But one man, wearing a Swastika armband and showing a brave resolve that made him reach God-like status amongst the terrified Chinese, stood up to the Japanese troops, often driving in his car at night through deserted streets, to be stopped by begging mothers, sons or husbands to hurry and stop a gang rape in progress.
Rabe would learn some lessons as well. When he instructed 400 Chinese soldiers to disarm and surrender, thinking they would be treated mericifully, he was horrified to see all of them summarily executed by the Japanese, many being beheaded. His official protests, both in China to the Japanese embassy and German officials in Berlin, were either ignored or, in the case of the Japanese, was told that the "proper authorities would be notified". Even Americans living in the "Safety Zone" of Nanking, many of them who hated Nazism and its ideals, respected and revered the work of this member of the Nazi party who truly believed in his Fuhrer.
From the book Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang:
Rabe was appalled by the rape in the city. In the streets he passed scores and scores of female corpses, raped, mutilated, left for dead beside their smoildering and charred homes. "Groups of 3 to 10 Japanese soldiers would begin traveling through the city, stealing anything there was to steal" Rabe wrote in his report to Hitler.
They would continue by raping women and girls and killing anything and anyone that offered any resistance, attempted to flee or was in the wrong place at the wrong time. There were girls under 8 years old and women over 70 gang raped and then, in the most brutal way imaginable, knocked down and beat up. We found corpses of women on broekn beer glasses and others who had been lanced by bamboo shoots. I saw these victims with my own eyes- I talked to some of themn right before their deaths and had their bodies brought to the morgue at Kulo hospital so I could be personally convinced that the reports I had heard of were completely true.
Rabe would return to Germany and be arrested and questioned by the Gestapo, to be released after intervention by his employer, Siemens, and released after his film was confiscated. He remained committed to the Nazi party. He died of a stroke in 1950.