Peter Harmsen (Denmark), professor the University of Aarhus, journalist Far East and author of Nanjing 1937:Battle for a Doomed City and Shanghai 1937: Stalingrad on the Yangtze.
Humanity Amidst Deprivation
Shanghai has undergone enormous change in the course of the past seven decades, but before that it was a city at war and a city under occupation. The momentous events that befell Shanghai during World War Two – or, as the Chinese call it, the Second Sino-Japanese War – touched numerous lives, but most never had the opportunity to tell their story. We are, therefore, extremely lucky that Margaret Blair, a gifted writer who spent her childhood in Shanghai, has recorded her memoirs of those painful years and passed her experiences on to future generations. A young detainee of the Japanese, she has done a favor to the memory of the many innocent people whose lives were shattered by the brutality of Japanese imperialism, and she has done a favor to the rest of us well, giving us a work that not only tells us about a specific time and place in history, but also provides a timeless tale of humanity amidst loss and deprivation.