University of Minnesota

Jewish Refugees in Shanghai 犹太难民在上海

A Journey of Hope for more than 18,000 Jews to China


Jewish Refugees in Shanghai (1933-1941) is a collaborative community effort to share information about the unique experiences of Jewish refugees in Shanghai during World War II. The cornerstone of this project is a historical exhibit curated by the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum. Additional events, including an academic lecture and opportunities for K-12 teachers, will be organized in the community.

About the Exhibit

Ellen Wiss' Family

Jewish Refugees in Shanghai (1933-1941) is a traveling exhibit created by the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum. Located in the former Ohel Moshe Synagogue in the Tilanqiao Historical Area, the museum has taken a significant role in educating local and international visitors about the unique story of Jewish refugees in Shanghai. From 1933-1941 Shanghai opened its doors to over 18,000 Jewish refugees fleeing persecution and war in Europe, transforming the city into an “open city for Jews” at a time when much of the rest of the world was closed.

The traveling exhibit has given communities around the world an opportunity to learn about this significant but little-known story about Jewish immigration and settlement in world history. The 40 panel exhibit highlights historical content and biographies of many “Shanghailanders” who escaped Europe and made Shanghai their temporary home. In Minnesota we have enhanced the exhibit with additional stories of four Shanghailanders with deep Minnesota connections. Their personal stories, family photographs, and surviving artifacts have been added to the existing traveling display.

This exhibit is organized by the Confucius Institute at the University of Minnesota, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas, and Sabes Jewish Community Center. Additional partners include the University of Minnesota Center for Jewish Studies, the University of Minnesota Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and the Jewish Community Center of the Greater St. Paul Area.

Other Confucius Institutes sponsoring and hosting this traveling exhibit include:

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  • Last modified on February 5, 2015