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John Rade House

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John Rabe House, Nanjing

Overview

The John Rabe House, located at No. 1 Xiaofenqiao in Nanjing, China, was where John Rabe stayed during the Nanking Massacre and protected more than 600 Chinese refugees in this house, and within its garden, from Japanese persecution. Today it accommodates the "John Rabe and International Safety Zone Memorial Hall" and the "John Rabe Research and Exchange Centre for Peace and Reconciliation".

The John Rabe House is located in the center of Nanjing, at southeast corner of Gulou campus of Nanjing University. John Rabe, former Siemens China Representative and Chairman of the International Committee for the Nanking Safety Zone, resided there from 1932 to 1938. It was also in this house where he wrote the famous "Diaries of John Rabe".

For almost half a century, Rabe's former residence in Nanking (as it was spelled then) received little recognition until its location was publicized by the publication of Rabe's diaries in December 1996 by his granddaughter Ursula Reinhardt. When German president Johannes Rau visited Nanjing University in 2003, he expressed concern about the dilapidated condition of John Rabe’s former residence. After Rau's visit and with his great encouragement to renovate the house, the project kicked off successfully in 2005. 

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The Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Shanghai, together with Siemens Ltd. China, Bosch-Siemens Home Appliances signed an agreement with Nanjing University to renovate the house and construct the "John Rabe and International Safety Zone Memorial Hall" and "John Rabe Research and Exchange Centre for Peace and Reconciliation". The German side was to provide financing while Nanjing University was responsible for the renovation and maintenance of the John Rabe House as well as for the establishment and management of the Memorial Hall and Research Center.

John Rabe and International Safety Zone Memorial Hall

On October 31, 2006, the "John Rabe and International Safety Zone Memorial Hall" officially opened to the public. On 1628 square meters, 6 exhibition areas, more than 300 photographs, files and historical material tell Rabe's life story. Its main focus is to commemorate the efforts of John Rabe and the other members of the Nanking Safety Zone to save innocent lives during the Nanking Massacre. The Memorial Hall in Rabe’s former residence can be visited Monday – Friday from 8:30 to 16:30. Since 2008, the Austrian Service Abroad has been sending a Peace Servant to work at the Memorial Hall and Exchange Center for one year.

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History & Background

John H. D. Rabe was born in Hamburg of Germany in 1882. In 1909, Rabe came to his long-awaited China, together with his fiancée, and held their romantic wedding in Beijing. He worked for Siemens, and was later promoted as the manager of Beijing and Tianjin branches. In November 1931, John Rabe was sent to Nanjing as Branch Manager to develop the business there.

During the Nanjing Massacre in December 1937, Rabe harbored and protected more than 600 Chinese people in his house and the small garden. From 1937 to 1938, Rabe recorded a large number of historical facts of Nanjing. It was not until Rabe's granddaughter published the "Diaries of John Rabe" in New York in December 1996, that John Rabe House was exposed to the public.

In 2003, after the German President Johannes Rau visited Nanjing University, the president actively helped to start the renovation and reconstruction of John Rabe House, followed by the agreement signed between the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Shanghai, Siemens Ltd. China, Bosch-Siemens Home Appliances and Nanjing University to renovate the historic house. Finally, on October 31st, 2006, John Rabe House was reopened to the public. The renewed house includes two parts: "The John Rabe and International Safety Zone Memorial Hall" and "John Rabe Research and Exchange Centre for Peace and Reconciliation".

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Travel Guide

Admission Fee: CNY 10
Opening Hours: 8:30-16:30 (Close on Mondy)
Time for Visit: 1 hour

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