Shanghai Jewish History

28/04/2022

In the 1930s and the 1940s, Jews in Europe were suffering from the persecution of the Nazis. While many countries virtually closed their doors to them, the Chinese city of Shanghai sheltered them. In 1933, Jewish refugees began to escape to Shanghai from Germany and, later, from Nazi-occupied and Nazi-allied countries. The massive influx ended when Shanghal was cut off from the outside world by the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941. Between 1933 and 1941 it is estimated that at least 18,000 Jews came to Shanghai. TO some extent, “Shanghai” became synonymous with “Rescue” and “Haven” in the history of the Holocaust The Nazis and their collaborators not only attempted to annihilate European Jews, but also menaced Jewish communities outside the continent, including those in China. In July 1942, Colonel Josef Albert Meisinger, chief representative of the Gestapo to Japan, arrived in Shanghai and proposed their “Final Solution” to the Japanese authorities. Although his request was not put into effect, the Japanese authorities proclaimed a “Designated Area for Stateless Refugees” in Hongkou District (formerly called “Hongkew”), and forced all Jewish refugees into this area. The pressure from Nazi Gemany and the change of the Japanese authorities’ policy towards the Jewish community ih Shanghai to persecution put the Jewish refugees and the preexisting Jewish communities in Shanghai in great danger. Ultimately, however, almost all Jewish refugees in Shanghai survived the Holocaust and the war, due mostly from the Chinese people also played an important role. After the war, most of the Jewish refugees went to the United States, Australia, Israel and Canada their own mutual help and the great support from the Jews all around the world. The tolerance and help The history of Jewish refugees in Shanghai is unusual. Together. Chinese people and Jewish refugees defended themselves from Fascist atrocity – during the Pacific war, Nazi-allied Japan invaded China – and demonstrated the essential dignity of the human race. They showed love and care for each other and supported each other through. adversity. These experiences have created a special emotional bond between the Chinese and Jewish peoples In 2007, funded by the Hongkou District People’s Government, the former Ohel Moshe Synagogue was renovated and turned into the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum. The Museum, which includes a great abundance of historical records, is now serving as witness to the history of Jewish Refugees in Shanghai. It has received more than 120,000 visitors from 76 foreign countries and regions, mostiy from Israel, America and France According to the materials and stories that have been collected and accumulated over the past, the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum specially designed the traveling exhibition- Jewish Refugees and Shanghai. After a successful display in Germany in 2011 and Israel in 2012, this exhibition is now coming to the United States in the year of 2013. This is an exhibition about love and tolerance. It offers viewers a better understanding of this period in history and the Chinese people. The exhibit is also a warning to prevent tragedies like this in the future.

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