Holocaust trains were railway transports run by the Deutsche Reichsbahn national railway system under the control of Nazi Germany and its allies, for the purpose of forcible deportation of the Jews, as well as other victims of the Holocaust, to the Nazi concentration, forced labour, and extermination camps.
What was the Underground Railroad during the Second World War?
One example occurred during World War II when people who resisted the Nazis in Europe were called the Underground. Like the Underground Railroad, this network operated secretly to oppose the Nazis. Some members of this Underground helped Jews whom the Nazis wanted to kill.
Why did they name the Underground Railroad?
(Actual underground railroads did not exist until 1863.) According to John Rankin, “It was so called because they who took passage on it disappeared from public view as really as if they had gone into the ground. After the fugitive slaves entered a depot on that road no trace of them could be found.
What did Odessa stand for?
By The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica | View Edit History. Odessa, abbreviation of Organisation Der Ehemaligen Ss-angehörigen, (German: “Organization of Former SS Members”), clandestine escape organization of the SS (q.v.) underground, founded probably in early 1947 in Germany.
What was the Odessa network?
ODESSA is an American codename (from the German: Organisation der ehemaligen SS-Angehörigen, meaning: Organization of Former SS Members) coined in 1946 to cover Nazi underground escape plans at the end of World War II by a group of SS officers with the aim of facilitating secret escape routes, and any directly ensuing
Does the Underground Railroad still exist?
It includes four buildings, two of which were used by Harriet Tubman. Ashtabula County had over thirty known Underground Railroad stations, or safehouses, and many more conductors. Nearly two-thirds of those sites still stand today.
What states was the Underground Railroad?
How the Underground Railroad Worked. Most of the enslaved people helped by the Underground Railroad escaped border states such as Kentucky, Virginia and Maryland. In the deep South, the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 made capturing escaped enslaved people a lucrative business, and there were fewer hiding places for them.
What were two common terms known to be associated with the Underground Railroad?
The code words often used on the Underground Railroad were: “tracks” (routes fixed by abolitionist sympathizers); “stations” or “depots” (hiding places); “conductors” (guides on the Underground Railroad); “agents” (sympathizers who helped the slaves connect to the Railroad); “station masters” (those who hid slaves in
What does freight mean in the Underground Railroad?
Cargo / Freight: Cargo or Freight was the name given to fugitive slaves who received assistance from conductors on the Underground Railroad. Passengers: Passengers was another name give to slaves traveling the escape routes.
Did slaves Follow the North Star?
In the years before and during the U.S. Civil War of the 1860s, escaped slaves fled northward, hiding by day and moving furtively at night. Often their only guide was Polaris, the North Star, which they found by tracing the handle of the Big Dipper constellation, or Drinking Gourd.
Was Odessa File true?
It is based rather loosely on the book, but it brought about the exposure of the real-life “Butcher of Riga”, Eduard Roschmann. After the film was released to the public, he was arrested by the Argentinian police, skipped bail, and fled to Asunción, Paraguay, where he died on 10 August 1977.
What happened in Odessa during ww2?
On October 22, 1941, a bomb exploded in Romanian military headquarters in Odessa. The blast killed 67 people, including the Romanian military commandant, 16 other Romanian officers, and four German naval officers.
Is the movie The Odessa File a true story?
The Odessa File is based on the true story of a freelance journalist, Peter Miller, (played here by Jon Voight) who, purely by chance, ends up being involved in the search for a Nazi war criminal by the name of Eduard Roschmann, also known as the ‘Butcher of Riga’.
Is Odessa Russian or Ukraine?
Odessa or Odesa is an international city in Ukraine and a major seaport and transportation hub located on the northwestern shore of the Black Sea. Odessa is also an administrative centre of the Odessa Oblast and a multiethnic major cultural centre.
Pathways to Freedom
The Underground Railroad
WGBHA For a number of reasons, African-Americans fled slavery in the South to the north. Many slaves were driven to risk their lives in order to escape plantation life because of brutal physical punishment, psychological torture, and countless hours of hard labor without remuneration. When a master passed away, it was customary for slaves to be sold as part of the estate and for familial links to be severed. However, while some slaves journeyed with families or friends, the vast majority traveled alone, relying on the charity of fellow African Americans or abolitionist whites they met along the road for help.
