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Shanghai Ghetto

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In 1939 under Nazi persecution of Jews in whole Europe, Jewish refugees had nowhere to go. As a miracle, an opportunity opened up on the other side of the globe.

Because of the complicated political situation, no visa was required to come to Shanghai during  the Japanese occupation if one could secure the crossing on a ship.

This is the reason why in the period between 1941-1945 about 23000 Jews found refuge in this Chinese port city and tried to survive in Hongkew district, the poorest and most crowded area in Shanghai. Among them e.g. W. Michael Blumenthal, later US Treasury and Morris Cohen, aka. Two-Gun Cohen, the Chinese general Sun Yat-sen's bodyguard and later even Chinese general  himself.

Jewish Culture in Copenhagen focuses on this little-known history and will present Shanghai and its Jewish history through film, lecture - and Chinese music!

The film Shanghai Ghetto of 2002 is documenting the city's Jewish history, how the refugees created Jewish life and culture under the miserable conditions of the war years and how they lived side by side with their Chinese neighbours during the Japanese occupation.

The  award-winning film includes interviews with the survivors and film clips from the period and we will also see how the area looks now when the war refugees return with the film crew to their childhood streets. The film is written and directed by Dana Janklowicz-Mann and Amir Mann.

Arabella Neuhaus has for several years investigated Shanghai's history in connection with her forthcoming book inspired by her mother's diaries from her parents' stay in Shanghai up to the Second World War, exactly in the period when the Jewish refugees arrived.  Arabella visited Shanghai several times, also the city's Jewish museum. In her lecture after the film she will show pictures and tell us  about the city.

After the break we'll conclude the evening with a very special musical experience.

Music Confucius Institute in collaboration with the Royal Danish Conservatory has several Chinese musicians in residence every year. They study here and play Chinese music. We have invited some of them to give us a short concert and introduce us to the world of Chinese music. After a short presentation of the traditional Chinese instruments in English, we'll hear Qu Shuai on Chinese percussion, Zhang Heng on Chinese yangqin (dulcimer) and Lyu Jin on Chinese zither, guzheng, a 21-stringed zither.

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See trailer:  Shanghai Ghetto