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Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

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.

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

About the Author: Dr. Rafael Medoff is founding director of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, in Washington, D.C., and author of 14 books about the Holocaust, Zionism, and American Jewish history. His latest book is 'FDR and the Holocaust: A Breach of Faith,' available from Amazon.


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14 Responses to “Did the Chinese Communists Really Save Jews Fleeing the Holocaust?”

  1. Ruth Hirt says:

    Hmm, interesting to know, however, Israel be cautious.

  2. Ruth Hirt says:

    Hmm, interesting to know, however, Israel be cautious.

  3. Unfortunately, Dr. Medoff's facts are wrong. The Japanese did not control Shanghai until December 1941 (though they did occupy much of eastern China by 1937). The European Jews were welcomed to the International Settlement and the French Concession of Shanghai, especially by the Sephardic and Ashkenazi communities therein. It is true that the current government of China (and Shanghai) love to take credit for "saving the Jews" in Shanghai, but it is the international community of wartime Shanghai that deserves the credit, along with the courageous diplomats of several nationalities in Europe who risked much to help so many Jews escape Nazi oppression.
    Wm Patrick Cranley.
    President
    Historic Shanghai

  4. Hai Wang says:

    the stupid author is a shame of Israel.

  5. Hai Wang says:

    thank you Mr. Cranley, thank you for telling the truth

  6. I don't think the writer is Israeli and the fact you don't agree with him does not make him stupid. Your comments are just emotional

  7. I don't think the writer is Israeli and the fact you don't agree with him does not make him stupid. Your comments are just emotional

  8. Fong Carmen says:

    Be humble can make one learn more and make people to love more each other.

  9. Tim Upham says:

    The German and Austrian Jews settling in Shanghai, would have needed Chinese Communist assistance, but the city was occupied by the Japanese. So Japanese approval would have been a necessity.

  10. Joe Jedeikin says:

    You are completely correct.It is not only the International community in Shanghai that deserves the credit for taking the refugees in, but the American Jewish Joint committee in

  11. Joe Jedeikin says:

    New York deserves credit for keeping them alive.

  12. Joe Jedeikin says:

    my uncle Joseph Bitker arranged to keep those funds flowing from New York to Shanghai even while the USA and Japan were at war!

  13. Anonymous says:

    BernhardRosenberg – YouTube.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/BernhardRosenberg

    HOLOCAUST SPEECH… Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg shares his response to the statement that was… Rabbi Dr. Rosenberg's Speech on the Holocaust.

  14. There was a large group of jews from Russia in Harabin northern China who suvived the war.

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