Synopses & Reviews
A unique and gripping document: the recently discovered diaries of a German businessman, John Rabe, who saved so many lives in the infamous siege of Nanking in 1937 that he
is now honored as the Oskar Schindler of China.
As the Japanese army closed in on the city and
all foreigners were ordered to evacuate, Rabe felt
it would shame him before his Chinese workers and dishonor the Fatherland if he abandoned them. Sending his wife to the north, he mobilized the remaining Westerners in Nanking and organized an "Inter-
national Safety Zone" within which all unarmed Chinese were to be--by virtue of Germany's pact with Japan--guaranteed safety. As hundreds of thousands of Chinese streamed into the city, the Japanese army began torturing, raping, and massacring them in un-
told numbers. All that stood between the Chinese and certain slaughter was Rabe and his committee, and it is thought that he saved more than 250,000 lives.
When the siege lifted in 1938 and Rabe finally felt able to leave, the Chinese gave him a banner that called him their Living Buddha, or Saint. Back home
in Germany, he wrote Adolf Hitler to describe the Japanese atrocities he had witnessed. Two days later, the Gestapo arrested him. Miraculously, he was not sent to the camps. As it turned out, Rabe survived
the war and the starvation that followed because the Chinese government learned that he was alive, and Madame Chiang Kai-shek had food parcels sent to him.
This book is the journal he kept each night during those months of horror and the difficult years that
followed. It is the record of an unpretentious hero who, when faced with the inhuman, refused to yield his ground.
About the Author
John Rabe was born in Hamburg in 1882.
He lived in China from 1908 to 1938, where his last position was that of director of the Siemens
office in Nanking. He died impoverished and unrecognized in Berlin in 1950.
Dr. Erwin Wickert, noted scholar and German ambassador to China from 1976 to 1980, first met Rabe in 1936 in Nanking. He is the author of several books about East Asia, including the best-selling China Seen from the Inside.
With 2 maps and