Constructing the Past

Manuscript Title

Can a Nazi be a Hero?


Emily Paras


This paper centers on John Rabe, a German businessman and Nazi, who, according to several historians, helped save roughly 250,000 lives during the Rape of Nanking. He did this by establishing and serving as director of the “International Safety Zone.” This paper’s research question is how did Rabe reconcile his Nazi beliefs with his heroic actions during the massacre? This paper will argue that Rabe’s heroic actions were not inconsistent with his membership in the Nazi Party.