African American men and women of all ages escaped from the plantation and travelled north in search of liberty and opportunity.
- Escape from the deep South and make it north to New York, Massachusetts, or Canada required a trek of hundreds of miles, much of which was done on foot, to get there.
- Runaway slave advertising in local newspapers were routinely issued by plantation owners whose slaves had gotten away.
- Not all fugitive slaves made their way to the North.
- Some runaways created freedmen’s encampments in harsh rural places where they could remain concealed from slave catchers and local law enforcement agencies, while others chose urban settings.
- The trip to freedom for slaves who resided in border states such as Maryland, Kentucky, and Virginia may be short and less terrifying if they lived in one of these states.
- Slaves who resided in areas where they had access to freshwater and saltwater ports were frequently stowed away or employed as crew members on Northbound boats.
- After the enactment of the second Fugitive Slave Act in 1850, escaping from bondage became more difficult than it had ever been.
Federal marshals who failed to enforce the law against fugitive slaves, as well as anybody who assisted them, were subjected to harsh punishment.
Hicksite Quakers and other abolitionists in the North were among those who supplied some of the most organized assistance for the Underground Railroad.
The vast majority of the thousands of slaves who attempted to flee the farms each year were unsuccessful.
Others were escorted back to their homes in chains after being apprehended by law enforcement or professional slave catchers.
In 1791, a statute was established in Upper Canada, which is now Ontario, to progressively phase out slavery over a period of time.
The Underground Railroad thrived in communities such as Rochester and Buffalo, which were close to the boundaries of Upper Canada and were hotbeds of activity. Canada represented the Promised Land for those who had braved the long voyage and all of its difficulties.
Nazi gold train – Wikipedia
Geographical coordinates: 50° 49′ 22′′N16° 18′ 27′′E / 50.82278°N 16.30750°E
|Nazi Gold Train|
|A partially-completed tunnel inProject Riesec. 2014.|
|Location||Central Sudetes, southwestPoland|
|Objective||conceal an armored train loaded with valuables and treasure from theAllies|
|Date||1945 – present|
|Outcome||unresolved; historians consider the story to be false|
It is said that the Nazi gold train, also known as the Wabrzych gold train, was a railway loaded with gold and treasure that was buried by the Nazis in southwest Polandduring the last days of World War II, according to urban legend. According to an apocryphal narrative, a train loaded with treasures, including artwork, was hidden in a sealed-up rail tunnel or mine in the Central Sudetes by fleeing Nazis during World War II. Despite countless searches since 1945, including ones conducted by the Polish Army during the Cold War, no proof of the train, its tracks, or its hidden riches has ever been discovered, and the quest continues.
When two Polish men claimed to have discovered the train using ground-penetrating radar between 2015 and 2018, the train gained renewed global media attention.
Excavations were halted, however, when it was discovered that the anomaly had been caused by natural geology.
The legendary narrative goes that in the latter months of World War II, a Nazi armored train loaded with gold and other valuables left Breslau (nowWroclaw), arrived at the station Wiebodzice (Freiburg in Schlesien), but failed to make it to the next station in Wabrzych (Waldenburg in Schlesien). Several tunnels beneath Castle Ksi and theOwl Mountains, which were part of the unfinished top-secret Nazi construction projectProject Riese, are thought to have been used by the railway. More than 300 t (330 tons) of gold, gems, weaponry, and artistic artifacts were expected to be transported aboard the steam train.
Throughout the period of the Polish People’s Republic (1947–1989), the Polish Armed Forces conducted many searches for the train, but were unsuccessful.
The rumored site of the missing Nazi gold train in the vicinity of Wabrzych. In Wabrzych, at the intersection of Uczniowska Street, there is a railway embankment known as “Zone 65,” on which it is said that the Gold Train is buried. Remains of rail track can be found near “Zone 65.” In late August 2015, news reports began to circulate about two unnamed guys who claimed to have secured a death-bed confession regarding a buried gold train by interrogating the man who had died. Both Piotr Koper and Andreas Richter, co-owners of the mining exploration business XYZ S.C., were eventually identified as Poles Piotr Koper and German Andreas Richter Using attorneys as an intermediary, the two individuals entered into covert discussions with the Polish government in exchange for information leading to the discovery of the train’s location in exchange for a “finders’ fee” of 10 percent of the train’s worth.
