Visiting Shanghai’s Jewish Refugee Museum brought to my mind a discussion I had with a friend, some time ago. She had just returned from Germany, where she had the chance to visit Dachau concentration camp. I remember her describing the feeling of entering the site of martyrdom of an estimated number of 1.1 million people. Like a sense of concentrated negative energy, that was sending the chills to your backbone and bringing tears to your eyes. Between 1933 and 1945, a massive number of 600,000 German and Austrian Jews were forced to leave their homes. Although most of the nations expressed their “sympathy” for the refugees, it was not until 1938, that an international conference was called by US, in the fancy resort of Evian. After 9 days of endless discussions and exhausting dinners with local delicacies and French champagne, at the shores of Lake Geneva, all of the 35 gathered nations, except the “mighty” Dominican Republic, agreed that they couldn’t afford to facilitate the large waves of refugees (Sympathy nevertheless is free of charge and does not carry any diseases). Another reason, of less importance of course, was that no one of the participating countries, at that time, wanted to ruin their relationship with the rising power of Nazi Germany, the next big thing in Europe. Overwhelmed with people and poverty, Shanghai was the only place not requiring visas, following the occupation from Imperial Japan and for that reason, became a haven for an estimated number of 30,000 European Jews during WW2. It seems that History has a funny, but most of the times, tragic way to repeat itself....don’t you think? The weird thing though, is that uses usually the same main characters... #shanghai #shanghaiist #shanghailife #shanghaicity #iloveshanghai #thatsshanghai #thatsprd #insshanghai #instameetshanghai #ww2history #historylovers #historyinpictures #historyrepeatsitself #shanghaijewishrefugeesmuseum #nyip #adorama #adoramapix #sonyasia #sony #sonya7rii
Walked around the old Jewish ghetto and learned about the history of the refugees that sought safety from Europe in Shanghai.