(JNS.org) A café that was a popular spot for Jewish refugees in Shanghai during World War II has been rebuilt and reopened in the city’s Hongkou district.
The Zum Weissen Rossi’l café, better known as the White Horse Café, first opened in 1939. On hand for the reopening were city and district government officials, the consulate general of Israel in Shanghai, and family members of the original owners.
“The feeling is excellent, like going back home,” said 74-year-old Ron Klinger, one of the family members, Xinhua reported.
“Our families are very grateful to the city and district government for restoring the cafe,” Klinger said.
Klinger’s grandparents, who fled to Shanghai from Vienna in 1939, ran the café until 1949, when they relocated to Australia. Klinger’s parents also met at the café and got married in February 1941. He was born the same year.
It is estimated that around 23,000 European Jews fled to Shanghai during World War II to escape Nazi persecution, joining already established Chinese Jewish communities from Baghdad and Russia. The Jewish refugees were restricted to a small area that became known as the “Shanghai Ghetto” by the Japanese, who had occupied the city in 1937. Nearly all of Shanghai’s Jewish community left the city following WWII and the Chinese Communist revolution in 1949.