Life for Refugees

When making the journey to Shanghai, Jews left behind their homes, successful businesses, families, and friends in order to ensure their safety. 

Due to the mass arrival of Jews fleeing Nazi Germany, overcrowding became a major issue and refugees found themselves living in unsafe and unsanitary conditions. It was also hard for these individuals to find jobs since they held positions that were not desirable in Shanghai at the time, such as doctors, musicians, and lawyers. Many had to rely financially on the aid of philanthropic organizations. Conditions deteriorated even further once Shanghai fell under Japanese military control. Despite these struggles, the Jewish refugees living in Shanghai managed to escape Europe and survive the war.

A Jewish girl and her Chinese friends in the Shanghai Ghetto during WWII, from the collection of the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum. Source: Wikimedia Commons

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