Nanjing Diaries

Last updated: 12/07/2019

About the Diaries

The diaries which comprise more than 1800 pages of detailed accounts by Rabe, were written during the critical period from September 1937 to February 1938. They also include related materials such as letters, photographs, and newspaper clippings. Their discovery in 1996 caused an international sensation and, in recognition of his humanitarian deeds, Rabe was immediately called the ‘Oskar Schindler of China’.

A small selection of this source was published in 1997 in German as well as in English, Japanese, and Chinese translations. The Chinese version is a complete translation of the digest written by Rabe in 1942 whereas the English and Japanese versions are translated from the abridged German version (based on the 1942 digest), edited by John Rabe’s acquaintance, Erwin Wickert, in 1997. For the first time, this project examines the two unabridged versions of John Rabe’s Nanjing Diaries (originally written in Nanjing in 1937/38, re-written in Berlin in 1942) and places them into the context of related sources, including other war diaries, memoirs, news reports, and diplomatic documents.

Testifying and Contesting War Experiences in China and Japan