Once the paperwork were signed, they would indicate the specific location of the meeting.
Deputy Culture Minister Piotr uchowski of Poland declared on August 28 that ground-penetrating radar photos collected by Koper and Richter had revealed with 99 percent certainty that a train of 100 metres in length had been discovered.
He added that “it is impossible to claim that such a find actually exists at the location indicated based on the documents that have been submitted.” Koper and Richter went public for the first time on September 4, shattering their prior anonymity and allowing the world to see what they had been up to.
- Images collected with a KS-700Ground Penetrating Radar system, which looked to indicate a manmade shaft with something in it that was 50 metres deep, were also shared by the investigators.
- Polish officials cordoned off woods in the vicinity of kilometer 65, as well as stationing police and other security personnel, in order to deny access to the large number of treasure seekers who had arrived armed with detecting equipment.
- The military stated on October 4 that there were no bombs or other risks in the water down to a depth of one metre below ground.
- The first group consisted of Koper and Richter.
- On the 15th of December, the second crew claimed that they had discovered no trace of a train, albeit they had discovered suspected indications of a collapsed tunnel during their search.
“It’s human to make a mistake, but it’s foolish to stay by it.” In May 2016, despite the conclusion of outside experts that there was no train at the site, Koper and Richter were granted permission to begin digging at the site by the property’s owners, Polish State Railways, despite the fact that there was no train there.
- The excavation, which allegedly cost 116,000 euros ($131,000), was sponsored by private donors and carried out with the assistance of volunteers, according to reports.
- The radar photos that were initially supposed to be of the train were later discovered to be natural ice formations.
- Please consider the fact that we have a promotional budget of $380,000 annually.
- Koper and Richter announced their desire to establish a foundation with the goal of gathering funds to drill down to a depth of 20 meters in 2017.
- The excavation crew discovered seven holes during the third search, which took place in June 2017 with the support of a geophysical firm from Warsaw.
- Deep drilling was required as a result of the discovery, which, according to the contractors, would cost at least 100,000 zlotys (about 23,000 euros) in total for the permits and actual excavation.
- Richter resigned from his position as a member of the excavation team in August 2018.
While Koper was never successful in his search for Nazi treasure, he did uncover a series of enormous and “priceless” 16th-century wall paintings concealed behind a plaster wall in an old palace in the hamlet of StruganearWroclaw in January 2019. He was renovating the building at the time.
- The Hungarian Gold Train, Confederate gold, the Amber Room, and Die Glocke (a fake) are all mentioned.
- Take good care of yourself, Rosie (October 5, 2016). “Poland is constructing a duplicate of the Nazi gold train.” AOL Money in the United Kingdom. The original version of this article was published on November 7, 2016. Retrieved2016-10-25
- s^ Lydia Batham is a writer and actress who lives in New York City (October 3, 2016). “Video: A replica of the legendary Nazi gold train is being created in Poland.” Belfast Telegraph, retrieved on October 25, 2016
- “Is the legend a reality? The discovery of a long-lost Nazi “gold train” revitalizes a Polish village “. The Christian Science Monitor published an article on September 4, 2015, with the ISSN 0882-7729. This page was last modified on May 23, 2011. Matthew Day’s etymology (September 4, 2015). “Polish soldiers cordon off the scene of the ‘Nazi gold train,’ as the finders unveil their ‘clear evidence.'” The Daily Telegraph is a British newspaper. Men claim to have discovered a Nazi train filled with treasure in Poland, which was retrieved on September 4, 2015. According to USA Today. The Gannett Company is a media company that publishes newspapers and magazines. The Associated Press published an article on August 20, 2015, titled Jessica Elgot (2015-08-29)
