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Massacre Museum Adds 100 New Memories

More than 100 copies of documents and photos from the time of the Nanjing Massacre have been added to the Memorial Hall in the city. 

The original papers have been loaned to the museum courtesy of a relative of the American "patron saint" of Nanjing refugees, Minnie Vautrin, who labored tirelessly to help keep the victims from harm in 1937.


Cindy Vautrin, who presented the pieces on Wednesday morning, is the granddaughter of Minnie Vautrin's brother. She gave 21 file photographs, 47 letters, Vautrin's passport and the Red Cross armband Minnie Vautrin wore as she worked.


"I feel so sorry about that history, and so proud of what my ancestor did," said Cindy Vautrin, quoted by local media.


Minnie Vautrin (1886-1941) was an American missionary.


After graduating from the University of Illinois in 1912, she went to Hefei, capital of Anhui Province, teaching and doing missionary work.


Between 1919 and 1940, she taught at Nanjing Jinling Women's College, when the Nanjing Massacre happened.


Working with more than 20 foreigners at the college, Vautrin set up refugee camps and saved the lives of at least 10,000 women and children, who called her their "Goddess of Mercy."


While guarding the camps, her famous comment was: "Whoever (Japanese soldiers) wants to go through this gate will have to go over my dead body."


From August 12, 1937 to April 1940, Vautrin kept a daily diary.


She sent the diaries and letters to her relatives and friends in the US, giving them an accurate record of what was going on in China at the time.


"On the morning of December 13, 1937, the Japanese invaders entered the city from Zhonghua Gate, they raped women, burnt houses and killed people. Many women and children escaped to the refugee camp at Nanjing Jinling Women's College, all of them were extremely frightened …" she wrote in her diary.


Vautrin went back to the US to get medical treatment for an illness on May 14, 1940. Exactly one year later she committed suicide.


Ai Delin, an official from the Memorial Hall, said some reproductions will be shown to the public during the "December13 -- Nanjing Massacre Historical Fact Exhibition" in Beijing this August.


(China Daily July 22, 2005)

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