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Shanghai Sanctuary: Chinese and Japanese Policy Toward European Jewish Refugees During World War IIby Gao Bei
Synopses & Reviews
When the world closed its borders to desperate Jews fleeing Europe during World War II, Shanghai became an unexpected last haven for the refugees. An open port that could be entered without visas, this unique city under Western and Japanese control sheltered tens of thousands of Jews. Shanghai Sanctuary is the first major study to examine the Chinese Nationalist government's policy towards the "Jewish issue" as well as the most thorough analysis of how this issue played into Japanese diplomacy. Why did Shanghai's German-allied Japanese occupiers permit this influx of Jewish refugees? Gao illuminates how the refugees' position complicated the relationships between China, Japan, Germany, and the United States before and during World War II. She thereby reveals a great deal about the Great Powers' national priorities, their international agendas, and their perceptions of the global balance of power.
Drawing from both Chinese and Japanese archival sources that no Western scholar has been able to fully use before, Gao tells a rich story about the politics and personalities that brought Jewish refugees into Shanghai. This story, far from being a mere sidebar to the history of modern China and Japan, captures a critical moment when opportunistic authorities in both countries used the incoming Jewish refugees as a tool to win international financial and political support in their war against one another. Shanghai Sanctuary underlines the extent of Holocaust's global repercussions. In the process, the book sheds new light on the intricacies of wartime diplomacy and the far-reaching human consequences of the twentieth century's most documented conflict.
Shanghai Sanctuary assesses the plight of the European Jewish refugees who fled to Japanese-occupied China during World War II. This book is the first major study to examine the Nationalist government's policy towards the Jewish refugee issue and the most thorough and subtle analysis of Japanese diplomacy concerning this matter. Gao demonstrates that the story of the wartime Shanghai Jews is not merely a sidebar to the history of modern China or modern Japan. She illuminates how the "Jewish issue" complicated the relationships among China, Japan, Germany, and the United States before and during World War II. Her groundbreaking research provides an important contribution to international history and the history of the Holocaust.
Chinese Nationalist government and the Japanese occupation authorities thought very carefully about the Shanghai Jews and how they could be used to win international financial and political support in their war against one another. The Holocaust had complicated repercussions extending far beyond Europe to East Asia, and Gao shows many of them in this tightly argued book. Her fluency in both Chinese and Japanese has permitted her to exploit archival sources no Western scholar has been able to fully use before. Gao brings the politics and personalities that led to the admittance of Jews to Shanghai during World War II together into a rich and revealing story.
About the Author
Gao Bei is assistant professor of history at The College of Charleston.
Table of Contents
1. Chinese and Japanese Perceptions of the Jews
2. The Chinese Nationalist Government and the Shanghai Jewish Refugees
3. Yasue Norihiro, Inuzuka Koreshige, and Japan's Policy toward the Shanghai Jewish Refugees, December 1937- December 1939
4. The Tripartite Pact and Japan's Policy toward the Shanghai Jewish Refugee Issue, January 1940-August 1945
Epilogue: The European Jewish Refugees and Shanghai
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History and Social Science » Military » General History