A quick note about a book, A Romance in Natural History, recently brought to my attention by the author Allan Mazur, that anyone interested in foreigners in pre-communist Beijing may find interested – about the lives and work of the German-American palaeontologist Amadeus Grabau and his wife, the Jewish writer and activist for Teddy Roosevelt, Mary Antin.
“Grabau was the paleontologist/geologist who settled there in 1920, teaching and doing research until he was interned by the Japanese in the British Legation where he stayed through the war (unlike most other interned Westerners) and died in Beijing in 1946, shortly after his release. He is not much known in the West but he is honored in China. I believe there are only two memorial stones on the Peking University campus that honor Westerners, one for Edgar Snow, the other for Grabau. Grabau lived in a hutong to the west of the Forbidden City.
Any info on Grabau’s Beijing years, especially during the war is most welcome.”