Saturday, June 07, 2008

Chinese building database of Jewish refugees

June 07, 2008 (Source)

The Israeli consulate in Shanghai and Shanghai's Hongkou District, a place where many Jewish refugees dwelled in World War II, are building a database of basic information on those refugees.

This is a first ever efforts to collect information, including name, gender, birthplace, career, biography, whereabouts and contact of the former refugees in Shanghai, a Hongkou District official said.

Historical records showed more than 30,000 Jewish people from Europe stayed in a Shanghai enclave from 1933 to 1941, fleeing the Nazi persecution. After the United States declared a war to Japan in December 1941, more than 25,000 Jewish refugees remained in Shanghai.

Thousands of Jewish runaways gained visa from a Chinese consul general based in Vienna, history said.

Chen Jian, curator of a Jewish history museum in Shanghai, said both Jewish and Chinese communities and historians hoped to find whereabouts of those refugees.

Chen said traces for tracking those temporary Shanghai residents would be from the Shanghai Archives, the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, foreign archives and global Jewish organizations.

The growing database now covers information, including a few pictures, on more than 600 Jewish refugees.

Chen said they also plan to inquire visitors to Jewish synagogues in Shanghai for collecting possible information.
Source: xinhua

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