Shanghai Refuge: A Memoir of the World War II Jewish Ghetto (Paperback)
  • Shanghai Refuge: A Memoir of the World War II Jewish Ghetto (Paperback)
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Shanghai Refuge: A Memoir of the World War II Jewish Ghetto (Paperback)

(author)
£11.99
Paperback 217 Pages / Published: 01/08/1995
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The unlikely refuge of Shanghai, the only city in the world that did not require a visa, was buffeted by the struggle between European imperialism, Japanese aggression, and Chinese nationalism. Ernest G. Heppner's compelling testimony is a brilliant account of this little-known haven. Although Heppner was a member of a privileged middle-class Jewish family, he suffered from the constant anti-Semitic undercurrent in his surroundings. The devastation of "Crystal Night" in November 1938, however, introduced a new level of Nazi horror and ended his comfortable world overnight. Heppner and his mother used the family's resources to escape to Shanghai. Heppner was taken aback by experiences on the ocean liner that transported the refugees to Shanghai: he was embarrassed and confounded when Egyptian Jews offered worn clothing to the Jewish passengers, he resented the edicts against Jewish passengers disembarking in any ports on the way, and he was unprepared for the poverty and cultural dislocation of the great city of Shanghai. Nevertheless, Heppner was self-reliant, energetic, and clever, and his story of finding niches for his skills that enabled him to survive in a precarious fashion is a tribute to human endurance. In 1945, after the liberation of China, Heppner found a responsible position with the American forces there. He and his wife, whom he had met and married in the ghetto, arrived in the United States in 1947 with only eleven dollars but boundless hope and energy. Heppner's account of the Shanghai ghetto is as vivid to him now as it was then. His admiration for his new country and his later success in business do not, however, obscure for him the shameful failure of the Allies to furnish a refuge for Jews before, during, and after the war.

Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
ISBN: 9780803272811
Number of pages: 217
Weight: 312 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 12 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"A fascinating and moving memoir that begins with [Heppner's] childhood in Nazi Germany and moves briskly from one compelling scene to the next."-Forward * Forward *
"The author describes in detail the sights and sounds of his adopted environment, the mingling of Jews and many nationalities, the choking stench and the humidity, the decadent, exotic underworld of criminals and beggars, the terror of air raids and Japanese guards, the rampant poverty and disease. The general tone, however, is positive, even inspiring, and behind all the experiences lurks a sense of adventure and simple good luck."-Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter * Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter *
"An important addition to the historical record of World War II, an autobiography of a remarkable man's formative years, and a testimony to the power of community and human perseverance."-Indianapolis Star * Indianapolis Star *
"Ernest G. Heppner's Shanghai Refuge fills in the fragments . . . of this little-known Jewish community. . . . His story is an odd mixture of defiance, courage, endurance and survival. His experience [is] fascinating."-Michael Berenbaum, Director, U.S. Holocaust Research Institute -- Michael Berenbaum
"Heppner's descriptions . . . ring true and carry conviction, especially when he recalls in evocative detail his day-to-day experiences in Nazi Germany. Similarly, his recollection of Shanghai, with its small, telling details of privations, indignities, anxieties, and horrors make maximum impact-from the rat in the bakery that he lifted up by its tail to the carnage following an American air raid."-Bernard Wasserstein, author of The Secret Lives of Trebitsch Lincoln -- Bernard Wasserstein

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