Read

Jewish last haven

  ——When any other country in the world closed its doors to European Jews, Shanghai was the only safe place we could find…
  ——Sig Simon
  
  When the office Xiaozhu handed us the invitation card of the Israeli embassy in China—— – Invited us to watch the archives documentary “The Last Safe Haven – Escape to Shanghai”. When asked if we could attend, we answered without hesitation: we must go. Because we know the value of this film is in no way inferior to a feature film based on historical facts like “Schindler’s List”. It will more objectively and truly reveal the little-known blood and tear-stained historical facts more than half a century ago…
  If Hitler came to power in January 1933 and established the so-called “Third Reich”, it was very important to the people of Europe and the world. If they are all serious disasters, then, since 135 BC, they have been forcibly expelled from the “Canaan Land” – Palestine, because of their failure to resist the Roman uprising – and scattered to the isolated areas of European countries that are highly discriminated against – ” For the Jews who lived in the ghetto for more than 2,000 years, they were faced with a disaster that was a hundred times crueler than the persecution of the Jews in the Middle Ages! In the eyes of Hitler, a narrow-minded, paranoid racist tyrant, only the “purest” Aryans, the Germanic peoples of Germany, were worthy of world domination. In his congressional speech, he exclaimed: “Man is born different, and the culture we see today, the achievements of art, science and technology, were almost entirely created by the Aryans.” Other races, especially Jews In his eyes, even pigs and dogs are inferior. He cursed the Jews in Mein Kampf: “The Jews themselves have no culture at all. Their intelligence is developed through contact with the civilizations adjacent to them.” “Jews are scattered all over the world, it is true It is a characteristic of a parasite.” He openly incited the extermination of Jews like the medieval religious fanatics shouted “kill a Jew to save your soul”: “Today, I dare to predict that if the Jewish financial power of European countries drags countries into If we enter another world war, the result will not be the victory of the Jews and the Bolshevikization of the whole world, but the complete annihilation of the Jewish nation scattered throughout Europe!”
  I can’t remember a philosopher who said: Whoever God wants to perish must first make him crazy. This is very true for a lunatic like Hitler. It is a pity that these arrogant words of Hitler turned out to be the dominant creed of German society. When the imperial propaganda minister planned to publicly burn the works of famous Jewish poets, writers and scientific giants such as Heine, Thomas Mann, Einstein, Zola, Freud, etc. in an attempt to eliminate their influence, those non-Jews The professors and scientists also echoed it!
  ”Hey—Hitler!” “Hey—Hitler!” With the harsh howl of the Nazis on the screen, with the thick smoke that gradually spread throughout Europe, we suddenly thought of Auschwitz On the stone tablet in front of the concentration camp, there is an inscription: “When a government starts to burn books, if it doesn’t stop it, then it should burn the living next.” According to statistics, before 1933, people living in There are about nine million Jews in Europe. The Jews have been living in Europe for more than a thousand years since they were driven out of the “land of Canaan” – Palestine in 135 BC and forced into “the great diaspora”. For more than a thousand years, although there have been too many storms in the sleep of generations of Jews, the Jewish “ghettos”, which have been discriminated against, can barely shield them from the wind and rain. However, when Hitler’s extreme racism prevailed in Germany, and the Nazis burned books and then started to burn living people, European countries were afraid to offend Hitler, and regarded the large number of Jewish refugees who had escaped from the fascist knife as a disaster, and regarded them as Kicked over and over like a ball, forcing them to climb over mountains and mountains, help the old and the young, suddenly east and west, fleeing from one country to another, but no country stood up against it, or opened its door to these victims. A refuge for Jewish refugees for the rest of their lives. By the end of World War II in 1945, only three million Jews remained in Europe. In twelve years, more than six million Jews were killed by the German fascists, a third of them children. Those Jews who did not have time to escape, or were forcibly decorated with yellow satellites, a symbol of shame for Jews, were driven into the tightly locked “ghetto” and left to die of illness and starvation. Or, like livestock, they were transported to various concentration camps in the German-occupied territories, where they were punished for hard labor or as experimental animals for biological and chemical weapons. In the Auschwitz concentration camp, known as the “killing factory” alone, nearly four million Jews were killed there. On the screen, those elderly people, women and children who died of illness, freezing and starvation on the way to escape left a last helpless glance; those who encountered wind and waves in the vast sea, hit a reef, or were hit by torpedoes launched by German submarines died. The last horrified cry in front of the fish’s belly; those heart palpitating statistics… are like a leather whip dipped in water, lashing the conscience of the civilized world! It is the policy of appeasement and appeasement of European countries that not only fuels the arrogance of German fascists, but also makes their own country and the whole of Europe fall under the bloody claws of Hitler as well…
