Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum, Shanghai

4.5
#5 of 91 in Museums in Shanghai
Housed in a former synagogue, Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum holds historical photographs and other artifacts depicting the lives of Jewish refugees who flocked to the city between 1937 and 1941. Two permanent exhibits narrate the history of this area, which once served as an official Jewish ghetto. Discover artworks, refugee passports, and copies of the "Shanghai Jewish Chronicle." The surrounding streets still contain buildings inhabited by various Jewish organizations during the 1930s. Take a look at our Shanghai trip planner to schedule your visit to Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum and learn about what else to see and do during your holiday.
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Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum Reviews
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567 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • I went on a school trip with the class and learned a lot about how the jewish immigrated into Shanghai. We saw an old jewish bible that was used during the time period. Overall, very interesting.  more »
  • Museum of war touched down in history. Can't say I think good visit interesting buildings and rooftops of surrounding atmosphere so the exhibits of the museum itself is impressive.
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  • Before going there, I knew nothing about the immigration of Jewish refugees to Shanghai. The museum is well made and informative, and sheds light on relatively unknown stories. Recommended.  more »
Google
  • Amazing and educational museum built in and around the synagogue in Shanghai. Roughly 25,000 Jewish refugees lived in China between 1937 and 1941, when China was one of the few countries to open its doors to them. The museum has a wealth of information in both Chinese and English, and admission includes a tour with a knowledgeable English-speaking guide. This is a must-visit during your trip to Shanghai to learn about an important and not-well-known history.
  • Such an interesting history housed here in the former Ohel Moshe Synagogue in the Hongkou District of Shanghai. The surrounding area was nice to see as well with a lot of old buildings including the former home of Michael Blumenthal (former Secretary of Treasury who lived here as a boy) Our volunteer guide at the museum was really insightful and helpful and his English was very good. The displays are self explanatory as well. This is a bite sized museum and easy to navigate. There is a wall outside in bronze with the names of the thousands of Jews who were saved by what they called 'the Ark'. Also there is an interactive data base where you can search to for people. If you have stories to add they would like to hear them FYI. The original Torah is not there because it was hidden when the revolution hit. Interesting fact that Peter Max the artist was one of the refugees and he returned to China to try and find his nanny who taught him to draw. That touched me.
  • This is the only place to see the Jewish history in Shanghai. There used to be tens of thousands of Jewish refugees from Europe during the second world war. They lived there as a temporary home when other countries denied their visas. The museum showed lots of touching stories from the Jewish community. Some people may argue that there are some biased views or propaganda from the Chinese government. But there are more than that. Definitely worth a visit.
  • This was a key place for me and my friend to visit but, the moment it began with the story of Anne Frank, I was aware that it was not going to be as insightful and specific to the Shanghai experience as I had hoped. The writing looks at the Holocaust in general; a crucial and important history to look at but kind of misses the point of the name of the museum. The information about how the Jewish people ended up in Shanghai and their experience there was dramatically romanticised and is extended propaganda to make the Chinese look altruistic and the Japanese look horrendous. Comments about the man who wrote the visas for the Jewish people to enter Shanghai being known as the 'Schindler of the East' is completely incorrect as Schindler did not become famous for his contribution until many years after the war. Also things such as the story of the doctor who wanted to operate in the military to give back to China and as a reflection of his belief in peace etc. Again, fictional, this doctor was a urologist and gynecologist yet he is written up in this museum as if he was treating gun wounds on the front line against the invading Japanese. Yes, he was involved but more through coercion by the Chinese and the Chinese feeling that the refugees they had accepted owed them something. There are some glimmers of truth here and of course, it is all based on real events, but the obvious and overt changes to the narrative to make China look good is obvious and disappointing. It also relates to the way the racism and difficulty the Jewish community faced is overlooked. The fact that they all left en masse as soon as Israel was founded and opened its borders. It begs why there is no Jewish quarter in the city if everything was sunshine and butterflies while they were living in Shanghai. An important museum but tainted by the misrepresentation which is rife in China. Everything here must be taken with a remedial grain of salt. Though worth a visit, I would advise people to do alternative research to be able to fully critique what is shared at this museum.
  • illustrated life by verbal testimonies & artifacts. The synagogue was beautiful. True testimonial of History
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