From 1938 to 1941, at least 17,000 German and Austrian Jewish refugees and more than 2,000 Polish Jews fled from the Nazi terror to Shanghai, China. The refugees’ hoped to use Shanghai as a temporary waiting room for their transfer to North America or elsewhere was soon wrecked by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the breakout of the Pacific War. As a result, they ended up spending a decade in China.
Learn how the Jewish refugee community in Shanghai thrived despite the harshness of life in the exile and during the war. Assistant Professor of German at UW-Madison, Weijia Li, will also explore how the Jewish exile in Shanghai promoted the interaction among various Jewish communities in China.
Museum Members $6 | Non-Members $8
Weijia Li serves as Core Faculty Affiliate at the Center for East Asian Studies and the Director of Global Higher Education Master’s Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He went to college in China and Germany, received his Ph.D. in Germanic Languages and Literatures from The Ohio State University in 2009. His research and teaching interests include Chinese-German-cultural encounters reflected in German literature, press, and art history. His recent research has been focusing on the Chinese dimension of German-Jewish discourse. In 2010, he published a book on German Jewish writer Anna Seghers’s encounter with China in her life and works. He’s currently working on a new book project on German and Yiddish writings on China by European Jewish refugees in Shanghai during WWII.
Offered in connection with Stitching Histories From the Holocaust, an exhibit on display at the Jewish Museum Milwaukee, April 8 – September 16, 2018.