Synopses & Reviews
Against the backdrop of looming world war and Hitler's "Final Solution," 11-year-old Ursula Bacon and her family made the terrifying 8,000-mile voyage to Shanghai with its promise of freedom. Instead they found overcrowded ghettos filled with desperately poor Chinese and Japanese. Amid the city's abysmal conditions and its prostitutes, drug dealers, and rats, Ursula discovered a city of exotic, eccentric, and exciting humanity. Years later, when the fate of friends and family left behind in Germany became known and documented, the hard life endured by those in the Shanghai ghetto seemed to pale in comparison. As a result, the "Shanghai Jews" have been all but lost in history. Ursula's eight-year struggle is a story to be shared and remembered. As she watches her best friend die from fever, befriends a Buddhist monk, learns the lessons of street life, and aids an American airman, her remarkable memoir will resonate with readers long after the last page is read.
By the late 1930s, Europe sat on the brink of a world war. As the holocaust approached, many Jewish families in Germany fled to one of the only open port available to them: Shanghai. Once called "the armpit of the world," Shanghai ultimately served as the last resort for tens of thousands of Jews desperate to escape Hitler's "Final Solution." Against this backdrop, 11-year-old Ursula Bacon and her family made the difficult 8,000-mile voyage to Shanghai, with its promise of safety. But instead of a storybook China, they found overcrowded streets teeming with peddlers, beggars, opium dens, and prostitutes. Amid these abysmal conditions, Ursula learned of her own resourcefulness and found within herself the fierce determination to survive.