Jewish delegation thanks Shanghai

By Jiang Yabin Source:Global Times Published: 2014-3-26 22:53:01

Members of a Jewish delegation tour the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum Wednesday during their visit to thank Shanghai and its people for sheltering Jewish refugees during World War II. Photo: Cai Xianmin/GT

A Jewish delegation arrived in Shanghai Wednesday to give their thanks to the city for sheltering Jewish refugees during World War II.

The delegation, which included some of the former refugees, their family members and several Jewish businessmen, arranged the visit to mark the approaching 70th anniversary of the allied victory in 1945, said Chen Jian, the curator of the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum.

The former refugees brought their relatives on the trip to maintain the memory of the people of Shanghai, who offered to help the Jewish refugees while enduring their own suffering during the war, Chen said at a press conference at the museum.

One of the five former refugees in the delegation, Chaya Small, who now lives in Chicago, Illinois, in the US, came to Shanghai in 1934 as a 7-year-old. Although she left when she was 12, she never forgot the city that sheltered her. "Life has not changed here," she said. "Children are still running around me just like in the years when I lived here."

Small showed a photograph taken in Shanghai with her mother, her two sisters and her Chinese nanny. "My nanny is just like my mother. Although she did not speak our language, she gave us comfort when things were difficult," Small said.

She shed tears when she mentioned her Chinese nanny and hoped someone could help her locate the woman.

Mickey Abraham, who lives in New York City, was born in Shanghai in 1942. His parents came to Shanghai in 1905 and spent 42 years in the city. They had 10 children, including nine who were born in Shanghai. Some of his brothers and sisters went to high school and worked in the city. "Shanghai's people were very nice to us, and they respected Jewish customs very much," Abraham told the Global Times.

Abraham also had a Chinese nanny. The nanny would correct the children when they did something wrong. His family sang prayers on weekends.  His nanny also sang very well.

At the press conference, Abraham told a story about how he returned to the city 10 years ago to visit. One day during the trip, he and several Jewish friends visited a garden where they once sang together when they lived in Shanghai. Abraham and his friends were again singing in the garden when they heard an old man cry out that the Jewish people had returned.

Zhou Huizhen, a Shanghai resident who had a Jewish neighbor for 10 years, recalled the old days at the press conference.

Her father, who spoke English, often helped the Jewish family, taking their daughter to school every day and treating her to Chinese food after school.

Zhou also enjoyed the bread the girl's mother cooked.

Posted in: Society, Metro Shanghai

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