  On the screen, just as Fred Fields, Sig Simon and their parents and friends were driven by German fascist tanks and motorized troops, they were rushing to and fro with the refugee tide in war-torn Europe. Suddenly, when you can no longer find a “safe haven”. Even the United States, known as the “immigrant country” on the other side of the ocean, made things difficult for Jews to enter the country. Just when they had no way to go to the sky, no way to enter the earth, and no way to ask God for help, they learned that in the far east, there was a place that they could go to without any official documents, no guarantees, just a visa— -Shanghai. For them, this is simply a ray of sunshine that is desperate and desperate. As a result, they tried to get visas issued by the Chinese embassy and consulates from their respective places, and went to this strange city in the easternmost part of the Asian continent. Especially between 1938 and 1941, about 20,000 Jewish survivors fled from the clutches of German fascists to Shanghai, their “last haven”.
  To brush away the dust of history, He Fengshan – a man in troubled times, but with awe-inspiring righteousness, not afraid of the rape of the German fascists, and regardless of the stance taken by the major powers to curry favor with Germany at the Evian Conference, refusing to relax the restrictive immigration policy , and the order of his immediate boss, the Chinese ambassador in Berlin, the names and deeds of the Chinese diplomats who resolutely and ceaselessly extended a helping hand to the orphaned Jews finally came to light. Many Jewish survivors escaped and reached Shanghai only by relying on a visa he issued during his tenure as the Chinese consul general in Vienna from 1938 to 1940. In 1953, the Israeli government decided, in the name of the Jewish nation, to issue “International Righteousness” certificates of honor to non-Jewish individuals or families who risked their lives to save Jews during World War II. In the Jewish moral concept, “the righteous” is a very high honor. Ho Fengshan ended his diplomatic career in 1973 and died in 1997 at the age of 96. He once said something like this: the talent bestowed by God is not an accident, and the formation of heroic belief is not easy. It was not until after his death that the survivors he had rescued in the past transferred his materials and evidence to the “International Righteous” Ordination Committee of the De Wissim Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem. The title of righteous man” in recognition of his righteous deeds that year. He Fengshan’s name and achievements, like Schindler, Sugihara Qianmu and other “righteous men of the world”, will always be remembered by the Jewish nation and human history.
  The Jewish survivors suffered untold hardships. After arriving in Shanghai, the Japanese occupation authorities placed the Jewish refugees in a quarantine area in Hongkou District on the grounds that they were “stateless”. Under the occupation of the Japanese invaders, the citizens of Shanghai, who were also living in dire straits, warmly accepted these uninvited guests from afar, got along well with them, shared weal and woe, and quickly adapted to this unfamiliar place. They live according to the Jewish national religion and traditional customs: celebrate the Sabbath, go to the Jewish Rachel Synagogue on Seymour Road to pray… On the screen, the “Senmao Noodle House” opened by the Chinese and the outdoor cafe opened by the Jews stand side by side, eating pasta in the noodle shop The Chinese and the Jews who sip coffee in the cafe are different ethnic groups, different languages, and different cultures, but they adapt to each other and do not interfere with each other. It is probably a unique scenery at dusk in the Hongkou District of Shanghai in the occupied area of ​​​​that year. No wonder Sig Simon recalls that time when he called the Jewish community of Hongkou where they lived, the “Shangri-La” of Jews. Because in that chaotic world, their relatives and friends who did not have time to escape from Europe either died tragically under the slaughter of Hitler’s Gestapo, or they were imprisoned in dark concentration camps. Although the life of the Jewish community in Hongkou in Shanghai is difficult, for the Jews living there, they have finally found a “last haven”. A day of hard work, bathing in the sunset, resting our tired bodies in an open-air cafe, and sipping a cup of coffee, this comfort was something they would not even dare to think about on their way to escape…
  In fact, in those days, Much better than the local Shanghainese. Because the Japanese “Imperial Army” knew that these Jewish exiles from Europe posed no threat to their safety, there were few restrictions. To leave the quarantine zone and go to a foreign settlement to find a job, get a job, or do business, all you need to do is show your ID card to the “Imperial Army”. However, their Chinese landlords and neighbors are not so convenient. In addition to checking their “good citizen certificates”, the Japanese “Imperial Army” also requires special permission. Because they know that the Chinese are by no means “good people” who obey them.

