Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum, Shanghai

4.4
#5 of 74 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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4.3
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  • I had no idea what to expect going to this museum, it was not something I expected to see in Shanghai. I had to journey a little bit out of my way, but it was worth the trip. This was a wonderful peek...  more »
  • Synagogue and Important museum about the many refugees that fled mainly Europe to survive in Shanghai, one of the few places accepting Jews at the time. Interesting stories, and pictures of Shanghai. ...  more »
  • I'm a little puzzled by some reviewers that present him as an amazing place. The district (formerly Hebrew) is charming, totally different from Shanghai that has certainly become accustomed to, but it is disappearing slowly devoured by monsters of 30 and more uncommon ugliness planes (the same way that will make the old city ...). The Museum is small and bears witness to the Jewish diaspora wealthy (who could not afford to sail the ocean and arrive at Shanghai is probably perished in the concentration camp) of families especially Austrian here have found refuge until the end of the war (from ' 38 to ' 45), then returned home. Not only have found refuge, but gave birth to a rather exclusive neighbourhood with cafes, dentists, barbers and others, called "little Vienna". A picture particularly struck us because it portrays a marriage of Jews on a cart, pulled by "usual" Chinese cycling ... Sure, they have been banished, but certainly not faring quite as bad. Recommended? You see, I wouldn't rush.
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  • 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
  • I have been here many times. It is such a touching story, in all of the world, Shanghai by far saved and hosted most jewish refugees during WW2.
  • The museum is larger and more complete than you would expect. Very well done. Many artifacts and stories to find here.

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Where to stay in Shanghai

As one of China's top commercial cities and tourist destinations, Shanghai offers accommodations that range from backpacker-friendly haunts to five-star hotels in futuristic skyscrapers. Few world cities can rival Shanghai in terms of room variety, services, and prices, and all types of travelers can easily find suitable options based on their preference and budget limitations. Puxi and Pudong remain probably the best options for most foreign visitors, as these areas offer both modern hotels packed with amenities and older establishments loaded with traditional charm.
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