Huang Renlin 黃仁霖

Based on: Zihan Mei/Jiayun Liao. Huang, Jenlin 黃仁霖 (1901 – 1983). China’s No.1 Meeter and Greeter. Class Project: ASIA 2610 Overseas Encounters (Spring 2023)
Charles Keller. The Christian Student Movement, YMCAs, and Transnationalism in Republican China, in: The Journal of American-East Asian Relations 13 (2004 – 2006). Special Volume: Christianity as an Issue in the History of U.S.-China Relations, p. 55 – 80
Suping Lu. Japanese Atrocities in Nanjing. The Nanjing Massacre and Post-Massacre Social Conditions Recorded in German Diplomatic Documents. Singapore 2022
Bob Tadashi Wakabayashi (ed.). The Nanking Atrocity, 1937 – 1938. Complicating the Picture. New York 2009

Last updated: 30/05/2023

During the 1950s, he was promoted to General.

Huang Renlin (Jen-lin), born in 1901 in Yixian, was director of the “Officers’ Moral Endeavour Association” (OMEA), also known as the New Life Movement Promotion Association. The original goal of this group was to establish discipline among the officers of the Chinese Republican Army. It was founded in 1929. Huang was director of this organization for most of its existence. The activities of the OMEA expanded over time also towards recreation, logistics and contacts with foreign representatives.

In this function, he met John Rabe on 6 December 1937, one week before the fall of Nanjing. Huang criticized the idea of a Safety Zone, because he feared that it would be a demoralizing factor for the Chinese defenders of the city. Huang also had connections to Chiang Kai-shek, the leader of the Kuomintang who was generally favourable towards the efforts of the International Committee.

After the war, Huang served the Chinese Republic on Taiwan as ambassador to Panama and as chairman of Soochow University in Taipei. The original Soochow University remained in Suzhou after the Communist takeover in 1949, but several members retreated with the Kuomintang-Government to Taiwan and re-established the university on democratic foundations. Both universities exist until today. Huang died in 1983.

His younger brother, Huang Kuanghan, was Captain in the Chinese Air Force. He had hidden in Rabe’s house for more than two months after the fall of the city in December 1937. During an attempt to escape, a friend drowned while trying to swim through the river Yangtze. Huang Kuanghan managed to return to Rabe’s house without being caught by the Japanese. When Rabe left Nanjing on 23 February 1938, Huang Kuanghan was smuggled out of the city with a fake passport, disguised as an assistant of Rabe. His family lived in Hongkong, where John and his wife Dora spent a few days before taking a boat to return to Germany.

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