An exhibit about Jewish refugees began here Monday, recalling the time when Shanghai was a safe haven for about 18,000 Jewish people fleeing Nazi persecution.
The exhibit, "Jewish Refugees and Shanghai," tells stories of the difficulties faced by Jewish refugees on their journey to and from Shanghai in the 1930s and 40s, as well as their adaptation to the city and friendship with the Chinese people.
"We are glad to see that neither the Chinese nor the Jewish people have let this part of history fade out and that our friendship has emerged stronger after this shared adversity," Lu Kang, minister of Chinese Embassy in the United States, said at the opening ceremony of the exhibit.
Jerry Lindenstraus, a former Jewish refugee, arrived in Shanghai in 1939 after escaping from Germany with 10 members of his family and stayed there for eight years.
The 85-year-old who now lives in New York always tells his grandchildren that if it had not been for the people of Shanghai, he would never have been there in New York and neither would they.
"I would never forget my eight years in Shanghai and would always be grateful to Shanghai and to the Chinese people," Lindenstraus said at the opening ceremony held on Capitol Hill.
Guan Weiyong, honorary curator of Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum, said many Jewish refugees later became successful in their countries of residence after the endurance they experienced and the education they received in Shanghai.
"This exemplifies the inclusiveness, friendliness and compassion of the Shanghai people during that period of hard times, and the contribution Shanghai has made for the development of Jewish civilization," Guan said.
The exhibit will run through Sunday in Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington D.C.