“Jewish Refugees in Shanghai,” an exhibition at multiple branches of the Brooklyn Public Library, tells the story of Jews during the Holocaust who found refuge in the Chinese city, where they could go without a visa. Some would eventually find their way to Brooklyn. Having been on display at the Borough Park Library and the Mapleton Library, the exhibition is currently on view at the Central Library and will open at the Kensington Library on April 22.
Brooklyn Paper’s Julianne McShane writes:
The exhibit uses text and photos to tell the story of more than 20,000 Jewish people who fled to the Chinese city — one of the few places they could travel to without a visa — in the 1930s and 40s to escape the Nazi regime, and the smaller group of about 150 people who arrived in Brooklyn after the war ended in 1945.
Part of the display focuses on the ancestors of current-day Flatbush resident Benson Chanowitz, whose father, two uncles, and aunt escaped modern-day Belarus for Shanghai around 1940. The group stayed there for about four years, Chanowitz told this paper.
He explains why, with the Japanese occupation of the city, Jews “never had any intention of resettling there.” Find out the reason, and which neighborhoods the refugees in Brooklyn moved to, at Brooklyn Paper. Also see upcoming events related to the exhibition in the full story.
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