The Plight of European Jewish Refugees in Post-Second World War Shanghai, August 1945–April 1948

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The chapter examines the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC)’s assistance to European refugees in Shanghai from August 1945 through March 1948. It focuses on the policies of the American JDC Shanghai directors, Manuel Siegel, who took charge in August 1945 and Charles Jordan, who replaced him in January 1946 and remained through April 1948. Of interest are policies of JDC NY. Several interrelated questions are addressed. First, how did each director perceive the plight of the refugees over time? Second, did the JDC expect the refugees to be integrated into China or resettled abroad? Did refugees’ preferences for remaining, repatriation, or resettlement change over time? How did US and Australian immigration policies affect refugee preferences? Did the JDC influence refugees as to where to go? Third, did Chiang Kai-shek’s Government pressure refugees to leave China? Fourth, were there incidents of tension and conflict between the refugees and Chinese neighbors? Finally, how did the international aid organizations’ support influence the JDC’s relief policies? The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, in cooperation with the Chinese National Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, assisted European refugees in Shanghai and sponsored repatriation. The Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees resettled European stateless refugees. The research focus is on JDC policies as documented in its archives. The findings should add to evidence presented in the many published personal memoirs and testimonies. Secondary sources supplement the archival materials.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPalgrave Series in Asian German Studies
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages31
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022

Publication series

NamePalgrave Series in Asian German Studies
ISSN (Print)2731-5657
ISSN (Electronic)2731-5665

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History


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