In This Review

The Good Man of Nanking: The Diaries of John Rabe
The Good Man of Nanking: The Diaries of John Rabe
Edited by Erwin Wickert (translated from the German by John
Alfred A. Knopf, 1998, 384 pp

This plainspoken diary of a remarkable German businessman makes vivid the horrors of The Japanese Conquest of Nanking. It Documents The Looting, Raping, and Killing of Civilians In What Became Known As The Rape of Nanking. John Rabe Was The Siemens Factory Manager In The City When The Japanese Army Began Its Rampage In December 1937. He Quickly Organized A Protected Zone That, Against Great Odds, Provided Safe Haven for Some 250,000 Chinese Civilians and Ultimately Saved Their Lives. He Personally Took 650 Refugees Into His Own Home and Tried To Convince The Japanese Authorities To End Their Atrocities. A Nazi Party Member, He Even Wrote To Hitler Demanding That The Japanese Government Be Told To Stem Its Soldiers' Awful Conduct. Armed Only With His German Passport and A Nazi Arm Band, Rabe Repeatedly Stopped Japanese Soldiers From Raping Chinese Women. He Tells It All In A Straightforward Manner, With Great Modesty and Compassion. And Editor Erwin Wickert, Who Met Him In 1936 While Traveling In China, Describes Rabe In His foreword In Very Human Terms.