hardheaded sometimes. You did give me food for thought though. Cheers.

        • Steve Kahn

          he was also famous for his broccoli dishes

  • George Babbitt

    The Jews of the State of Israel would still call for him to be executed today if he was alive.

    • inconspicuous detective

      they often drop their humanity in the name of revenge…or landgrabbing. whichever.

  • rhijulbec

    I agree with ID There is a small spark of good and evil in everyone. I believe most people capable of great good and great evil. Depends on the circumstances. He could easily have been herding people into gas chambers if in a different place.

  • Fameister

    Schindler’sList goddamnit!

  • Eric Mead

    The Japanese treatment of the chinese in WW2 at times made places like Aushwitz look like disneyland.If you want to know more, watch the movie Men Behind The Sun, which documents just a few of the atrocities, and is actually how much of the world first learned of these events.

  • Timone

    Well it’s not on listverse so we can’t call it the other schindler’s list… Schindler’s Nuts? Lol I’m sorry that was in poor taste. In all honesty though great article with a fantastic story.

  • I’m Legend

    It’s not good to judge people according to their membership, we are all different.

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