一名在虹口的难民，这儿是欧洲犹太难民在上海的中心。 GEORGE LACKS/THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION, VIA GETTY IMAGES
Shanghai was the only option. That was what my parents discovered when they fled Hitler’s Germany. By the time they left, in separate journeys, they wound up in that international city in China, the last place in the world that would take in Jewish refugees.
It felt a little like sailing to the end of the earth, my father often said.
My parents became part of a community in Shanghai of some 18,000 European Jews who learned to live in barracks or crowded rooms, used chamber pots, sometimes ate only one hot meal a day from a communal kitchen and walked teeming streets filled with hawkers by day and, in the early hours, trucks picking up corpses. But they also had schools, cultural institutions and a thriving social life, complete with Viennese cafes. And they survived.
乔克林·伍德、弗兰克·徐和贝蒂·格里本希考夫在布鲁克林公共图书馆的“上海犹太难民”展览现场。 MICHELLE V. AGINS/THE NEW YORK TIMES
This fascinating, little-known and newly relevant bit of history is getting greater attention these days. “Hello Gold Mountain,” a chamber music composition inspired by the topic was performed in Nashville in February and hopes to tour New York. And most prominently there is a major project from the Brooklyn Public Library, “Jewish Refugees in Shanghai,” which brings an exhibition, films and other programs to four libraries through the month of May.
这些天，这段令人入神、不为人知、近来有了论题性的前史片段，正引发越来越大的重视。2月份，受该论题启示创造的室内乐著作《同舟》(Hello Gold Mountain)于纳什维尔表演，并期望赴纽约巡演。最惹人留意图是布鲁克林公共图书馆(Brooklyn Public Library)的一个名为“犹太难民在上海”(Jewish Refugees in Shanghai)的大型项目，项目交融了展览、观影及四个图书馆的其他组织，将在5月继续一整月。
Frank Xu, the library manager who leads the project, grew up in Hongkou, the Shanghai district where Jews and Chinese lived side by side, and heard stories from his parents and grandparents. He realized that few Americans knew anything about it and thought that the “spirit of kindness” that permeated this unusual Chinese-Jewish bond could inspire a feeling of responsibility to help the refugee, when the very idea seems under attack today. “Others closed their doors,” he said. “Shanghai opened the door.”
上海的一家德国饭馆，这儿被认为是上世纪30年代欧洲移民的最终一个“自在城市”。 WOLFGANG WEBER/ULLSTEIN BILD, VIA GETTY IMAGES
My mother, named Ilse Ludomer at the time, arrived in Shanghai in 1939 at age 18 with her parents. The previous year, after the destructive rampage against Jews known as Kristallnacht, they had been forced out of their home, an apartment over the clothing store they owned, in the small German town of Koenigs Wusterhausen. They stayed with relatives in nearby Berlin and desperately searched for a way to escape Hitler’s rule.
My father, Erich Jacobsohn, already had a law degree in 1939, though he was forbidden by Nazi law to practice. He returned to his parents’ home in Stavenhagen, a tiny town in northern Germany, where he and his father were sent to a work camp after Kristallnacht. Other prisoners later went to Auschwitz, but Erich’s mother purchased the release of her husband and son from the Nazis before that happened. The parents then decided to send Erich away.
大约18000名欧洲犹太人住在拥堵的虹口一带，他们经常每天只吃一顿热饭，比方在这种炭炉上烹制的菜肴。 GEORGE LACKS/THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION, VIA GETTY IMAGES
And so Ilse and Erich, permitted only items like utensils, clothes and photographs and no more than 10 Deutschmarks, made their way to Italy, where they boarded ships bound for China. Shanghai had no visa requirements and, surprisingly, had a support system ready for them, largely financed by wealthy Iraqi Jews with British citizenship who had arrived centuries earlier. They created ways to house and feed the needy, a job later taken over by American Jewish agencies HIAS and the Joint Distribution Committee. Both my parents occasionally took advantage of the soup kitchen.
所以伊尔丝和埃里希都去了意大利，从那里搭上了前往我国的轮船，身上只带着几样被答应的物品：餐具、衣服、相片和不超越10个德国马克的现金。上海其时没有签证要求，并且出人意料的是，竟然有现成的帮助体系等着他们，那主要是由英国籍伊拉克犹太有钱人赞助的，他们几百年前就来了这儿。他们创建了协助有困难的人处理食宿的途径，这项作业后被美国犹太组织希伯莱移民帮助协会(HIAS)和联合救助委员会(Joint Distribution Committee)接收。我爸爸妈妈偶然都会去施粥场领粥。
As it turned out, Ilse and Eric (who soon dropped the h from his first and last names) were among the more fortunate residents. Both were determined to enjoy their youths. My mother, quick to make friends, became her family’s breadwinner, waitressing in bars and restaurants. My father, who knew English, became a translator and English tutor. He also taught a British doctor’s son until 1943, when the Japanese occupiers interned foreigners and confined most Jews to the crowded square mile of Hongkou. My mother worked as a nanny. My father smuggled sausages.
