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  2. American Goddess at the Rape of Nanking: The Courage of Minnie Vautrin
  3. Minnie Vautrin ()

Christmas is still kind of new in China. During the missionary period up to the revolution Christmas was a quiet religious holiday. The hospital and local universities had many special Christmas performances to try and spread the Gospel. At China Change, a few dedicated staff bring you information about human rights, rule of law, and civil society in China.

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We are a c 3 organization, and your contribution is tax-deductible. Thank you. Estimated date: winter, , after the worst of the massacres. Groups of three to ten maurading soldiers would begin by traveling through the city and robbing whatever there was to steal. They would continue by raping the women and girls and killing everything and everyone that offered any resistance, attempted to run away from them, or simply happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

During their misdeeds, no difference was made between adults and children. There were girls under the age of eight and women over the age of 70 who were raped and then, in the most brutal way possible, knocked down and beat up. We found corpses of women on beer glasses and others who had been lanced by bamboo shoots. I saw the victims with my own eyes--I talked to some of them right before their deaths and had their bodies brought to the morgue at Kulo Hospital so that I could be personally convinced that all of these reports [he had written] had touched on the truth.

You would have thought it impossible, but the raping of women even occured right in the middle of the women's camp in our zone, which held between 5, and 10, women. We few foreigners couldn't be at all places all the time in order to protect against these atrocities. One was powerless against these monsters who were armed to the teeth and who shot down anyone who tried to defend themselves.

American Goddess at the Rape of Nanking: The Courage of Minnie Vautrin

They only had respect for us foreigners--but nearly every one of us was close to being killed dozens of times. After persisting in the Nanking Safety Zone from , she returned to the United States under extreme stress in She committed suicide there in , still wishing in her diary that she could return to her work in China. Vautrin was posthumously awarded the Emblem of the Blue Jade by the Chinese government for her sacrifices during the Nanjing Massacre.

Minnie was the second of the couple's three children; her elder brother died as an infant. When Minnie was six years old, her mother died of unrecorded causes. After this, Minnie was sent to several different foster homes. Three years later, the courts permitted her to return home to her father, where she assumed many household chores and excelled in school.


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Her teacher, commending Vautrin's work at school, later said that "Minnie was a born student She could excel in most anything she tried, and was a genuinely Christian girl. During her high school career, Vautrin worked several part-time jobs to save for her schooling and volunteered at local churches. Due to her financial situation, Vautrin had to delay her studies several times to work. When she graduated in , she was ranked first in her class of 93 students and spoke at the commencement ceremonies.

She graduated in as salutatorian of her class with a A. When Vautrin received this request circa , Christian missions to China, facilitated by groups such as the Foreign Christian Missionary Society, had begun to flourish as a result of the treaties ending the First Opium War —42 and Second Opium War that opened Chinese seaports to Christianity.

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Minnie Vautrin ()

During her time at the school the number of pupils increased and a high school department was added. In , after serving for a period of six years in China, Minnie returned to the United States for furlough. She enrolled in Columbia University in New York City to pursue a master's degree in education, which she received in While at Columbia University, Vautrin was approached by a teacher from Ginling College , and was asked to serve as president of the institution for one year.

However, she later broke off her engagement and never married. At Ginling College, Vautrin decided to extend her one-year agreement. She created courses on education administration and management, an innovative student-teaching program, and handled the planning and funding of the new campus by the West Gate of Nanking. During the fall semester of , Vautrin hosted a fundraiser to build an elementary school for local, mostly illiterate children who lived in the homes near Ginling College's campus.

Minnie Vautrin on Rape of Nanking

The biographer Hua-ling Hu writes that, while at Ginling College, Minnie "attempted to lead the students to fulfill the spirit of Ginling's motto, 'abundant life,' by making them walk out of the 'ivory tower' to see and understand the suffering of the poor and by encouraging them to devote their lives for the betterment of the society. Ginling College was not harmed during the looting, and Vautrin hid in the College's attic with a few others while Chiang Kai-shek 's troops were on Ginling's campus.

The Nanking Incident deterred many American missionaries from serving in China, and many left the country. However, Vautrin remained at Ginling College, and served as its president until the Chinese Nationalist government mandated that all colleges in China have native-born presidents. She was replaced by a Ginling graduate, Dr. Wu Yi-fang, in September In , Vautrin returned to the United States on furlough and in order to care for her aging father.