Abstract of presentation
Title of presentation: The History of Chinese Interest in Jews in China
Abstract of presentation：The SJRM is opening a new stage in the history of Chinese interest in Jews who lived in China. I will trace the growth of Chinese engagement with the refugees from the time thousands of them arrived in 1939 up to today.
Stages in this process:
friendly acceptance of refugees as neighbors
first official organization devoted to Jewish history, Shanghai, 1989
opening of Jewish Studies departments and institutes in universities
Young Scholars Forums on Jewish Studies, 2012
international conferences in Shanghai: 1994, 2015, 2016
opening of SJRM, 2007
SJRM expansion: Wall of Names 2014, White Horse Inn 2015
wide media display of refugee history 2015, as part of celebration of the defeat of Japan and end of WWII
The International Advisory Board is a new step in growing international cooperation.
Title of presentation：The Unbroken Past: From Germany to Shanghai to San Francisco
Abstract of presentation：Kurt and Jeanette Nothenberg lived comfortably in the middle class in Germany raising their only child, Rudy. Following Kristallnacht, Kurt was arrested and sent to Buchenwald, but was later released on the condition that he leave the country immediately. The family left by train to Genoa, where they embarked on a journey by sea to Shanghai. Based on an interview with Rudy Nothenberg, formerly the chief administrative officer of San Francisco, and archival documents the presentation chronicles the Nothenberg family’s time in Shanghai, as well as the complex story of how Rudy, Jeanette, and Kurt, each made it to the United States in succession. The Nothenberg family’s refugee history is a timely one, given the present rise in xenophobia and anti-Semitism in the United States.
Title of presentation: Aiding Jewish Refugees in Shanghai
Abstract of presentation:This presentation sheds some lights on American Jewish rescue activities in Shanghai, thus contributing to the purpose of the Symposium. Since the Nazi rise to power, Jews began arriving in Shanghai. Shanghai offered them a haven. The local Jewish communities, the Japanese and the US government were embarrassed with the influx of those European refugees. The local Jewish communities could not support these refugees.The US Consulate could not cope with them. The Japanese were annoyed with those refugees coming to the areas under their control. However, they were not hostile to the Jews in Shanghai and Harbin despite Japan’s close relations with Nazi Germany until the conclusion of the Tripartite Pact in 1940.Then the American “Joint” in New York dispatched its staff to Shanghai. In May 1941 Laura Margolis arrived in Shanghai, later joined by another worker, Manuel Siegel. They started relief to Jewish refugees in cooperation with the local communities. To their fortune they found a Japanese counterpart, Navy Captain Koreshige Inuzuka . Inuzuka, one of the experts of Jewish affairs, was cooperative with the Joint. After Pearl Harbor, however, the Joint workers were interned by the Japanese in 1943, while Inuzuka was transferred to active service in the navy in March 1942. Although stateless Jews were ordered to move to the designated area set up at Hongkou by the Japanese in February 1943, they did not face such destiny as their brethren did in Europe.
It is more significant to keep those rescue activities in memory in this age of refugees. Shanghai Jewish Refugee Museum will play a role of a clearing house of those records on Jewish refugees in Shanghai in particular, subsequently creating worldwide networks with other institutions.
Title of presentation：Unanswered Questions About the Shanghai Jewish Experience
Abstract of presentation：The history of Shanghai is one of the most exhaustively researched topics in modern Chinese history. This oral presentation will examine unanswered questions about the Shanghai Jewish experience in multi-lingual scholarship. It will draw upon the work of Joshua Fogel and others on Shanghai as a whole. It will also consider the r scholarship of the late Irene Eber, David Kranzler, and others on the particular experience of Shanghai Jews, who often referred to themselves as “Shanghailanders.” It will emphasize the experience of those European Jews who the Hitler regime and consider Jews who fell into several specific categories: Shanghailanders who formally observed the faith of their fathers, notably the city’s long-resident Baghdadis as well as Central and Eastern Europeans affiliated with yeshivot, or religious academies; Shanghailanders of Jewish descent who had minimal association with Judaism as a religion, particularly those who championed other ideologies and affiliated with a broad spectrum of Socialist and other intellectual movements; and the experiences of particular interest to the late Irene Eber, namely the challenges faced by Jews who intermarried with Chinese and those of their mixed-race offspring.
Abstract of presentation：In 2016 in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia, a fortunate coincidence allowed me to make the acquaintance of two former Jewish refugees of Polish origin, Maria Kamm and Marcel Weyland, who experienced the wartime Japan and Shanghai. I have since conducted an international project of history and art: 'Marylka Project'.In my speech, I would like to succinctly present the outcome of this project as well as the difficulties that I am confronted with, calling for advice and cooperation from all the participants of the symposium.
Title of presentation: Content, collaboration, and communications: a case study for future museum programming and networking
Abstract of presentation: Writer Sholem Aleichem (1859-1916) and theater star Aaron Lebedeff (1873–1960) are iconic and universally celebrated giants of Yiddish culture. Their fame extended even to China: Sholem Aleichem’s works were translated into Mandarin and warmly welcomed, and Lebedeff lived and toured extensively throughout China from the early years of World War I to 1920. Using these cultural figures as inspirational examples, this presentation will show how the Shanghai Jewish Refugee Museum could collaborate with domestic and international museums, libraries, performing arts organizations, scholars, and descendants of the Jewish communities in China to create compelling programming content not only for the museum, but for its collaborators as well.
Title of presentation: Laura Margolis’s initial impression of leaders of the Committee for the Assistance of European Jewish Refugees in Shanghai.
Abstract of presentation: The paper examine the initial impressions of the representative sent by the American Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) to Shanghai to facilitate the emigration of Jewish refugees. Her confidential and critical impressions of the members of the Speelman Committee provide an interesting perspective on the efforts by Shanghai Jews to assist European Jewish Refugees.
The research is based on documents found in the archives of the JDC in NYC.
Title of presentation：David Bloch
Abstract of presentation：A presentation about my nearly finished documentary film on the art and life of David Bloch, a deaf German Jewish artist who came to Shanghai in the 1940s.
Joe Jeff Goldblatt
Title of presentation：Shanghai and Edinburgh: A Never – Ending Story of Faith, Fortitude and the Future
How We May Celebrate the Jewish Refugee Experience Together
Abstract of Presentation: A brief history of Jewish migration with a profound example of the influence and fortitude of the Shanghai people in providing shelter and support and a recommendation for future collaboration to further promote the Shanghai Jewish Refugee Museum to 500 million Europeans.
Title of presentation: Historiography and Sources for Researching Jewish Refugees in Shanghai in Historical Context
Abstract of presentation: This presentation will discuss the current state of the field of research on the Shanghai Jewish refugees, along with some of the most salient available sources for understanding their experiences during and after World War Two, and the challenges still existing with respect to records and oral histories. It will also place the refugees into the larger context of mid-century displaced persons in Asia, which also included interned Britons and Americans, Russian Jews and White Russians, Korean laborers, overseas Chinese, and international seafarers, exploring the importance of understanding the larger context of refugees and refugee aid in and after World War Two to the more specific history of the Jewish refugees in Shanghai.