- Elgot, Jessica (August 28, 2015). “A deathbed confession may have revealed the whereabouts of the ‘Nazi gold train,'” according to the article. The Guardian is a British newspaper. “Poland radar image ‘probably likely Nazi train’,” according to a report published on September 7, 2015. According to the BBC News. On August 28, 2015, the BBC published a report that was later retrieved on September 7, 2015. Beatrice Gitau is the author of this article (August 28, 2015). “A Nazi train that may have contained gold is revealed by a dying man’s confession,” according to the article. Yahoo! News is a popular news source. The Christian Science Monitor is a publication dedicated to scientific research. “XYZ Spóka Cywilna” (XYZ Spóka Cywilna) was established in 2015. AbGani, Aisha (2015-09-04)
- Retrieved on 2015-09-04
- (September 4, 2015). “Men claim to have ‘irrefutable proof’ that the Nazi gold train exists, according to Polish television.” The Guardian is a British newspaper. “Nazi ‘gold’ train: Men go on TV to claim Poland find,” according to the 2015-09-04 article. The BBC reported on September 4, 2015, that Obtainable on March 30, 2020
- “Generalny Konserwator Zabytków certifies the existence of an undiscovered pocigu.” On August 28, 2015, the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage released a statement. On September 30, 2015, the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage released a statement. “Poland reverses course following the discovery of a Nazi gold train.” AFP, August 31, 2015. Retrieved 2015-08-31
- Yahoo! News, August 31, 2015. Matthew Day’s etymology (September 4, 2015). “Polish soldiers cordon off the scene of the ‘Nazi gold train,’ as the finders unveil their ‘clear evidence.'” The Telegraph is a British newspaper. Retrieved2015-09-04
- s^ Harriet Alexander, Harriet Alexander (August 28, 2015). “Did a Nazi gold train’s location come to light through a deathbed confession?” The Daily Telegraph is a British newspaper. “The ‘Nazi gold train’ attracts treasure seekers to Poland’s south-west”, according to a report published on August 29, 2015. In The Guardian on August 31, 2015, AFP reported that Joanna Berendt had said that she was “disappointed” (September 29, 2015). “Possible Nazi Tunnels Fuel Treasure Seekers in Poland,” according to the article. The New York Times is a newspaper published in New York City. “Polish military confirms site of alleged Nazi gold train is secure,” according to a report published on September 30, 2015. “Two teams cleared to search for ‘Nazi gold train’ in Poland,” Radio Poland reported on October 4, 2015. Retrieved on November 1, 2015. Radio Poland, November 5, 2015, retrieved 2015-11-12
- “Nazi gold train: ‘No proof’ of finding in Poland”, Radio Poland, November 5, 2015. Berendt, Joanna (December 15, 2015). BBC News. Retrieved on December 15, 2015. (December 15, 2015). “Hopes are dashed once more in the search for the fabled Nazi gold train in Poland.” The New York Times is a newspaper published in New York City. Day, Matthew (2015-12-16)
- Retrieved on 2015-12-16
- (9 May 2016). “Nazi gold train searchers defy skeptics and start excavating for treasures,” reports the New York Times. The Daily Telegraph, retrieved on 2016-05-12
- Berendt, Joanna, retrieved on 2016-05-12 (August 18, 2016). Even if a Nazi gold train doesn’t exist, that doesn’t deter gold diggers. The New York Times is a newspaper published in New York City. Retrieved2016-08-21
- s^ Nadine Wojcik and Nadine Wojcik (August 23, 2016). “Why it makes little difference whether or not the long-lost Nazi gold train is ever discovered.” Deutsche Welle is a German public broadcasting service. abBerendt, Joanna (2016-08-23)
- Retrieved on 2016-08-23
- (August 24, 2016). “The search for the Nazi Gold Train turns up nothing but dirt.” According to the New York Times, a “Schatzgräber-Duo plans another goldzug search in Walbrzych,” which was published on August 24, 2016, was retrieved on August 24, 2016. Archived 2016-12-07 at the Wayback Machine
- In Online-AusgabeofLausitzer Rundschau, 19 November 2016
- Goldzug-Suche geht weiter,’ in Online-AusgabeofLausitzer Rundschau, 19 November 2016. Sächsische Zeitung, 13 March 2017
- “Nazigold-Sucher Find Hohlräume”Archived2018-09-29 at theWayback Machine, sz-online.de, 16 October 2017
- “Schatzgräber Begin Joint Search for Nazi-Goldzug,”Berliner Morgenpost, 2 August 2018
- “Stuart Dowell Finds Nazi-Goldzug”Archived2018-09-29 at theWayback Machine, sz-online.de (March 4, 2019). In the words of the New York Times, “A gold train hunter hits GOLD with the discovery of valuable 500-year-old Renaissance wall art.” Obtainable on September 21, 2020, through The First News.
