• China Cultural Centre in Sydney to Present “Jewish Refugees and Shanghai” Exhibition

To commemorate 70 years of peace since the end of World War II, the China Cultural Centre in Sydney will present the exhibition Jewish Refugees and Shanghai, on view the 16th April through to the 2nd of May. Through the stories, pictures and materials collected, the exhibition focuses on the ideals of love, tolerance, and inclusiveness. It hopes to offer visitors a better understanding of the life of Jewish refugees during the Second World War, providing insight into the history of that particular time period. The exhibition also invites its viewers to cherish times of peace, serving as a reminder to all of the devastating effects of war.

About the exhibition
The exhibition illustrates and displays the life of Jewish refugees who were persecuted by the Nazis, later escaping to Shanghai during the Second World War (Shanghai sheltered approximately 18,000 Jewish refugees from 1933-1941, while many other countries virtually closed their doors to them). Showcasing various material collections and historic records from the Shanghai Jewish Refugee Museum, Jewish Refugees and Shanghai traces the lives of those living in Hongkou District (formerly called “Hongkew”), the Designated Area for Stateless Refugees in Shanghai during the Second World War. The exhibition highlights the mutually supportive attitude shared within the Jewish refugee community as well as with other Jewish groups around the world, and celebrates the essential dignity of the human race through the defence against Fascist atrocities. These shared experiences have created a special emotional bond between the Chinese and Jewish peoples.

Fred Antman, a Jewish refugee who escaped to Shanghai, later settling in Melbourne, wrote in his book: “A Tale of Three Cities: Berlin, Shanghai, Melbourne”:
Perhaps as a result of their shared troubles, the Chinese people and the European immigrants formed a common bond, lived together in harmony and warmed to each other. We Surviving Jews of the Hongkew Ghetto will always be thankful to the Chinese people for treating us as equals and as human beings.

He also wrote:
The wartime experiences we shared with the Chinese people in Shanghai made us all aware of the love and respect which had developed between us. Our cultures, family ties and friendship will remain ‘rock solid’ for as long as we live.

Presented in collaboration with the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum, the exhibition will premiere at the China Cultural Centre in Sydney, afterwards travelling to Melbourne on the 15th August 2015.

About Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum
The Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum consists of three parts: the former site of Ohel Moshe Synagogue and two exhibition halls. It is an important component of the “Tilanqiao Historic Area” and serves as a witness commemorating the phase of history when the Jewish refugees lived in Shanghai. With the original features of the Jewish settlement that miraculously survived and are still well preserved, the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum restores the only typical historic traces of Jewish refugee life inside China during the Second World War.

About China Cultural Centre in Sydney
Being the first China Cultural Centre in the Oceania region and as a registered non-profit organisation in Australia, China Cultural Centre in Sydney is dedicated to promoting the awareness of and appreciation for Chinese culture and art through cultural events and activities. Thanks to its close partnership with both the private and public sectors, the Centre offers programs that aim to enhance the existing friendship, to encourage dialogue and foster mutual understanding between China and Australia.

Visitor information
The China Cultural Centre in Sydney is open from Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5p.m. Admission fee is free. The Centre is located on Level 1, 151 Castlereagh Street, Sydney, NSW 2000.

For more information
Tel: +61 (02) 8228 3050
E-mail: info@cccsydney.org
Website: http://cccsydney.org

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