  After Japan surrendered in August 1945, the Jews living in Shanghai, the “last haven”, left Shanghai one after another and went to the United States, Brazil, Canada, or Palestine, the “land of Canaan” that Jehovah gave to their ancestors. However, they have left unforgettable memories of the Shanghai Hongkou Jewish community where they once lived, the “Shangri-La” in the troubled times. Looking at the touching scene of the Jews leaving Shanghai by boat and seeing off their relatives and friends on the pier, and the Chinese friends, neighbors, and colleagues who had spent the difficult years together under the Japanese occupation, I suddenly guessed that those on the screen Among the children who waved goodbye to their Chinese friends by the boat rail, maybe there is Professor Ellis Joffe we ​​know? We met during an academic exchange with the Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in November 1998, where he is a senior researcher. When the host introduced the other participant and introduced him, the gray-haired but radiant scholar actually introduced himself in Chinese. It turned out that he was born in Shanghai and moved to Israel with his parents in 1949. He said that although he attended a Jewish school in Shanghai, he often played with Chinese children in the alley. It was about that unforgettable period that made him form an indissoluble bond with China. In the 1960s, he obtained a master’s degree and a doctorate from the University of Hong Kong and Harvard University in the United States, and became an expert on China issues.
  Mr. Ai Zhongxin, a famous oil painter of the older generation in my country, was traveling and sketching in Germany in the 1950s when he met a Jewish artist Trafford who was persecuted by the Nazis during World War II and fled to Shanghai. Trafford’s apartment is full of newspapers and magazines, woodcut repertoires, movie and drama manuals and other documents published in Shanghai in those years, and is preparing to write a monograph on the history of Shanghai’s cultural activities. Once, when Mr. Ai was chatting with Trafford, Trafford suddenly remembered several Chinese words such as “Jin Jiang Hotel”, “soup noodles” and “fried noodles”. He remembered that it was a Sichuan-style restaurant. The proprietress was well-managed. Every dish, even a bowl of noodles, had to be checked by her before it was served. Ai Lao told him that the Jin Jiang Hotel had been moved from a double-room shop to a thirteen-story building. Trafford hurriedly asked, “Is it the thirteen-story building near the Lanxin Theater?” Ai Lao replied, “Exactly.” Trafford was surprised. Mr. Ai told him that the proprietress he mentioned just now was not an ordinary proprietress, nor a “good citizen” under the rule of the Japanese invaders, but a brave patriot who fought in the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression. During the war of liberation and liberation, he covered many underground party members and democrats. Trafford hurriedly inquired about the name of the proprietress, and Ai smiled and told him the name that has long been known and respected – Dong Zhuyun, member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference…
  Interestingly, Mr. Ai Zhongxin’s son, oil painter Ai Minyou once told us , During the “Cultural Revolution”, they saw the family tree of people with the surname of Ai from Shanghai’s Aijia Lane, and they knew that most of the families of people with the surname of Ai in China were of Jewish ancestry. This is also reflected in the works of female writer Ai Xiaoming. It’s just that the origin of Ai’s Jewish blood can be traced back to the Hongzhi period of the Ming Dynasty, and it has nothing to do with the Jews who were exiled in Shanghai during World War II.
  In 1986, a Jewish refugee originally living in Shanghai proposed that a monument should be erected on the site of the former Jewish community in Hongkou District. When the unveiling ceremony of the stone monument was held in April 1994, many Jewish refugees who were already gray-haired were supported by their children and grandchildren and came to the “Shangri-La” that they missed day and night in their dreams. They were also gray-haired Chinese neighbors. Or the young friends of the year embraced each other warmly, chanting in Shanghai dialect that had not been used for decades: “Ala Shanghai people…” Let the tears of excitement and welcome flow across the wrinkled faces, that scene It’s very touching…
  This file is only one hour long, but it condenses the blood and tears of half a century of people’s memories!
  At this point, the inscription on another stone tablet in front of the Jewish concentration camp in Auschwitz cannot but be mentioned: “When the world forgets these, it means that all this will happen again.” This warning is indeed worthy of the world. For generations to remember.

error: Content is protected !!