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    Few people associate China with Jewish history, yet there is a wonderful story of Dr. Feng Shan Ho. He was the rescuer of thousands and thousands of Austrian Jews who fled the Nazis, finding a haven in Shanghai, China. His story and more is the focus on the exhibits at the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum. No movie has been made of his life, so few people even in China know of his good deeds. But both before and after the influx of Eastern European Jews in China, there was a thriving community in the city. And the remnants are still there to explore.

    Dr. Feng Shan Ho In 1938 Hitler entered Vienna, and was met with cheering crowds. Dr. Ho had become Chinese Consul General to Vienna and reported being horrified. "Since the annexation of Austria by Germany, the persecution of the Jews by Hitler’s "devils"became increasingly fierce,” Dr. Ho is quoted as recalling. 

    Austria’s 185,000 Jews needed a place of safety. Shanghai was an open city. No one needed a visa to enter. Many Jews were able to escape by simply booking passage. But in order to escape Hitler’s death camps, Jews often needed to provide proof that another country would take them. Dr. Ho started handing out his life-saving visas.