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September 29, 2016 / 26 Elul, 5776
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Did the Chinese Communists Really Save Jews Fleeing the Holocaust?

The Japanese, hoping to improve their relations with the U.S. and the American Jewish community, permitted about 20,000 German and Austrian Jews to settle in Shanghai during the 1930s.


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Dr. Raphael Medoff

Dr. Raphael Medoff



Translation: It’s good PR for the regime, and it stimulates tourism, especially by foreign Jews interested in seeing the old Shanghai ghetto area – the same reason the Chinese government installed a kosher kitchen at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

And China’s leaders are determined to keep up appearances: a government website reports that a Beijing official who visited the Shanghai museum “put his hand on the escalator, and when he casually raised the hand, he saw it was still spotlessly clean. Then, he looked back at the head [of the museum] with a satisfied smile…. The two Sanitation Aunts are very industrious…. Whenever visitors come to the Museum, they would see the two Aunts busy with their job.”

Sanitizing the museum is one thing. Sanitizing history is another. Chairman Mao was not some kind of Asian Raoul Wallenberg. His followers are not the ones who deserve the credit for the Shanghai haven, or for the brave efforts of individual Chinese citizens who rescued Jews from the Nazis. JNS

Dr. Rafael Medoff

About the Author: Dr. Rafael Medoff is the founding director of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies and coeditor of the Online Encyclopedia of America's Response to the Holocaust.


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