Author Archives: Edgar Hauster

Jewish Refugees in Shanghai (1938 – 1947)

The Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum unveiled a memorial wall in 2014 listing the names of 13,732 Jews who found a haven in the Chinese city during World War II.

Sinosphere, the Blog of The New York Times, wrote on the dedication ceremony: “In the 1930s and 40s, thousands of Jews escaping Nazi Germany arrived in Shanghai, a place they could enter without a visa. After the Évian Conference of 1938, when the major powers shut their doors to nearly all Jewish immigrants, the city remained one of the few available places of refuge. By the beginning of World War II, more European Jews had fled to Shanghai than any other city in the world. The memorial consists of a 111-foot-long copper wall etched with the names and featuring a sculpture of six allegorical figures representing faith, suffering, love, determination, light and hope, designed by the Chinese artist He Ning. Chen Jian, the museum’s director, said the names on the memorial were compiled with the help of former Jewish refugees in Shanghai, as well as Chinese and foreign scholars, according to China Daily. Many of the names were taken from a list found in the German book ‘Exil Shanghai: 1938-1947,’ co-authored by Sonja Mühlberger, 75, who was herself born in Shanghai to refugee parents in the 1930s and has been involved in the memorial project.

The list in her book was first compiled during the war by three teenage Jewish girls hired by Japanese military officers to undertake an informal census. Most of the Jewish population then was relegated by the Japanese to an overcrowded district called Hongkou, a ‘designated area for stateless refugees.’ In a museum press release, Ms. Mühlberger comments, ‘My parents’ experiences in Shanghai were certainly not the easiest, but if they had not been exiled there, I wouldn’t even be alive today, let alone have the chance to tell this history.'”

Among these refugees, immortalized on the “Wall of Names”, we discover Rosa Koppelmann from Czernowitz, the addressee of the “Cry of Desperation from Siberia via Shanghai to Czernowitz”. Seven further names, potentially all related to Rosa, were listed under the same address in Shanghai, i. e. Zang Yang Lu Rd., former Ward Rd.:

HERBERT KOPPELKOWSKI • RUTH KOPPELKOWSKI • JULIUSZ KOPPELMAN • RICHARD KOPPELMANN • MAX KOPPLOWITZ • SIMON KOPSKI • MAX KOPSTEIN

Yearbook Photos from Czernowitz

Assaf Patir from Jerusalem wrote: “I found some yearbook photos of my grandmother from Czernowitz. She was born Selma Lepkowicz (later Polisher) on 30/4/1922, and the photos are from 1928, 1929 and 1931, when she was in the 1st, 2nd and 4th grade respectively. I thought that if you could put them on ephes, maybe some members of the list could identify relatives.”

“Jewish Life in Radautz Before, During and After the Holocaust” Cont’d!

ADDITIONAL LINKS

Book of the Month, 10/2017: Lost Childhood • Verlorene Kindheit • Copilărie pierdută
Ehpes Blog, 07/2017: Jewish Life in Radautz Before, During and After the Holocaust
Suceava News, 24-Jun-2018: Întâlnire cu o supraviețuitoare a Holocaustului

Open Letter by Professor Andrei Corbea-Hoișie

Andrei Corbea-Hoișie is Professor of German Literature at the University of Iași, Romania. From 2005 to 2007 he served as Ambassador of Romania in Austria. He is a member of the Academy of Sciences of Erfurt. Corbea-Hoișie is a leading expert on multiculturalism in the historical landscape of Bukovina, and author of Czernowitzer Geschichten (2002) and La Bucovine: Éléments d’histoire politique et culturelle (2004). He has also published widely on Paul Celan and on the urban culture of Central Europe, and has translated writings of Theodor W. Adorno. In 2000 he received the Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm Award.

Chief Rabbi Noah Kofmansky • Z”L • May His Memory Be A Blessing

Religious Information Service of Ukraine: Chief Rabbi of Chernivtsi region dies. The chief rabbi of the Chernivtsi region, Noah Kofmansky died in Chernivtsi on May 20. This is reported by “Molodyy Bukovynets”. The farewell with the rabbi will be held on Tuesday, May 22, from 10 to 12 hours at the Jewish House on Teatralna Square, 5. Noah Kofmansky was born on September 13, 1946, in Chernivtsi to a deeply religious family. His grandfather was a rabbi. He received secular education at the universities of Moscow and Chernivtsi. He worked at large enterprises in Chernivtsi. In the late 70’s he traveled to Israel and received education in religious centers. Since 1995, he headed the Jewish religious community, was the chief rabbi of the Chernivtsi region. He was a lecturer at the Faculty of Theology at the National University, Sunday School at a synagogue, engaged in philanthropy, collaborated with Hesed and international Jewish charity organizations.

Photos by courtesy of Adrzej Polec, Prof. Alti Rodal and Christel Wollmann-Fiedler!