History

Harbor from the Holocaust

Harbor from the Holocaust is the story of nearly 20,000 Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II, to the Chinese port city of Shanghai. Explore the extraordinary relationship of these Jews and their adopted city of Shanghai, even through the bitter years of Japanese occupation 1937-1945 and the Chinese civil war that followed.

Harbor from the Holocaust

56m 5s

Harbor from the Holocaust is the story of nearly 20,000 Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II, to the Chinese port city of Shanghai. Explore the extraordinary relationship of these Jews and their adopted city of Shanghai, even through the bitter years of Japanese occupation 1937-1945 and the Chinese civil war that followed.

Episodes

  • Harbor from the Holocaust: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Harbor from the Holocaust

    56m 5s

    Harbor from the Holocaust is the story of nearly 20,000 Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II, to the Chinese port city of Shanghai. Explore the extraordinary relationship of these Jews and their adopted city of Shanghai, even through the bitter years of Japanese occupation 1937-1945 and the Chinese civil war that followed.

Extras + Features

  • Trailer: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Trailer

    30s

    Harbor from the Holocaust is the story of nearly 20,000 Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II, to the Chinese port city of Shanghai. Explore the extraordinary relationship of these Jews and their adopted city of Shanghai, even through the bitter years of Japanese occupation 1937-1945 and the Chinese civil war that followed.

  • Songs For Her Shanghailander Grandmother: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Songs For Her Shanghailander Grandmother

    2m 39s

    Heather Klein was moved to create and sing a one-woman operatic program to honor her grandmother Rosa Ginsberg who escaped Nazi persecution, lived a challenging life in Shanghai, and was detained at Angel Island upon coming to America. Rosa was finally able to settle in New York. Backed by accompanist Joshua Horowitz, Heather shared her songs at a Shanghailander event at Congregation B’Nai Emunah.

  • Bert Reiner: Shanghai Survivor & Cabbage Patch Doll Engineer: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Bert Reiner: Shanghai Survivor & Cabbage Patch Doll Engineer

    3m 16s

    Bert Reiner’s middle-class family was forced to abandon a comfortable life in Germany for the unknown world of Shanghai, China. Bert saw poverty and deprivation, but also made friends, learned Chinese, and played games. Coming to America after WWII’s end, when Shanghai emptied of its Jewish refugees, Bert became the pivotal design engineer behind the mass production of the Cabbage Patch Doll.

  • Mike Medavoy: Shanghailander & Hollywood Producer: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Mike Medavoy: Shanghailander & Hollywood Producer

    2m 58s

    Mike Medavoy’s family was already settled in Shanghai among the Jewish emigrés who had escaped pogroms in Russia during the mid-1900s. This group offered assistance to the waves of refugees fleeing the Nazis during WWII. His boyhood in Shanghai inspired Medavoy — who eventually became a successful and well-known Hollywood movie producer, responsible for some of the most iconic films of our times.

  • An Accidental Haven - Shanghai Timeline: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    An Accidental Haven - Shanghai Timeline

    5m 33s

    Documentary Advisors Tina Johnson and Michele Heryford share brief historical highlights of Shanghai and its relationship with Jewish emigrés through many centuries, making it a unique safe harbor — and one of the only places in the world for Jews escaping Nazi persecution during WWII. The preserved Jewish ghetto is also discussed in the context of modern China.

  • "Poéme for Cello and Orchestra": asset-mezzanine-16x9

    "Poéme for Cello and Orchestra"

    5m 20s

    Composed by Hiao-Tsiun Ma and played by his son, Yo-Yo Ma. This piece was written by the elder Ma, who was a violinist and teacher. He wrote it about Shanghai, a city across the bay from the town he grew up in (Ningbo) and which he’d visited many times.

  • "Rose, Rose, I Love You": asset-mezzanine-16x9

    "Rose, Rose, I Love You"

    2m 22s

    "Méiguì méiguì wǒ ài nǐ" is a song in Mandarin composed by Chen Gexin, and first recorded by Yao Lee, that became very popular in the1940s in Shanghai among the Jewish refugees there. It was also known as “Shanghai Rose” and “China Rose.” In 1951, an English-language version called “Rose, Rose, I Love You” was recorded by Frankie Lane, and later as “May Kway” by British pop vocalist Petula Clark.

  • Behind the Music: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Behind the Music

    4m 28s

    Reflections on creating the textured musical score for “Harbor from the Holocaust” by Composer Chad Cannon, Violinist Niv Ashkenazi and Cantor Avram Mlotek. The music includes many personal and cultural influences, and features traditional Chinese guzheng played by Bei Bei Monter, and world renowned Cellist Yo-Yo Ma playing passages throughout the score.

  • Professor Emeritus Irene Eber: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Professor Emeritus Irene Eber

    18m 36s

    Professor Emeritus Irene Eber of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem was an early advisor to the documentary. Author of "Wartime Shanghai and the Jewish Refugees from Central Europe: Survival, Co-Existence, and Identity in a Multi-Ethnic City," Eber’s own story is that of a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany who escaped and hid for two years in a chicken coop belonging to a Polish family.

Schedule

WETA Passport

Stream tens of thousands of hours of your PBS and local favorites with WETA Passport whenever and wherever you want. Catch up on a single episode or binge-watch full seasons before they air on TV.