M. S. Bates

Based on: “Miner Searle Bates”, the Yale University Library: Divinity Library 

Last updated: 10/07/2019

Special Collections, Yale Divinity School Library

Miner Searle Bates was born on May 28, 1897 in Newark, Ohio. He received a B.A. from Hiram College and went on to study at Oxford University. After interrupting his studies to join the YMCA and serve in Mesopotamia during World War I, he returned to England and finished his B.A. at Oxford. In the summer of 1920, the United Christian Missionary Society sent Bates to teach at the Nanjing University. In 1923, he married Lilliath Robbins, who was teaching at Ginling College. In 1935, he obtained his Ph.D. in Chinese history from Yale University.

At the time of the Japanese occupation, Bates became a member of the International Committee for the Nanjing Safety Zone. In 1938, he was appointed Vice President of Nanjing University. Bates stayed in Nanjing until 1941. After the war, he testified at the Tokyo Trial and subsequent Chinese trials for war criminals.

Testifying and Contesting War Experiences in China and Japan