The legacy of exile: The Jews of Shanghai

“A refugee crisis implicates everybody. That was true then, and that’s even truer today.”

Four million refugees had flooded across the border of Syria, escaping a vicious civil war. The exodus transported many world leaders back to the time of the Holocaust, when hundreds of thousands of Jews were similarly displaced by bloodshed.

In September, China celebrated the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. It was a time of particular significance for Sara Imas. Her father was part of a small population of Jewish refugees who sought a shelter in Shanghai as the Nazi persecution intensified.

Then, as now, refugees faced stiff resistance from host countries. But Shanghai offered refugees a unique respite. At the time, it was one of the only places in the world where visas and quotas didn’t bar refugees from entering.

Find out how this moment in history is impacting today’s refugee debate, in this intimate profile for Al Jazeera.

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