The Jacquinot Safe Zone 饶家驹安全区
这个藏点是为了纪念伟大的饶家驹神父 Father Robert Jacquinot de Besange, S.J.在为保护上海人民所做的一切。
1937年，当日本军队进攻上海时，一位法国耶稣会士Robert Jacquinot de Besange, S.J.神父(中文名：饶家驹)英勇地站出来维护平民的生命，饶家驹神父在中国生活了27年，他决心为现代战争的受害者提供安全和庇护。通过不懈的谈判和巧妙的外交手段，饶家驹神父说服了日本和中国的军事领导人，允许在持续的战争中建立饶家驹安全区。饶家驹神父的举措后来被其他中国城市效仿，并在残酷的中日战争期间拯救了50多万中国平民的生命。1949年《日内瓦公约》的《议定书》和《评注》中都提到了饶家驹区的名字。
The English version was translated by AI, so please forgive any inaccuracies.
This cache is dedicated to the memory of the great Father Robert Jacquinot de Besange, S.J. for all he did to protect the people of Shanghai.
When Japanese forces attacked Shanghai in 1937, a French Jesuit, Father Robert Jacquinot de Besange, S.J., heroically stood up for human life. Father Jacquinot, who spent twenty-seven years in China, was determined to provide safety and refuge to victims of modern warfare. Through relentless negotiations and deft diplomacy, Father Jacquinot convinced Japanese and Chinese military leaders to allow for the establishment of a safe zone in the midst of the ongoing war. Father Jacquinot’s example was subsequently copied in other Chinese cities and saved the lives of more than half a million Chinese civilians over the course of the brutal Sino-Japanese war. The Jacquinot Zone is mentioned by name in both the Protocols and Commentaries to the Geneva Convention of 1949.
饶家驹神父在建立安全区前 Before the founding of the safe zone
Father Jacquinot was born on March 15, 1878 in the small town of Saintes in the western French province of Charente. At the age of 16, he joined the Society of Jesus. Due to the changing situation in France in the early 20th century, the Society of Jesus was expelled from France.He was unable to complete his religious studies in France. Therefore, he traveled to several countries, including England and Belgium, and after 19 years of training, he officially became a missionary. Shortly after completing his studies, Father Jacquinot was sent to Shanghai to preach in 1913, the year before the outbreak of World War I.
After arriving in Shanghai, he was assigned to Xujiahui, where he quickly learned Chinese and became close to the local people. He took on a Chinese name, 饶家驹, which is believed to be because his Shanghai dialect pronunciation was similar to “Jacquinot”.
He also served as the supervisor of Xuhui Public School (now Xuhui Middle School), teaching French and chemistry, and as a professor of English language and literature and natural science at St. John’s University (now the School of Medicine of Shanghai Jiao Tong University).
In May 1914, Father Jacquinot had an accident while making fireworks and lost his right arm.
From 1914 to 1934, he also served as a priest at the Holy Heart Church in Hongkou, where he learned Japanese through contact with Japanese immigrants. This laid the foundation for his future negotiations and communication with the Japanese army.
If you don’t want to follow the route I’ve set out, look for a plague to the Jacquinot Safe Zone in this “City god temple” and “Yu yuan” scenic areas. Go straight to Stage 7 below. No entrance fee is needed.
1. 豫园地铁站1号出口 Exit 1 of Yuyuan Subway Station.
Coming out of Exit 1, you will find yourself at an intersection. Looking north, the road in front of you, Renmin Road, was the boundary between Shanghai County and the French Concession at that time.
If you stand in the concession and look south, this was the location of the Old North Gate, also known as the Yanhai Gate. An iron Gate was there. At that time, it looked like this:
On August 13, 1937, the Japanese army launched an attack on the Chinese defenders on Baoshan Road, causing a large number of civilians to suffer and flee to the French Concession and the International Concession. After the outbreak of the war, countless refugees, including those from other provinces, flooded into the concessions every day. On the day of the “8.13 Incident” alone, 60,000 people entered the concessions. Due to the overwhelming number of refugees, the French Concession began to regulate the iron gate between the concession and Shanghai County, opening it at scheduled times. As a result, large numbers of refugees would wait in front of the gate every day.
