Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum’s commemorative event of Jewish refugees in Shanghai

Time:2022/12/15 16:43:52        From:Eastday


On September 2, 2021, a commemorative event entitled "Share the Future and Cherish Peace - Commemoration of the 76th Anniversary of the Victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War" was held at the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum. Officials of the Israeli, Austrian, Polish and the US Consulates General in Shanghai and other foreign guests attended the event.


Chinese and foreign guests watched a documentary video funded by the Chia Tai Group. It tells the story of this period of history from the perspective of Jewish refugees and local Chinese residents, and is of high historical value while providing great inspiration.


After watching the documentary video, the guests expressed their views in a symposium. The idea of “Learning from history and looking into the future” was agreed upon by all the attendees. “The past gives us a means through which to both understand what is happening in our world today and to actively affect it. That is why we think active commemoration needs to live on," said Helmut Rakowitsch, consul general of the Republic of Austria in Shanghai. He also revealed that the Consulate General of the Republic of Austria in Shanghai, together with the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Shanghai and the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum, are currently preparing an active commemoration project. "We want to show the story of Lilli and Susanne, two Shanghai survivors, who were largely unknown," Helmut Rakowitsch added.

John Degory, the cultural consul of the United States of America in Shanghai, said that what moved him most was that at the end of the documentary, two elderly women from China and Israel embraced each other. "This is a moment of friendship and love, regardless of nationality," John Degory said, deeply touched. "Next week, Jews will celebrate the upcoming holiday of Rosh Hashanah, which is also known as the Jewish New Year. It is a time for Jews to think about the past and seize the moment," John Degory added.

Chen Jian, Director of the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum, believes that this event is an opportunity to strengthen ties and cooperation with institutions and friends from related countries, with the aim of making greater efforts to collect, preserve and study historical materials from this period in multiple ways.

On December 8, 2020, the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum, the only one in China that documents Jewish refugees’ lives in Shanghai during World War II, reopened after two year’s expansion and reconstruction, with an increase in the amount of exhibits from 150 to 1,000, many of which are the donations of Jewish refugees and their descendants. Through these objects and the oral historical data of the Jewish refugees, the story of the Chinese people who resolutely reached out to help the Jews who took refuge in Shanghai to escape the massacre by the German fascists during World War II is presented in a realistic, objective and vivid manner. China was also severely ravaged by the Japanese fascists at that time. Chinese and Jewish people pulled together through that hard time, providing a good example of building a community with a shared future for mankind.