Escape to Shanghai: A Jewish Community in China

Overview

James R. Ross tells the story of this nearly forgotten Jewish community through the eyes of four individual refugees, tracing their roots in Europe, their escape from the Nazis, and their adjustment to life in Shanghai. Drawing on over 200 interviews with surviving members of the Shanghai Jewish community as well as a richly diverse documentary record, Ross blends investigative journalism with history and narrative nonfiction to provide a remarkably vivid and detailed account of this brave and beleaguered ...
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Overview

James R. Ross tells the story of this nearly forgotten Jewish community through the eyes of four individual refugees, tracing their roots in Europe, their escape from the Nazis, and their adjustment to life in Shanghai. Drawing on over 200 interviews with surviving members of the Shanghai Jewish community as well as a richly diverse documentary record, Ross blends investigative journalism with history and narrative nonfiction to provide a remarkably vivid and detailed account of this brave and beleaguered community.
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Editorial Reviews

George Cohen
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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780029273753
  • Publisher: Free Press
  • Publication date: 10/15/1993
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 6.52 (w) x 9.58 (h) x 1.15 (d)

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