Do not cross the road. Instead, turn around and head south along the road. At the first intersection, turn left to the east.
2. 清真寺 Mosque
As the Vice Chairman of the Shanghai International Red Cross and the Chairman of the Refugee Committee under its jurisdiction, Father Jacquinot began to search for a place in the Nanshi District (also be called Nantao) to serve as a safe haven for refugees. This would become a paradise for 250,000 refugees from China and other countries to escape the war. Father Jacquinot personally drafted a letter, co-signed by himself and the mayor of Shanghai, requesting that an area be designated in the Nanshi District as a refuge for refugees and established as a safe zone (also known as the “Jacquinot Safe Zone”). The letter explicitly stated that the area to the east, north, and west of the safe zone would be bounded by the Renmin Road south of the French Concession, and to the south by Fangbang Road. In order to establish the safe zone, Father Jacquinot began secret negotiations with Chinese and Japanese authorities, which lasted for three days and three nights.
In the end, the safe zone was established.
If you follow the directions, here you will see a mosque, which was also one of the places where refugees were sheltered after the creation of the safe zone. Here you will find a Qur’anic verse followed by the numbers A:B
3. 珠玉业公会 Jewelry Industry Association
After the opening of Shanghai, the rapid development of industry and commerce, various industries to protect their own interests, have set up industry associations. At the end of the Qing Dynasty, the Yuyuan Garden fell into disrepair, and the various industries in the city gathered to discuss the restoration, and agreed that the Yuyuan Garden would be used by those who funded the repair. Various industry associations settled in the Yuyuan Garden.
After the mosque, in the first intersection to the right, you will see an jewelry shop, when the Jewelry Industry Association was settled here. What you see now is the reconstructed building. The original building was built in the twelfth year of the Qing Dynasty Tongzhi (1883), named Yangzhi Hall, two-story brick structure, with a large hall, council chambers, guest houses and other building.
After the establishment of the Safety Zone, many industry offices were opened to accommodate many refugees, and the Jewelry Industry Association was one of them.
The door number of this place is C
4. 禅寺 Temple
It was originally a family shrine where the owner of Yuyuan Garden, Pan Yunduan, enshrined the Goddess of Mercy statue. It was rebuilt during the Jiaqing period of the Qing Dynasty by local governor, and renamed “Ci Yun Zen Temple”. November 18, 1937, reported in the newspaper “Declaration The International Relief Society investigated the exact number of refugees in the refugee area and found that there were “600 people accomodated here”, which shows that the temple housed a large number of refugees at that time. Today, here is an important Buddhist site.
Here you can see a pagoda with a black plaque on which the name of the temple is written. Right below the plaque, there are D small animals.
5. 游乐场 Amusement park
You can see a white building, which does not seem to be in harmony with its surroundings, and at the time this building was built, it was a three-story amusement park.
On November 9, the first day of the safe zone, this playground housed 1,200 refugees, while the entire safe zone housed more than 20,000 people.
There is an entrance on the east side of this building, which is numbered E, into the scenic area. Please take some time to enjoy your tour here.
6. 饶家驹办公点 Father Jacquinot’s office
On November 15, the International Relief Society’s Nanshi Refugee Zone Office was established, and this is where Father Jacquinot handled the office that ensured the functioning of this safe zone. The building had three floors at the time, and Father Jacquinot was on the third floor. It was here that he thought about how to feed and clothe 250,000 people, and how to handle relations with the Japanese army and the Shanghai authorities, to solve emergencies, and to ensure the security and normal functioning of this small-scale town.
The entire safe zone was run with donations from the Chinese government and the general Shanghai public, but Father Jacquinot also went as far as the United States and met with then President Roosevelt and received support and help in the form of a $700,000 donation from the United States.
7. 纪念碑 The Plague
Your biggest challenge here is to find a plague or monument to this history.
In 2017, the plague of Shanghai Nanshi Refugee Zone was officially unveiled on December 14, 2017 under the appeal of Professor Su Zhiliang and other related people, please find this plague with the introduction of the safety zone in Chinese. This plague is hard to find, personally I don’t think it is set in a good place, and you can only reach the plague during the day. If someone stops you, you can explain to him that you just want to see the monument, and he may let you go. Or at least you could take a photo at the outside.
