Memories to cherish
Refugee stories given new lease of life
Shanghai and overseas dignitaries marked the publication of a book last week detailing the experiences of Jewish refugees in the city during World War II. The event took place at the Shanghai Exhibition Center where the Shanghai Book Fair was held. The book, Jewish Refugees in Shanghai (Chinese foreign language versions), is published by Shanghai Jiao Tong University Press.
Seventy years ago, Nazism was affecting every corner of Europe, forcing many Jewish people to flee their homelands. At the time, Shanghai was one of the few places in the world to offer sanctuary to these exiles. And the fascinating story of their lives in the city is recalled in many old newspapers and photographs of the time.
Since then, generation after generation of former Jewish refugees have returned to Shanghai to reclaim memories of their friendship with Shanghai residents. And to better understand this history, Shanghai Jiao Tong University Press launched the publishing project “Jewish Refugees and China.”
The publishing project aims to preserve the historical archives relating to this period, while making this information accessible in a number of languages. A series of three books will be made available in HebrewChinese, English-Chinese and German-Chinese translations. Editors have compiled and rewritten 26 historical accounts for this purpose.
Eyal Propper, Consul General of Israel in Shanghai, addressed the event, commenting that although China and Israel may be far apart in geographical terms, the two countries share many similarities. He said that Israeli and Chinese people both enjoy a love of reading and that books serve as a link between the two nations.
According to the publisher, the series of books will be sold in Germany and Israel in the future.
The event was attended by Eyal Propper, Consul General of Israel in Shanghai, Anna Desiree Adema, Consul General of the Netherlands in Shanghai, Claudia Spahl, Acting Consul General of Germany in Shanghai, Cao Deming, Deputy Chief of the Committee for Friendship with Foreign Countries of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Shanghai Committee, Chen Jian, curator of the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum, and other Chinese government officials.