Foreigners in China help publicize Nanjing Massacre stories

Updated 2017-12-19 14:00:18

A group of foreigners living and studying in Nanjing have made a series of special reports to reproduce stories of foreigners who had helped the Chinese during the Nanjing Massacre in 1937, as this year marks the 80th anniversary of the holocaust.[Special coverage]

The Nanjing Massacre articles focus on the foreign good Samaritans Minnie Vautrin and John Rabe, after referring to the works of Vautrin and Iris Chang's famous work The Rape of Nanking, in a bid to remember the history of the Nanjing Massacre and mark China's National Memorial Day for Nanjing Massacre Victims.

The series of Nanjing Massacre articles, published in seven installments starting from Dec 11, were spontaneously planned and independently completed by Cassidy McDonald, an American student studying in Nanjing University. She had heard of the Nanjing Massacre when she was in America, while she never knew Vautrin's story.

"Now I am writing an article for American media to tell Vautrin's story and the history of the Nanjing Massacre," said Cassidy.

"She dedicated her life to the cause, hence she should be remembered," she added.

Minnie Vautrin, who came to China as a missionary and teacher in 1912, was working as the acting dean of Ginling Women's College in Nanjing when the Japanese army invaded in 1937. She had protected as many as 10,000 Chinese refugees during the Nanjing Massacre. After persevering in the Nanjing Safety Zone from 1937, she returned to the US in 1940. She committed suicide under extreme stress there in 1941.

John Rabe, who was a German businessman, made great efforts to stop the atrocities of the Japanese army during the Nanjing Massacre. The Nanjing Safety Zone, which he helped to establish, sheltered approximately 200,000 Chinese people from slaughter during the massacre.

The series of stories were published through a website called, which was established in 2009 and founded by 48-year-old Scotland native Frank Hossack to introduce Chinese culture to Westerners.

Frank, who worked as a radio producer in Shanghai for 10 years, has spent 14 years living in Nanjing.

Frank said he didn't know the Nanjing Massacre until he first came to Nanjing, and many Westerners who haven't experienced World War II also don't know about this phase of history.

"I can't believe it," Frank said. "The number of victims is unbelievable."

He realized the Nanjing Massacre truly happened when he stood at the Memorial Hall for the Victims of the Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders and witnessed specific evidence of the holocaust, where more than 300,000 people were murdered in the most torturous ways imaginable.

Frank came to know more about the history of Chinese people's resistance and the Japanese invasion because of his wife, He Wen, who is from a Chinese military family. He's grandparents were all Chinese military soldiers who fought in the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1937-45) and War of Liberation (1946-55).

Now, his website has eight full-time staff, including three foreigners. And more than 20 other foreigners serve as freelance writers for the website.

The Peacemaker from Nanking, a short film about Vautrin made by Luo Yiyun, a Chinese student born in Nanjing, won the JCS International Young Creatives Award on Nov 18 at the International Emmy World Television Festival Nominee Medal Ceremony in New York.

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