20 September 2015 - 7 Tishri 5776 - ז' תשרי ה' אלפים תשע"ו
Historic WWII Jewish cafe to be rebuilt E-mail

The Shanghai Hongkou District government will rebuild a cafe and renovate several historic buildings that served as iconic spots for Jewish refugees during WWII as the city plans to have it inscribed as a UNESCO Memory of the World Register with other buildings.

This is also to coincide with a planned event in September in Shanghai to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Shanghai Ghetto and the end of WWII The Shanghai Ghetto was home to about 23,000 Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi persecution. Many of them lived in the Tilanqiao area of Hongkou District. “The city has completed collation of the refugee list, data bank, literary, video and audio material,” said Chen Jian, curator of the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum, who is working with the Hongkou District government on the UNESCO application.

The Wiener Cafe Restaurant, which first opened in 1939, will be rebuilt in a new location on Changyang Road opposite the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum. The three-storey wooden and brick structure that combined Western and Eastern architecture served as a popular shelter for Jewish residents living nearby. The owner sold the cafe after the war. It was demolished in 2009 to make room for a subway. “We have kept the building’s blue prints and key components such as beams and some wooden curving on walls for the rebuilding,” Chen said.

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