Ernest H. Forster

Based on: “Ernest H. Forster”, Yale University Library: Divinity Library
Suping Lu, A Mission under Duress: The Nanjing Massacre and Post-Massacre Social Conditions Documented by American Diplomats. Lanham, Maryland 2010 
Thomas Rabe, John Rabe. Sein Leben, seine Zeit. Heidelberg 2009

Last updated: 08/07/2019

Ernest H. Forster was born in 1895 in Philadelphia. In 1917, he graduated from Princeton University and later became assistant headmaster at St. Paul’s School in Baltimore, Maryland. Two years later, he went to China as an Episcopal missionary and began teaching at Mahan School in Yangzhou. He married Clarissa Townsend in 1936 in Boston and they returned to Yangzhou together. In 1937, they were transferred to Nanjing. While his wife was evacuated from the city, Forster stayed in Nanjing throughout the critical months of the Nanjing Massacre. In 1937/38, he worked with the International Committee for the Nanjing Safety Zone. In July 1938, he became the secretary of the International Red Cross Committee of Nanjing. He left Nanjing in April 1939.

Testifying and Contesting War Experiences in China and Japan