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All Things Considered: Central European Jewish Refugees in WWII Shanghai


25 Oct 2020, 2:00pm





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Join us and our speaker Kimberly Cheng, from New York University’s Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies and Department of History, to learn more about Jewish refugees adapting to life in a new country.

During WWII, approximately 15,000 Central European Jewish refugees fled Nazi-occupied Europe for Shanghai, China. Refugees found many aspects of life in Shanghai new and unfamiliar, especially the prevalent custom of haggling over goods. Using refugee memoirs and oral histories, this lecture will examine how living in Asia changed refugees’ understanding of the items they bought, owned, used, hid, packed, unpacked, lost, found, bartered, and/or sold. This talk will also explore how refugees’ belongings lost and gained meaning and value on their trip from Europe to China and in the context of the Chinese market. By doing so, this lecture will use material objects as a window into reconstructing the emotions, viewpoints, and experiences of refugees.

This talk will take place at 2.00pm GMT – if joining us from a different country, please check the timezone appropriate to where you are.


This event is the first instalment of our series: ‘Transnational Jewish Identities at the Periphery’.