"Dr. Feng Shan Ho & Jewish Refugees–From Vienna to Shanghai" Pictures Exhibition
On June 11, 2008, the Pictures Exhibition “Dr. Feng Shan Ho and Jewish Refugees – From Vienna to Shanghai” debuted at the Museum and displayed 41 pictures. In this exhibition, Dr. Feng Shan Ho’s photo at the graduation ceremony in Yali Unversity, his pictures as an ambassador of China to Austria, the picture of him and his wife in Cairo, Egypt, and several photos of the passports that he had undersigned for Jewish refugees, were shown for the first time in Shanghai. The exhibition honored Feng Shan Ho for his brave and righteous deeds, as the Chinese Consul General to Vienna, Austria, of saving thousands of Jews during WWII, and told visitors from around the world a history which is barely known to the public.
Dr. Feng Shan Ho was born on Sept. 10, 1901 in Yiyang, Hunan Province. He was Consul General in Vienna during 1938 and 1940, and was known as China’s “Schindler”. After Kristallnacht in 1938, the Nazi persecution of Jews escalated. In consequence, thousands of Jews ran from embassies to embassies in order to obtain foreign visas so that they could leave Europe. Any visa at that time was a “Visa for Life”, because it could save a life. While, the 32 attending countries at the international conference on refugees in Evian, France, on July 6, 1938, including the United States, Canada, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand, refused to accept Jewish immigrants, Dr. Feng Shan Ho issued “Visas for Life” to thousands of Jews, despite his superior's opposition. Jakob Rosenfeld had come to Shanghai with a visa given by Feng Shan Ho. During the two years from 1938 to May 1940 when Dr Ho was transferred back to China, he gave an unknown number of “Visas for Life”. Researches revealed that during the five months from May to October 1938, Feng Shan Ho gave out over nineteen hundred Chinese visas to Jews in Austria.
On Sept. 28, 1997, Dr. Ho passed away in San Francisco at the age of 96. On Jan. 23, 2001, the Government of Israel held a ceremony to unveil the “Monument of Dr Feng Shan Ho -- Righteous Among the Nations” at Yad Vashham in Jerusalem, and officially honored him as “Righteous Among the Nations”.
On June 6, 2008, the US Senate passed a resolution honoring Dr. Feng Shan Ho to: 1. reward and honor him for his great courage and love by giving visas to Jews, in spite of personal risks, in Vienna during 1938 and 1940; 2. advocate his heroic deed of saving thousands of Jews from the Holocaust. It is reported that the bill was the first that commended China of all China-related resolutions by the US Congress in 2008.