登上从意大利驶往我国的“罗索伯爵号”。 ULLSTEIN BILD, VIA GETTY IMAGES
It was a strange existence, tougher on some people than others. “Some previously important people collapsed,” said W. Michael Blumenthal, the U.S. secretary of the Treasury in the Carter administration and the founding director of the Jewish Museum in Berlin. He came to Shanghai from Germany with his parents in 1939 when he was 13 and left in 1947 — the same time span as my parents. “Others, who had little education, had inner resources and were willing to put themselves out there,” Mr. Blumenthal said in a telephone conversation.
这是一种古怪的日子方式，其间一部分人的境况要分外糟糕一些。“一些曾经位高权重的人溃散了，”卡特政府的财政部长、柏林的犹太博物馆(Jewish Museum)开创馆长W·迈克尔·布卢门塔尔(W. Michael Blumenthal)说。1939年，13岁的他随爸爸妈妈从德国来到上海，1947年脱离——和我的爸爸妈妈在同一时期。“还有一些人没受过什么教育，但他们有内部资源，乐意投身其间，”布卢门塔尔在电话采访中说。
“I chafed, of course, being young and feeling a sense of impotence, that no one would ever care about this miserable place,” he said. It provoked in him a desire to prove himself and to be successful, he said. “Secondly, it influenced my political views, caring for people who have nothing, who have no one to care for them.”
虹口的兵营内。 WOLFGANG WEBER/ULLSTEIN BILD, VIA GETTY IMAGES
Laurence H. Tribe, a Harvard Law School professor, a leading constitutional expert and an official in President Barack Obama’s Justice Department, also credited his direction in life partly to his years in Shanghai. These were very early years — he was born there in 1941 and left at age 6. His father, who as a young man had become an American citizen, was interned, he said, and young Larry recognized the injustice. “I thought, My father didn’t do anything wrong — why should he be in this place?”
哈佛大学法学院(Harvard Law School)教授、闻名宪法专家、贝拉克·奥巴马(Barack Obama)总统的司法部官员劳伦斯·H·特莱布(Laurence H. Tribe)也说，自己的人生方向部分是由上海的年月决议的。他出生于1941年，6岁时脱离那里。他说，他的父亲年青时就成了美国公民，其时遭到关押，年青的拉里（劳伦斯的昵称。——译注）认识到了这种不公。“我想，我父亲没做错什么——他为什么会被关进去？”
Life in China seemed normal to many children, who attended a refugee school, said Lisa Brandwein, 83, who spoke at a library program. She lived in Shanghai from ages 3 to 12. “We went to school, we played,” she said. “But we sensed that our parents felt helpless.” Their Chinese neighbors, generally much poorer than the refugees, were always kind, she said.
Recounting the Shanghai Jewish story “is definitely a statement on the present refugee situation,” said Rabbi Sholom Friedmann, director of the Amud Aish Memorial Museum in Brooklyn, which recently had its own Shanghai exhibition and is a partner in the library’s project, along with the Jewish Refugees Museum in Shanghai. The Jews “managed to set up shop and become a community there,” displaying “strength, courage and resilience,” he said. “The Chinese made the Jews feel welcome. You don’t hear about the tension that you might hear about in other refugee situations.”
从头叙述上海犹太人的故事“肯定是对其时难民情况的一种陈说”，布鲁克林的火柱纪念馆(Amud Aish Memorial Museum)馆长肖洛姆·弗里德曼(Sholom Friedmann)拉比说。该纪念馆最近在上海举行展览，并与上海的犹太难民博物馆协作，参加了图书馆的项目。犹太人“设法在那里做起生意，成了一个社区”，展现了“力气、勇气和耐性”，他说，“我国人让犹太人感到自己被接收。你听不到在其他当地的难民或许提起的那种紧张感。”
As for my parents, they finally met in Hongkou during an air raid drill in 1945, shortly before the end of the war. My father, who had moved into an apartment near the one where my mother lived, had already noticed her, he told me. He made sure to stand next to her in a bucket brigade and introduced himself. Their romance began. A year later, they married. The following year, I was born.
Three months later, we were on a ship to America.