I remember reading John Rabe’s diaries for the first time. His decision to stay in Nanking at the end of 1937 not only testifies to an idealistic and humanitarian spirit, but also to a pronounced sense of responsibility in the face of a situation that would exceed her imagination. They negotiated with the Japanese consulate and the Kuomintang government. They organized personnel, food and finance, provided hygiene and medical care. 250,000 refugees had to be accommodated in an area of less than 4 square kilometres.
Where did they get their strength from during these hellish days? What supported their sense of responsibility? What maintained their faith? Where did they still see love? I cannot imagine how I would have behaved in the face of such a catastrophe, whether, in addition to trying to save my own skin, I could have taken responsibility just as courageously.