Mem­o­ries to cher­ish

Refugee sto­ries given new lease of life

Global Times – Metro Shanghai - - FRONT PAGE - Source: Con­sulate Gen­eral of Is­rael in Shang­hai

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.

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