- This is the description on the dig’s Facebook page: “Everything You Always Wanted to Know about a Nazi Gold Train But Were Afraid to Ask.” The Association for the Investigation of Crimes Against Art (ARICA). Blogspot. 2015-09-21.— contains a chronological history of the narrative, as well as linkages to the original sources of information
- “Gold Train Rush part II: the quest became more intense.” Blogspot, 2015-08-29. — contains maps of likely sites
- W-WA Jeziorki, blogspot, 2015-08-29.
French Underground During World War II, Communication and Codes
This is the description on the dig’s Facebook page: “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About a Nazi Gold Train But Were Afraid to Ask.” Research into Art Crimes is a non-profit organization dedicated to investigating crimes against art. Posted on Blogspot on September 21, 2015, and contains a chronological history of the tale with linkages to the original sources of information; “Gold Train Rush part II: the hunt intensified.” Blogspot, 2015-08-29. — contains maps of likely sites; W-WA Jeziorki, blogspot, 2015-08-29.
Lucie Aubrac is the author of this work. Konrad Bieber and Betsy Wing are two of the most famous people in the world (trans.). Outwitting the Gestapo is a difficult task. The University of Nebraska Press published this book in 1994. Raymond Aubrac and his wife, Lucie Aubrac. The French Resistance was active between 1940 and 1944. Hazan Editeur published a book in 1997 titled Ottis, Sherri Greene, and others. Downed Airmen and the French Underground: The Unsung Heroes of World War II The University of Kentucky Press, Lexington, Kentucky, 2001.
Margaret Collins Weitz is the author of this work.
John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 1998.
France, Intelligence, and Homeland Defense OSS (United States Office of Strategic Services) is an abbreviation for the United States Office of Strategic Services.
This Teenager Killed Nazis With Her Sister During WWII
Freddie Oversteegan while she was in her twenties. She joined the Dutch resistance when she was 14 years old, and by the time she was 16, she was waging war against the Nazis. The Hannie Schaft Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the legacy of Hannie Schaft. The young Freddie Oversteegen joined the Dutch resistance during World War II when she was just 14 years old, and she was only a few of years older when she rose through the ranks to become one of its armed assassins.
They were raised in the city of Haarlem by their single working-class mother, who also had a sister two years older than Freddie.
In 1939, when Europe was on the verge of war, she welcomed Jewish refugees into her house for the first time.
“I believe that was one of the primary motivators for them, the high moral value they upheld and the readiness of their mother to act when the situation demanded it.” Then, in May 1940, the Nazis invaded the Netherlands, commencing an occupation that would endure until the conclusion of the Second World War.
- “We also glued warnings across German posters in the street calling men to work in Germany,” Freddie recalled in interviews she and her sister conducted with anthropologistEllis Jonker, which were later published in the bookUnder Fire: Women and World War II.
- “And then we’d get on our bikes and ride away.” These actions were not only subversive, but they were also potentially hazardous.
- Although they were both young girls—Freddie appeared much younger when she wore braids—officials were less likely to accuse them of being members of the resistance since they were both young females.
- Their mother gave her approval, and the sisters agreed to go along with it.
- “‘And learn to shoot, to shoot Nazis,’ he went on,” the author continued.
- Truus is said to have lured an SS officer into the woods so that a member of the resistance could shoot him in the head.
- Later on, they concentrated their efforts on assassinating Dutch collaborators who apprehended or threatened Jewish immigrants and members of the resistance movement.
- “They were strange, these girls,” he adds.
- Despite the fact that both sisters shot to kill, they never disclosed the number of Nazi and Dutch collaborators they executed.
- As a result, we don’t have a lot of information on how their “liquidations,” as they termed them, went down.
According to Jonker, their additional responsibilities as members of the Haarlem Resistance Group included “transporting Jews to a new hiding spot, working at the emergency hospital in Enschede, and detonating a bomb on the railway line between Ijmuiden and Haarlem.” In 1943, they teamed together with another young lady, Hannie Schaft, to form a new organization.
