Learn about psychologist Stanley Milgram’s experiments on obedience and the insight they offer into the motives of Nazi perpetrators.
Decades after the end of World War II in China, Sino-Japanese relations continue to remain strained. Conflicting memories and accounts of imperial Japan’s occupation of China and wartime atrocities remain one element of this discord. One of the most visible expressions of this tension arises regularly at the Yasukuni shrine.
John H. D. Rabe’s story presents a paradox. He is remembered as a great humanitarian despite remaining a loyal member of the Nazi Party. Born in 1882 in Hamburg, Germany, Rabe first came to Shanghai in 1908. He began working for the Chinese branch of the Siemens Company in 1911 and 20 years later in 1931 transferred to Nanjing and served as director of the Siemens branch office with his wife and two children. Siemens was largely responsible for building the Nanjing telephone lines and supplying turbines for the electrical plant and equipment for the city’s hospitals.
Georg Ferdinand Duckwitz', a German diplomat stationed in the capital of Copenhagen, alerted both the Jewish community and the Danish underground of the coming roundup. As a result, most of the Danish Jews went into hiding and were transported to Sweden, where they were cared for thanks to Duckwitz’s diplomacy.
Chiune (Sempo) Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat stationed in the Lithuanian prewar capital of Kaunas (Kovno) in the summer of 1940. In defiance of his superiors, Sugihara decided to provide transit visas to thousands of Jews who had escaped German persecution in Poland. Many of them used this opportunity to flee Europe into safety.