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Jewish Flight from Nazi Germany

Many affluent German Jews emigrated during the early Nazi years. Less fortunate Jews gained an escape route to the east after Germany and the Soviet Union signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop non-aggression treaty in August of 1939. Those who preferred not to become Soviet citizens traveled across Siberia to China. Shanghai, the most cosmopolitan city in the Far East, became a natural haven for German Jews seeking refuge abroad, because no visas were required to enter or to reside there.

Below, top: In August of 1936 the Knigsbergers of Frankfurt notified a relative that their belongings were packed and they would set sail soon to New York.

Flown by airship Hindenburg: Post card postage 15 pfennigs plus 50 pfennigs air mail surcharge.

Below, bottom: An October 2, 1939, post card from Wartenburg, East Prussia, German Jewish family to friends and family members who had fled to Shanghai.

Knigsberg censor's handstamp used only from September 6 to mid-November 1939, coinciding with the German conquest and subjugation of Poland. next >>




Courtesy of The Florence and Laurence Spungen Family Foundation. Ex-Ken Lawrence exhibit. 


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