The book's Introduction explains that between 1938 and 1941, nearly 20,000 European Jews fled to Shanghai, and the great majority survived the war. Nazi Germany's persecution of the Jews is one of the most exhaustively documented tragedies of the 20th century. However, the story of the European Jewish refugees in Shanghai during the Second World War is still not well known and has been explored almost exclusively by Western scholars. This study examines the story of these wartime “Shanghai Jews” from the Chinese and Japanese perspectives and elucidates the policies of the Chinese and Japanese governments towards them. It also examines, concisely, the existing literature on this subject, a literature that is scarce and largely Eurocentric and which has suffered from the authors’ inability to exploit Chinese and Japanese language sources fully.
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