WW II Jewish Refugees in Shanghai
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"In the 1930s, as the Nazi scourge spread across Europe, all doors appeared to be closed to Jewish migration. The international city of Shanghai was the exception. It became the temporary home to more than 20,000 Jewish refugees from Germany, Austria, Poland and Lithuania – the largest single haven for settlement on the planet.
This February the Jewish Museum of Maryland will host this very special exhibit created by the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum, hopefully as the first stop on a new, national tour. Jewish Refugees and Shanghai contains 52 panels detailing the extraordinary history of an unexpected community. Weaving together the first-person experiences of more than two dozen individuals who lived in the Shanghai Jewish ghetto, this exhibit details the extraordinary history of an unexpected community.
This multi-lingual exhibit (the panels are printed in both Chinese and English), explores not just the journey and introduction to life in Shanghai but the creation and integration of these Jewish refugees with both their Chinese neighbors and the already-established Sephardic Jewish and Russian Jewish communities. Jewish Refugees and Shanghai does not shy away from the difficulties faced by these Jewish refugees, including the creation of the Hongkou Ghetto and the subsequent loss of jobs and freedom of movement they experienced.
Jewish Refugees and Shanghai is a story of resilience, cross-cultural acceptance, and the renewal of hope in the face of adversity. Bringing this exhibit to the Jewish Museum of Maryland will allow us to not only share this important, oft-overlooked story with our own community, but to reach out to the local Chinese American community."Source: Jewish Museum of Maryland website