Shalom Life | April 24, 2014

Play Explores Jewish Shanghai Connection During WWII

"North Bank Suzhou Creek" tells the tale of Jewish refugees in the Chinese city, during the second World War.

By: Sarah Bauder

Published: March 23rd, 2012 in Culture » Stage » News

Play Explores Jewish Shanghai Connection During WWII
A new play about tens of thousands of Jews who sought refuge in China during World War II, premiered in Shanghai. North Bank Suzhou Creek, explores a little known period of the 20th century, from 1933 to 1941, when Shanghai welcomed over 30,000 Jews escaping Nazi occupation.

"This is the Chinese version of Schindler's List. In essence it is not well known enough that the Chinese gave shelter, that the Chinese really...gave shelter to over 30,000 Jews," said Jeffrey Sichel, one of the play’s directors.

North Bank Suzhou Creek, centres on the daughter of a Jewish café owner in Shanghai, who is pursued by two different suitors. It is loosely based upon, A Tale of Three Cities, the memoir of 82-year-old Fred Antman. He arrived in Shanghai with his family in 1939 from Berlin.

"My mother clearly realized that amid all this Nazi violence and madness there was no future for Jews in German. She rushed to a travel agent, and learned that there were only two places that did not require entry visas: one was La Paz in Bolivia and the other was Shanghai, China,” Antman wrote in his memoir.

The bilingual drama is a collaboration betwixt Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum, Play Play Studio Company, the non-profit American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, and the Israeli consulate in Shanghai.

The play runs in Shanghai until April 1st, then will make the leap or’ the pond to New York for May.
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