China Orders Repatriation of Jews from Shanghai to Germany; Thousands Are Panic Stricken

Thousands of Jews who escaped from Nazi Germany and Austria to Shanghai, and spent the war years here under the most difficult circumstances, are panic stricken today as a result of an order by the Chinese Government in Chunking declaring that all Germans and Austrians in China, including Jews, must return to their native lands.

The order specifies that only refugees who can produce “valuable guarantees,” either Chinese or foreign, will be exempted. They will need permission both from the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to remain in Shanghai, or in any other part of China. Technicians who can contribute to China’s development will be permitted to stay, and may even be given employment by the Government, providing that the Interior and Foreign Ministries approve.

Though the order of the Chinese Government is not directed against the Jewish refugees, many of the 15,000 Jews who found shelter in Shanghai are affected by it. A large number of them came from Austria and Germany during the Nazi persecutions, since Shanghai was the only place in the world where they could enter without any visas.

Approximately 3,000 Jewish refugees died in Shanghai during the war. About 12,000 others lived on relief received from the Joint Distribution Committee. Almost all of them were held by the Japanese in the Hongkew district behind barbed wire, and were forced to live in terribly crowded and unsanitary barracks.

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