- On September 5, 2018, she passed away.
- In the past, Hannie was a university student who dropped out because she refused to take a vow of allegiance to the German government.
- After becoming their best friend, the sisters were grieved when Nazis detained and executed her in 1945, only three weeks before the war in Europe came to a conclusion.
- As a result of their involvement in killing people and losing their dearest friend, the sisters had post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Freddie dealt with the situation “by getting married and having babies,” as she said to VICE Netherlands in 2016.
- In another interview, Freddie described watching a guy she’d shot fall to the ground and feeling the natural desire to reach out and help him out of the situation.
- No one, unless they are genuine criminals, can ever benefit from it.
- Most of their long lives were spent being marginalized as communists by the Dutch government, which refused to properly recognize their accomplishments and dismissed them as such.
Their contribution to their country was ultimately recognized in 2014 when they were awarded the Mobilisatie-Oorlogskruis, often known as the “War Mobilization Cross,” in acknowledgment of their efforts.
The Nazi Werewolves Who Terrorized Allied Soldiers at the End of WWII
She was in her teens when this photograph of Freddie Oversteegan was taken. She joined the Dutch resistance when she was 14 years old, and by the time she was 16, she was fighting Nazis in the field. The Hannie Schaft Foundation of the United States is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of women in the workplace. The young Freddie Oversteegen joined the Dutch resistance during World War II when she was just 14 years old, and she was only a few of years older when she rose through the ranks to become one of its armed aces.
They were raised in the city of Haarlem by their single working-class mother, who also had a sister who was two years older than them.
The country welcomed Jewish refugees when Europe was on the verge of going to war in 1939.
According to him, “I believe it was one of the primary motivators for them, the high moral ideal they upheld and their mother’s readiness to act when the situation demanded it.” The Nazis then invaded the Netherlands in May 1940, commencing an occupation that would endure until the conclusion of World War II.
When Freddie and her sister spoke with anthropologistEllis Jonker for the bookUnder Fire: Women and World War II, she recalled, “We also glued warnings across German posters in the street calling men to work in Germany.” The interviews, which were collected in the bookUnder Fire: Women and World War II, were later recalled by Freddie and her sister.
- It wasn’t only that these behaviors were subversive; they were also potentially deadly.
- Because they were both young girls – and Freddie appeared much younger when she wore braids – officials were less likely to accuse them of working for the resistance because of their age.
- Their mother gave her approval, and the sisters agreed to go forward with the plan.
- “‘And learn to shoot, especially Nazis,’ he said.
- Truus is said to have lured an SS officer into the woods so that a member of the resistance could shoot him in the back.
- Later on, they concentrated their efforts on assassinating Dutch collaborators who imprisoned or threatened Jewish immigrants and members of the resistance movement in the United Kingdom.
- ” In fact, there aren’t many cases of women who have shot collaborators for their own personal gain.” Because she appeared to be so young and innocent, Freddie was particularly adept at following a target or maintaining a watchful eye on these missions.
The report states that Freddie would tell anybody who asked that she and her sister were soldiers, which is something soldiers are not allowed to do.
The group would occasionally follow a victim to his home in order to kill him, or they would ambush them on their motorcycles, according to Benda-Beckmann.
Freddie Oversteegan in a recent photograph.
The Hannie Schaft Foundation of the United States is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of women in the workplace.
A sabotage and assassination group was founded by the three young ladies who worked together.
When Hannie was originally wounded by her executioner, her dying words were said to be, “I’m a better shooter,” according to popular culture.
In addition to creating sculptures, Truus also talked and wrote about their experiences throughout the resistance movement.
After their assassinations, Truss told Jonker, “We didn’t think it was a good fit for our personalities.” No one, except they are genuine crooks, ever benefits from it.
Most of their long lives were spent being marginalized as communists by the Dutch government, which did not fully honor their accomplishments.
When the Mobilisatie-Oorlogskruis, or “War Mobilization Cross,” was awarded to them in 2014, they finally earned national acknowledgment for their contribution to their country.
