Tour Reveals Layers of Shanghai’s Jewish History

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SHANGHAI (AP).- Not far from the Bund district in Shanghai, with its hordes of tourists and view of the city’s famous skyscrapers across the Huangpu River, is a quiet neighborhood called Hongkou. Walk here along Zhoushan Road and you’ll stumble on a sign that signifies an otherwise unremarkable building at No. 59 as a landmark. “During the World War II,” the sign reads in imperfect English, “a number of Jewish refugees lived in this house, among whom is Michael Blumenthal, the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury of the Carter Government.” The marker offers a clue to the hidden Jewish history of Shanghai and the incredible story of thousands of Jews who fled the Nazis and found refuge here in what was the Far East’s only Jewish ghetto. Among them was Blumenthal, who fled Europe with his family, spent part of his youth in Shanghai, then moved to the U.S. and served in the late 1970s under U.S. President Jimmy Carter.