ST. PETERSBURG – The exhibition Jewish Refugees in Shanghai (1933-1941) will run July 12 through Aug. 31, at The Florida Holocaust Museum, 55 Fifth St. S.
From 1933 to 1941, Shanghai became a modern-day Noah's Ark accepting some 18,000 Jewish refugees fleeing the Holocaust in Europe. Most were from Germany and Austria, but the refugees also included students of the famed Mir Yeshiva, the only yeshiva in occupied Europe to survive the Holocaust. In the "Designated Area for Stateless Refugees," in the Tilanqiao area of Shanghai, Jewish refugees lived harmoniously with local Chinese, overcoming numerous difficulties together.
Conditions in the impoverished Hongkou District were harsh: 10 per room, near starvation, disastrous sanitation and scant employment. With the aid of Iraqi Jews living in Shanghai, and later of Russian Jewish locals and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, most of the Jewish refugees managed to survive and many went on to have remarkable lives. Holocaust historian David Kranzler called it the "Miracle of Shanghai."
The exhibition brings together for the first time photos, personal stories and artifacts from Shanghai's Jewish Refugee Museum, located in the former Ohel Moshe Synagogue in the Tilanqiao Historic Area.
The Florida Holocaust Museum honors the memory of millions of innocent men, women and children who suffered or died in the Holocaust. The Museum is dedicated to teaching the members of all races and cultures the inherent worth and dignity of human life in order to prevent future genocides.
The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $16 for adults, $14 for seniors, $10 for college students, $8 for students 17 and younger, and free for active military members, FHM members, USF students with ID and children 5 and younger.