A group of Jewish people from the United States Israel visit the exhibition and give talks in Shanghai, March 26. (Photo/Xinhua)
An exhibition of 30 oil paintings depicting the 25,000 Jewish refugees who fled to Shanghai during World War II is set to open in the city's Hongkou district, which has housed a Jewish community for many years.
The exhibition will open in May before traveling to Israel and New York next year, aimed at restoring the collective memory of Chinese and Jewish citizens in history.
Between 1937 and 1941, Shanghai's open port allowed entry to around 25,000 European Jews seeking refuge from Nazi Germany.
Zhang Ping, the event's organizer and the head of a media and communication company, said few people know the story of the 25,000 Jewish refugees that came to Shanghai. This is why he has invited several top foreign oil painters to showcase 30 paintings in Shanghai for the exhibition.
Zhang further cited historic data about the ceremony held to mark the declaration of the establishment of the state of Israel, which was held at a park in Hongkou, with several founding members the nation residing in Hongkou.
In 2013, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu personally attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the opening of a reconstructed old-time coffee shop at Shanghai's Jewish Refugee Museum. Netanyahu had said it was the first time he had cut a ribbon for a shop in his lifetime but did so due to the coffee shop's deep connection with Israel's history, Zhang added.
He further said the exhibition will also highlight the role China played in saving over 20,000 Jewish men, women, and children from Nazi persecution.