Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum will be expanded this year with new exhibitions to serve increasing visitors. The number of visitors has surged by 10 times from 10,000 in the museum’s first year in 2007.
The museum inside the historic Ohel Moishe Synagogue will be expanded to over 4,000 square meters from the existing 900 by 2020.
The museum on Changyang Road has about 250 items provided by some of the Jews who lived in Shanghai’s Hongkou District during World War II, along with multimedia exhibitions. The exhibits include passports, marriage certificates and personal effects like spectacles and pill boxes.
Over the years, the museum has collected historical items that reflect what life was like for Jewish people living in Shanghai at the time, said the curator Chen Jian.
Last month, the museum collected a series of oil paintings by artists such as Xia Baoyuan and Chen Yiming about the friendly relationship between Chinese and Jewish people during the war.
In 2015, the museum rebuilt an iconic café on the opposite side of the road. The Zum Weissen Ross’l café, better known as the White Horse Café, was opened in 1939 and became a popular gathering site for Jewish people. It is recreated with its original look.
In the 1930s and 1940s, Jews were attacked by the Nazis in Europe. Thousands of them took refuge in Shanghai to escape the atrocities back home.