Sorry the momument is written in Chinese. But at the end you could find:
“Safety Zone of Nantao La Jacquinot Zone”
Facing the plague, to the left of it, are two mythological figures with F animals on their clothes.
Closure of the Safety Zone, Father Jacquinot return to France
From its official establishment on November 9, 1937 to its declaration of closure on June 30, 1940, the Jacquinot Zone existed for a total of 963 days, protecting 300,000 Chinese refugees in succession.
After the German invasion of France on June 16, 1940, Father Jacquinot was recruited to return to France, where he was also engaged in establishing a safety zone and helping refugee. In May 1945, after the German surrender, Father Jacquinot, who had a great spirit of love, took up his bag and went to Berlin to help the German refugees. As a Frenchman, he helped the people of the country that had invaded his own country and brought endless disasters to France. Regardless of the past, in his eyes, there were only people who suffered, and there was no distinction between friend and foe.
饶家驹神父的最后归宿 Father Jacquinot’s final destination
At the beginning of September 1946, Father Jacquinot was admitted to a hospital in Berlin because he had fallen too weak. He had to leave his work as a refugee relief worker, which he had longed for. At this time, doctors diagnosed him with advanced leukemia. Only a few days later, at 16:40 on September 10, Father Jacquinot passed away peacefully and quietly.
On September 18, the people of Shanghai, especially those who had received help from Father Jacquinot, held a memorial mass at St. Peter’s Catholic Church, where Father Jacquinot had worked. The lay people of the old refugee area in Nanshi also requested that a memorial Mass be held for Father Jacquinot at St. Joseph’s Church, and many of the original refugees came from all directions with their children and elderly to attend the ceremony.
In 1951, when the French National Cemetery was moved, most of the remains of those buried there were moved back to France, and Father Jacquinot’s family no longer had any descendants, so his grave was left in Berlin, at the Berlin Wetland Cemetery on the Holy Lake.
In September 2013, the grave of the great humanitarian Father Jacquinot was unveiled in the French cemetery area in West Berlin, Germany. In the presence of Chinese, French and German diplomats, historical scholars, church representatives and media representatives, etc. Father Jacquinot’s tombstone was covered with a large flag stitched together with Chinese, French and German flags, and the Chinese scholar Yu Qiuyu inscribed Father Jacquinot’s tombstone with the words “The benevolent one loves people”, which were engraved on jade pieces and set on the tombstone.
后记及感谢 Postscript and Thanks
可惜的是，我是在得到 Virtual Reward 之后才知道这段历史的，否则我一定会这个 Reward 用在这个主题上。我希望这个藏点能永远存在下去，即使在未来我无力继续 Geocaching 的时候。
After learning about the exploits of Father Jacquinot, I was overwhelmed by the site of the original Safety Zone, a place I had known very well since I was a child, and I had many people I knew who lived near that area. I wondered if any of their grandparents might have lived in the Zone. And this history was not well known to us, I had never even heard of it. Well in recent years this history has been re-discovered and I feel the same way as Professor Su. The buildings in the Nashi District are basically going to be torn down and those historical locations are disappearing. I hope that through this hiding spot more people will know about this great priest and this history.
Unfortunately, I only found out about this history after I used the Virtual Reward, otherwise I would have used this Reward for this theme. I hope that this cache will last forever, even if I am unable to continue Geocaching in the future.
感谢 Marcia R. Ristaino 因为她的 《The Jacquinot Safe Zone》 这本书，让更多其它国家的人了解了这段历史和神父的伟大义举。
Thanks to Professor Su Zhiliang, whose efforts and in-depth research have made Father Jacquinot’s story more widely known to the Chinese people, his books “Jacquinot and Civil Protection in Wartime and Shanghai” and “Shanghai Rabe: Father Jacquinot” are the best Chinese books available on the history and life of Father Jacquinot.
Thanks to Marcia R. Ristaino’s book “The Jacquinot Safe Zone”, more people in other countries have been able to learn about this history and the great deeds of the priest.
The text and photographs in this article are largely taken from the above-mentioned book and the internet.