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Extended Audio Sample The Good Man of Nanking: The Diaries of John Rabe, by John Rabe Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (109 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Rabe Narrator: Anna Fields Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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This unique and gripping document contains 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 being honored as the Oskar Schindler of China. As the Japanese army closed in and all foreigners were ordered to evacuate, Rabe mobilized the remaining Westerners in Nanking and organized an “International Safety Zone” which guaranteed safety to all unarmed Chinese by virtue of Germany’s pact with Japan. As hundreds of thousands of Chinese streamed into the city, all that stood between them and certain slaughter were Rabe and his committee, and it is thought that he saved more than 250,000 lives. After the siege, when he was arrested by the Gestapo in Germany, he survived the war and the starvation that followed with help from the Chinese government. His journal is a record of inhuman horror and unpretentious heroism.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Riveting, inspiring, terrifying, and tragically sad.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “A document of the power of the human will…A quarter-million Chinese survived the horror of Nanking because John Rabe didn’t hesitate to act.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Fields’ even-toned, unvoiced performance provides the serious tone that this work deserves.” 


  • “The diary format provides a forum for the extraordinary power and immediacy of John Rabe’s words, including his gallows humor, placing the reader there in Nanking as the bombs explode and the Japanese soldiers begin their massacres.”


  • “The matter-of-fact way that he writes about those extraordinary events serves to underline the horrors experienced by all in Nanking…The book’s strength is…the immediacy of the story being told. This is one worth telling.”


  • “Rabe’s dramatic and perhaps, to some, ambiguous tale shows how unremarkable people can sometimes do remarkable things, and how one evil can, sometimes, be used to fight another.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Johan Herrenberg | 4/27/2012

    " This is a good first introduction to the terrible event that is the Nanking Massacre. The character of John Rabe comes through very strongly. He really had a sort of greatness thrust upon him. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Jodi | 2/12/2012

    " This is a fabulous challenge of your automatic vilification of anyone a member of the Nazi Party. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Amber | 7/30/2011

    " This is a mediocre book that promised more but didn't deliver. Perhaps, it's the translation. Anywhoooooo! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jada | 5/30/2011

    " Disturbing. Definitely NOT for the faint hearted. "

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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. His wartime diaries were published as The Good Man of Nanking. Rabe died impoverished and unrecognized in Berlin in 1950.