Graduation Year

Spring 2011

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Arthur Rosenbaum

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© 2011 Alice Reichman


Between 1938 and 1940 approximately 18,000 Jews from Central Europe went to the Chinese city of Shanghai to escape Nazi persecution. While almost every nation in the world refused to accept these desperate refugees, thousands found refuge in Japanese occupied Shanghai, which was an open port and one could immigrate there with no visa or passport. In an incredibly short period of time the refugees were able to develop a vibrant Jewish community. Relying primarily on the testimony of former refugees, this thesis seeks to address three main questions: What did exile in Shanghai feel like for the refugees? How did they handle and react to the circumstances of their new surroundings? In what ways did their common exile unite the group and bring about changes in personal identity?


  • Best Senior Thesis in History