Jewish refugees in Shanghai during WW2
I have been asked and am pleased to post the following article on behalf of Catherine L.
Few people are aware that up to 20,000 Jewish refugees, from Germany and Austria mainly, were able to find a refuge in Shanghai, China. No visa was required to get there as late as 1939, when most, if not all, the countries in the world were closing their doors to them.
It was called 'the Port of Last Resort'.
Many survived, if in very uncomfortable conditions, as they were helped by Jewish charities run by the families who had settled in Shanghai long before the war, like the Sassoons, or the Kadooris.
They developed a whole cultural life among themselves, opened schools and ran newspapers; life had to go on... The Chinese themselves never showed any hostility towards them, on the contrary. When the war was over the refugees were able to emigrate to The USA, Australia, Canada... a few returned to Europe, some to England,having sometimes spent up to eight years in China.
The area of the old ghetto, called Hongkew, where they huddled up all those years in terrible sanitary conditions, is now considered prime real estate location....