Escape to Shanghai: A Jewish Community in China

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9780029273753: Escape to Shanghai: A Jewish Community in China

Tells the story, based on interviews with survivors, of the Jewish ghetto of World War II Shanghai, where thousands of refugees lived under abysmal conditions while a courageous Jewish underground conducted sabotage against the Japanese

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About the Author:

James R. Ross is an assistant professor of journalism at Northeastern University.

From Booklist:

Although not the first book on the Jewish ghetto in Shanghai, as the publisher claims (the first was the recent Shanghai Refuge by Ernest Heppner), this one nevertheless offers a compelling account of the 20,000 Jews living under Japanese rule in Shanghai during World War II. Shanghai was the only city that would accept stateless Jews without visas, and the Japanese permitted Jewish immigration there until 1941, when the last exit routes from Europe were sealed off. Ross interviewed about 200 survivors and traced down letters and documents in a dozen archives before writing the book. He recounts the lives of four of the survivors: an Austrian doctor, a young man from East Prussia, a boy from Berlin, and a rabbi's daughter from Neukolln, Germany. When Allied bombing raids begin, conditions in the ghetto reached the point where some Jews turned to begging and prostitution. But many of the refugees helped the Allied cause by passing on information about Japanese troop movements and about the damage from American air raids. Escape to Shanghai lacks the intimacy of a firsthand account, but Ross has faithfully recorded the privations, indignities, anxieties, and horrors that make up this little-known chapter in the suffering of the Jews. George Cohen

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