German editions of the diaries

Erwin Wickert (ed.), John Rabe. Der gute Deutsche von Nanking. Stuttgart 1997

Last updated: 01/06/2023

The first German edition from 1997. ©Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt DVA

The first German edition of the diaries was published in 1997 by Erwin Wickert, who had met John and Dora Rabe personally in 1936 in Nanjing. Apart from selected diary entries, it also includes documents that Rabe had collected as well as 21 additional documents about the massacre. These documents are for example telegrams and communiqués of the International Committee to the Japanese, German and American embassies. The Foreword and Afterword by Wickert provide insights into the historical background of German-Chinese history and John Rabe as a person. The almost 100-pages long Afterword also addresses the question whether John Rabe was a Nazi.

Two German reissues of the diaries were published in 2008 and 2009 on the occasion of the German film “John Rabe”, that premièred in 2009. The edition from 2009 includes in addition to the original appendices an afterword by the director Florian Gallenberger and John Rabe’s grandson Thomas Rabe.

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