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Chicago Tribune

The Whole World Had Shut the Door to Them

Article/ Pub

Culture

August 14, 2013

Lisa Black and Dan Hinkel

...the Jewish refugees who fled Europe to escape Nazi persecution felt lucky to have landed in the Shanghai Ghetto, one of the lesser-known havens during World War II...

Siva Yam, president of the U.S.-China Chamber of Commerce based in Chicago, said few people are aware of the role that China played in creating the Jewish haven.

"It is very important, not just for China and the Jewish community, but for the whole world," Yen said.

"The Jews had nowhere to go at this time," he said. "The whole world had shut the door to them. And China at that time was also in a difficult situation. … Virtually, at that point of time, the Jews were facing death and, fortunately, they faced some avenue. It shows humanity does exist."

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