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SDHF Newsletter No.336 Primary Historical Sources Reveal The Truth About The Nanjing Incident (Revised Version) Series No.3: Chapter 2 The true purpose of establishing the Nanking Safety Zone

Primary Historical Sources Reveal The Truth About
The Nanjing Incident (Revised Version)
Ikeda Haruka
(translated by Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact)

Series No.3: Chapter 2 The true purpose of establishing the Nanking Safety Zone

The International Committee for the Nanking Safety Zone issued a statement establishing the International Committee:

An international committee composed of nationals of Denmark, Germany, Great Britain and the United States, desires to suggest to the Chinese and Japanese authorities the establishment of a Safety Zone for Civilian Refugees in the unfortunate event of hostilities at or near Nanking…

Curiously, nationals of Denmark and Great Britain were not in the list of members of the International Committee when it began operation. A German, Rabe, was elected as chairman. The International Committee was trying to conceal the fact that the Committee was actually controlled by American missionaries. This chapter explains that Rabe was effectively utilized as cover for the real nature of the International Committee.

A British businessman, P.R. Shields, was a member of the International Committee from the start. Later realizing the real nature of the Committee, he left. The following is from diaries of Cavot Coville;

Shields said, “The Nanking safety zone was a mistake. Nominally, for civilian protection, it was really for American, German, and wealthy Chinese property. The Chinese had a large anti-aircraft gun in it even before it was defined; they continued to use it.”

Interestingly, the Japanese authorities had a similar view:

“Appearing to be a philanthropizing organization and avoiding public suspicion, in fact, they are intent on making profits for themselves, while they win over refugees and take various actions which seemingly obstruct smooth development of the Autonomous Committee. Moreover, such attitudes tend to be used by discontented factions…”

These two views were not far from the truth. The following is Minnie Vautrin’s notes from a meeting of the American missionaries held one day before the first meeting of the International Committee to set up the Safety Zone, to report on a plan:

“Confidential. At our meeting Mr. Mills expressed the longing that instead of having all educated people trek westward that it would be far better for a group to go down and try to encourage and comfort the Chinese army and help them to see what disorder and looting among even a small group means to China…”

How they actually “encouraged” and “comforted” the Chinese army will be described in the next chapter.

URL: http://www.sdh-fact.com/book-article/1832/
PDF: http://www.sdh-fact.com/CL/Primary3E.pdf

MOTEKI Hiromichi, Acting Chairman
for KASE Hideaki, Chairman
Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact

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