Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Eric Rosenow - August 5, 1982

Shanghai Ghetto II

Testing. One, two, three. Today is August 21st, this will be part 2 of interview with Eric Rosenow.

This is Eric Rosenow. This is my second interview for the uh, Holocaust with uh, Sharon Weisberg, is that the right name? Okay.

Okay, thank you. Um, if you wouldn't mind, I would like for you to give me a little bit more information about the liquidation of the ghetto: what actually happened, how they did it.

As soon as there was the news out that the war is over, and the Japanese people surrendered, they open up the gates, the border lines so that everybody could uh, go where they pleased. And uh. I believe that the uh, Japanese people who occupied uh, that time, Shanghai, were put in uh, camps and uh, and the Jews, the 20,000 who uh, survived the, the so-to-speak Holocaust--the ghetto in uh, Shanghai could go after their business, like before. And the people were looking forward to uh, to leave Shanghai wherever they could. At that time we didn't know uh, if we would go back to Germany, if we would go to Palestine, or to America or anywhere, any place. It was uh, completely puzzled this time because America--we didn't have any affidavit and uh, a lot of people thought that, "Well, the war is over. We--Hitler is no more there, we would go back to Germany." But then later we found out what happened actually in Germany, that they killed so many million Jews and gassed them so we uh, we were against going back to Germany. That's about it.

Okay um, displaced persons camp; did that--was that used for any part of the population that was in the ghetto to your knowledge?

What do you mean?

Uh, some...sometimes, after some of the ghettos were liberated uh, people couldn't go any of these three or four or whatever places immediately and they were moved to yet another camp waiting to go to their destination...

No, you see you must understand the Shanghai ghetto was not a camp. Was not--there were no tents, where the people were housing. People housed in rooms, in uh, in camps, but they were well-built, so-to-speak of, as much well built in, in China. But uh, there were no tents put up or the people lived in rooms, real rooms so uh, there was no a mess of people at one place. There was--it was not a concentration camp. So uh, I don't know if you can visualize the situation in uh, in Shanghai. We lived under bad conditions, but no comparison whatsoever like people lived in, in uh, concentration camps. There were no guards behind us, we had no guards behind us.

No guards, whatsoever.

No, whatsoever.

Actually I didn't know that.

There were no guards behind us whatsoever. Uh, we just couldn't move out from this district. There was a district where the Jewish people were put in this completely like uh, like half of Oak Park.

[interruption in interview]

The empire from Japan was a little bit afraid to uh, we, we heard that they put already gas chambers up across the bridge, if they would uh, uh, if the war would last longer. But what we heard that the uh, headquarter--the, the Nazis requested that the Japanese people put the Jewish people uh, in the gas chambers. But the empire was a little bit afraid of this, what--as far as I know so he delayed this, he delayed this, he delayed this.

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