The Jewish community in Shanghai was among the first to settle in the Treaty Ports which were opened after the Opium war. Jewish population grew until the rendition of the foreign settlements to the Chinese authorities, and its history broadly consists of three periods.The first Jews came to Shanghai in the XIX century were sephardits from Iraq and India. Among those emigrated to Shanghai following the expansion of the British commerce in China were such famous families as Sassoons, Hardoons and Kadoories.The second wave arrived with the White Russians exodus after the October Revolution; they were askanzits Jews who fled from pogroms and the Russian civil war. The third wave were Jews fleeing from central Europe in the 1930s. This group was the largest of the three.The first settlers saw Shanghai as a port of opportunities, while the others came there seeking refuge.The interwar Shanghai could offer protection and a temporary place of residence for Jewish people. In the 1920s and 1930s Jews coming to Shanghai were helped by local Jewish associations, which supported them in the search for accommodations and jobs. This net of associations was effective until WWII. The war, however, made them face increasing number of contraints. In this constrained situation we should remember that the Japanese authorities, occupying the International Settlement, imposed a ban for new Jewish arrivals to settle in the Hongkou district; while the French authorities under the Vichy government imposed a complete ban on Jewish residents in their concession. Finally, the Jewish immigration to Shanghai had stopped completely in 1942, because there were no more ways to get there.Japanese authorities, however, were not interested in applying the racial laws as their priority lay in the conquest of China. And although the Jews were in an enemy's territory, they were not persecuted. In fact, when the war was over they left Shanghai directly to the United States and Israel.
|Title of host publication||), Ebrei, Ebraismo, Cina e il Caso di “Tien Tsin”. Esempi di Convivenza e Ebrei nella Cina moderna. 1900-1945. (Life, Toleration, and Jews in Modern China.1900-1945.)|
|Place of Publication||Livorno|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|
- Republican times