The story of Stranded in Shanghai continues after the exhibition

22. 8. 2016 Overview news

The story of Stranded in Shanghai continues after the exhibition

Less than a month remains to visit the exhibition Stranded in Shanghai: The Hongkew Ghetto through the Eyes of Refugees and the Lens of Arthur Rothstein at the Jewish Museum in Prague’s Robert Guttmann Gallery. The exhibition is the first of its kind to map the fates of Czechoslovak Jewish refugees in the Chinese city of Shanghai during the period of the Second World War, and given the number of visitors to date, has been one of the most popular exhibitions the Jewish Museum has ever put on. Though it closes on September 11 of this year, we know now that the story of those “stranded” in Shanghai will be far from over. Thanks to the interest the exhibition sparked among those who experienced émigré life in Shanghai and their family members, the JMP has acquired an extraordinarily valuable set of materials from the personal estates of JUDr. Erich Singer and Morris Feder, a selection of which we are presenting here. Both sets will be digitized in the foreseeable future and made accessible as part of the JMP’s online database of collection objects and archival documents. For this reason, we are appealing to the public to inform us about other relevant documents or objects that would help to expand our knowledge of the thus far little known experiences of Czechoslovak Jews in the Far East during the Second World War.

 

If you are interested in donating or loaning for digitization original documents and objects, please contact:

Department of Shoah History at the Jewish Museum in Prague – holocaust@jewishmuseum.cz

Daniela Bartáková – daniela.bartakova@jewishmuseum.cz / tel.: +420 222 749 237

 

Morris (Moritz) Feder was born in Handlova, Slovakia, in 1917 as one of seven children. He became a successful businessman, and as an executive of the Baťa company he was responsible for expansion into Southeast Asia. Like two of his brothers and his future wife, he found refuge in Shanghai during the Second World War. While there he worked first as a policeman, but then eventually became one of the leading members of the city’s refugee community as well as an official of the Czechoslovak Circle. In 1947, Feder left Shanghai for the United States.

 

JUDr. Erich Singer was born in 1905 in Prague. He quit the Jewish Community during the First Republic of Czechoslovakia and during the Nazi occupation was designated a “non-Mosaic” Jew. After numerous unsuccessful attempts to emigrate to his uncle in Mexico, he managed at the last moment to leave for Shanghai with his wife and son, arriving in June 1941. In Shanghai, he operated a photographic studio for a short time before later working for the municipality and the police. He was an active member of the Czechoslovak Circle and one of the organizers of the local Czechoslovak broadcast. More importantly, after the Shanghai Ghetto was established he was a fierce critic of the anti-Semites among the leadership of the Czechoslovak Circle and won the organization’s approval to provide assistance to Czechoslovak’s living in the ghetto.

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