In this final installment of ‘The Great Shanghai Escape’ series, we explore the story of the refugees stay in Shanghai during the war years. While integrating with the local Jewish community in Shanghai, the refugees remained there for the duration of the Japanese occupation until and even beyond the end of the war. Educational, religious and social institutions flourished, and the Mir Yeshiva settled into the Bais Aharon synagogue on Museum Road. Funding remained an issue throughout the war, and the refugees also had to sustain Japanese regulations, which included the ghettoization of Shanghai Jews towards the end of the war. Once the war was over, the next hurdle of finding a final destination took some time to overcome, as most refugees only left Shanghai a year or two later, primarily to the United States.

The refugees who had escaped to Shanghai represent one of the most incredible rescue stories of World War II. Their miraculous escape from the Soviet Union to Shanghai, ultimately saved their lives, as they were spared the ravages of the Nazi Final Solution once the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union. Their journey and their story is unique in the annals of that era, and has thusly earned a special place in Jewish history.

 

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