The Nazi Leader Who, in 1937, Became the Oskar Schindler of China
How John Rabe assisted Chinese citizens in surviving Japan’s horrendous World War II invasion and rose to become known as “the living Buddha of Nanking.” Wikimedia Commons has images of Chinese citizens detained as prisoners by Japanese forces during the Nanking Massacre, which killed 200,000 to 300,000 Chinese civilians. The history of every battle has a few of exceptional individuals who stand out as beacons of hope for the oppressed and persecuted. The Quakers in the United States liberated their own slaves and assisted in the establishment of the Underground Railroad.
- Who can forget Mies Giep, the Austrian woman who, with the help of others, concealed the young Anne Frank and her family in an Amsterdam attic when they were on the run from the Nazis?
- It is possible that the most intriguing individual to emerge from the history of the Rape of Nanking is German merchant John Rabe, who lives in Hong Kong today.
- Rabe, on the other hand, was a bizarre and improbable rescuer in the eyes of the Japanese.
- / John-Rabe at his workstation in Nanking, China de In the year 1996, I launched an inquiry into the life of John Rabe, which resulted in the discovery of hundreds of pages of diaries that he and other Nazis kept throughout the Second World War.
- He was born on November 23, 1882, in Hamburg, Germany, to a sea captain and his wife, who were both sailors.
- In 1931, he was relocated to the Nanking office, where he was responsible for selling telephones and electrical equipment to the Chinese government.
- Soon after, he established himself as a cornerstone of the German community in Nanking, operating his own German school for children in the upper elementary and junior high schools.
As an organizer of the party, he would tell German audiences in 1938 that “I believe not just in the validity of our political system, but I am fully committed to it as an organizer of the party.” As a result of the advice of friends and embassy officials, most of Rabe’s fellow German nationals decided to leave China before the Japanese forces reached the city’s gates.
- As a matter of fact, even when Japanese embassy officials met with him and advised that he depart with greater force, he refused to go.
- What is it about our military issues that you are interested in participating in?
- You haven’t misplaced anything at all!” Rabe took a deep breath before responding to Oka’s question.
- “My children and grandkids were born in this country, and I am content and prosperous in this country.
In the event if I had lived 30 years in Japan and had been treated as well by the Japanese people, you may be confident that, in an emergency situation such as the one that China is currently experiencing, I would not abandon the side of the people of Japan.” The Japanese major was pleased with this response since he valued the notion of loyalty.
I had a premonition at the time, but what I now know is that all of them would have been murdered or seriously injured if I had left their side, according to Rabe’s letter.
However, the Japanese army refused to acknowledge it as neutral territory despite the wishes of committee members, who wanted the zone to be free of all military activities.
As a result, on November 25, he sent a letter to Adolf Hitler, requesting the fuehrer’s “kindly intercession in requesting that the Japanese government grant the construction of a neutral zone for those who are not fighting to battle for Nanking.” Adolf Hitler responded by writing back, expressing his gratitude.
- Kriebel at the same time, which read: “I’m writing to express my gratitude for your consideration of my plea to the Fuehrer, which would otherwise result in an unavoidable massacre.
- Rabe is a Siemens agent in Nanking, as well as the chairman of the International Committee.” The unoccupied buildings in the zone were originally intended to be reserved for the poorest inhabitants of Nanking, according to Rabe and his colleagues.
- However, the influx of people into the two and a half square mile region was so great that Rabe quickly found himself with 50,000 more occupants than he had anticipated, even in the worst-case scenario.
- Entire families were forced to sleep on the streets, while hundreds of makeshift huts sprang up near the American embassy to provide shelter.
- During the evening of December 12, 1937, Rabe stood by as the sky to the south of the city erupted in flames and blazed red.
- It was a terrifying scene, and he was frightened.
- He flung wide the gates, allowing the throngs of people to enter.
- Rabe became enraged and wore a steel helmet, sprinting across his garden, demanding at everyone to shut up and go away.
- After two days of non-stop work, Rabe sank into his bed and tried to rest while the civilization he knew and loved crumbled around him.
- He was well aware that the Ministry of Communication building was on fire and that the city was on the verge of collapsing at any moment.
It was his Chinese colleagues who had informed him, “You don’t have to be afraid of the Japanese.” ‘As soon as they have gained control of the city, peace and order will reign – the train links with Shanghai will be promptly reestablished, and the stores will be able to resume their regular operations.’ “Thank God that the worst has been overcome!” Rabe thought to himself just before falling asleep.
- The following morning, Rabe went on a reconnaissance mission around the city to assess the extent of the damage.
- He stood there and watched as a group of Japanese soldiers forced their way into a German coffeehouse with their weapons drawn.
- If you want to file a complaint, you should do so at the Japanese embassy.
- Rabe later discovered that the soldiers had looted the coffeehouse and then set it ablaze, as he had suspected.
- As he drove through Shansi Road Circle, he came across 400 Chinese soldiers, all of whom were still armed, marching in the direction of the advancing Japanese army.
- It was at this point that Rabe experienced a “humanitarian impulse” that would haunt him for months, if not years, after the event.
- After a brief deliberation, they came to an agreement and followed Rabe into the zone.
There was some debate among the committee members about whether or not they should assist them.
The committee attempted to resolve the situation by bringing the matter to the attention of Japanese army headquarters, but they were only able to reach a captain on Han Chung Road.
They, like Rabe, informed the soldiers that if they surrendered their weapons, the Japanese might treat them kindly.
A large number of soldiers stripped off their uniforms and mingled with the civilians who were present in the area during the chaos.
In the event that Rabe had hoped that the Japanese would not be able to separate his troops from the hundreds of thousands of civilians, he would have been gravely mistaken.
They also looked for backpack marks on the shoulders, indentations in the foreheads and hair caused by military caps, and blisters on the feet caused by months of marching.
George Fitch, a representative from the YMCA, wrote in his diary about the incident, “We were aware that there were a number of ex-soldiers among them, but Rabe had been promised by an officer that afternoon that their lives would be spared.” “All of a sudden, it became painfully obvious what they were going to do.
A large number of innocent men, including ricksha coolies, manual laborers, and law enforcement officers, were killed by the Japanese because they had calluses on their fingers, foreheads, or feet at the time of the war’s outbreak.
A subsequent report by Rabe noted that numerous ponds in Nanking had really vanished as a result of the large number of bodies that had accumulated there.
Whenever he went through Nanking, a guy would invariably get out of the car and halt it, pleading with Rabe to intervene in a rape that was taking place – a rape that most often included a sister, a wife, or a daughter.
Upon arrival, he would chase away the Japanese troops who were pursuing their target, on one instance physically pulling a soldier who was lying on top of a young girl off the ground.
had only party symbols and my swastika armband,” Rabe wrote in his report to Hitler) did not deter him – not even the possibility of death, which he accepted.
He passed hundreds of female bodies, many of them raped and maimed, beside the smoldering remnants of their homes as he walked through the streets.
Rabe also housed hundreds of Chinese women on his land, allowing them to live in squalid straw huts in the backyard of his home.
The women would sound a whistle whenever a Japanese soldier ascended the wall of Rabe’s yard, which would bring Rabe racing out into the yard to chase the intruders away.
Fortunately, his reputation as a Nazi persuaded numerous Japanese soldiers to pause before committing more atrocities – at least while he was there on the battlefield.
It is always effective!” The Nazis of Nanking appeared to be respected, if not feared, by the Japanese soldiers stationed there.
After seeing Eduard Sperling’s Swastika wristband while raping and robbing, four Japanese troops raced away screaming “Deutsche!
Rabe’s life was spared by the swastika on another occasion, which is quite likely.
Rabe was about to be shot when one of them went for his weapon as if to fire him, but then stopped himself since it would be “bad business” to shoot an enemy soldier.
The guy who saved daughters from sexual slavery and sons from machine gun fire was a hero to them.
The president visited the zone on one of his visits, and thousands of Chinese women flung themselves to the ground in front of him, weeping and begging for protection.
Even in the midst of their dread, Rabe attempted to instill hope in his refugees’ hearts and minds.
Each newborn got a present, with baby males receiving a $10 gift and baby girls receiving a $9.50 gift.
It was customary for boys to be given Rabe’s name, while girls were given Dora, Rabe’s wife’s maiden name, when they were born.
George Fitch wrote to his pals that he would “nearly wear a Nazi emblem” to retain fellowship with Rabe and the other Germans in Nanking.
Robert Wilson in a letter to his family. Taken from Iris Chang’s The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II, which is available on Amazon (Basic Books).