Unbelievable - Holocaust victim who was "murdered by Nazis" in Shanghai, China

+11 votes

This isn't the same Siegfried Rosskamm I'm looking for, but I can't believe this record and just had to post it here because it is soooooo unusual.

Yad Vashem is the central database that holds pages of testimony from family members about the deaths of Holocaust victims.  I'm accustomed to seeing the name of some concentration camp where the victim died, even some other place, where the victim was either killed during capture attempt or committed suicide ... but Shanghai, China??????  Here's the record:

FIRST NAMEimage Siegfried
Gender: Male
Date of Birth: 11/10/1888
PERMANENTimagePlace of Residence: Berlin,Berlin (Berlin),City of Berlin,Germany  Search for all victims registered as residing in this place  Shows location on the map and info about the place (when available)
Place during the war: Shanghai,China  Search for all victims registered as present in this place during the war  Shows location on the map and info about the place (when available)
Place of Death: Shanghai,China  Search for all victims registered as having died in this place  Shows location on the map and info about the place (when available)
Date of Death: 29/05/1942
STATUSimagein the source: murdered
Related item: List of Jewish refugees from Central Europe who died in Shanghai, 1940-1945
Type of material: List of persecuted persons
Source: List of Jewish refugees from Central Europe who died in Shanghai, 1940-1945
Item ID: 6480068 

and, for all those who are equally incredulous at this, here's the link to that record:



in The Tree House by Gaile Connolly G2G6 Pilot (925k points)
Rob, Gaile and Erin, this discussion is the best history lesson I've seen in a long time and the bibliography makes my little librarian heart sing. And no, I didn't have a clue about this important piece of WWII history. Thanks, folks!
For the curious ... my memory of VJ day was that I was sitting in a swing at a playground in a park near my house and my mother was pushing the swing when all of a sudden all the adults in the area started yelling and screaming and jumping and dancing and hugging each other.  I remember screaming because I felt abandoned and wanted my mother to come back and get me out of the swing.

Not much substance to the memory, but I do have it!
Glad my answer was helpful.

A few other locations that might be included in lists of Holocaust deaths of World War II that might be less expected include Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Iraq.

The Shanghai ghetto was the setting for one of those remarkable  tales of human ingenuity and survival.

Eva and Victor Saxl  were a wealthy Jewish couple who escaped from Czechoslovakia, to Shanghai. Whilst there, Eva  developed type 1 diabetes and to start with it was no problem as insulin was readily available. Supplies however  eventually dried up, even on the black market , T1 diabetics cannot live without it.

With the help of a medical text book and a borrowed laboratory they experimented and taught themselves to make their own insulin from Water Buffalo pancreases. It was nothing like the clear insulin normally used, It  was a murky  brown substance and had a high risk of being contaminated. With some trepidation they tested it on Eva and it worked.

They went into production, making insulin not just for Eva  but for over  400 people, supplying each without about 16 units a day and allowing them to survive.

short video here http://www.dlife.com/dlifetv/video/eva-saxl-a-love-story-part-1-


If anyone remembers the athlete Eric Liddle, the real life Scottish hero of the film "Chariots of Fire" he died in The Weihsien Internment Camp, Shandong.

William May Howell (http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Howell-4241) died there too.
Gaile, I didn't see reference to Shanghai or China on the original document that is linked to. It only says Berlin.

I pasted the record from that page in the question - it says "Place during the war - Shanghai, China" and "Place of Death - Shanghai, China"
Yeah, I saw that, but it confused me because the actual linked-to-image on that page has no reference to China.
Fascinating, Helen!
And Valerie, your comment about Eric Liddle is heartbreaking. I'm thinking of the 1960s song with the line "What nature doesn't do to us will be done by our fellow man."

2 Answers

+9 votes
Best answer

Penny-novel Version:

The Japanese were allies of Nazi Germany. The Japanese captured Shanghai about 1937. The Nazi's pressured the Japanese to "deal more harshly" with Jewish persons, but the Japanese almost entirely resisted this pressure until late in 1942. Rather than the 'death camps' German officials wanted, the Japanese, in February 1943, established the "Hongkew Ghetto" (officially the Restricted Sector for Stateless Refugees). Between the shortage of food, overcrowding, and other problems of being 'ghettoized', they also suffered casualties in the fighting between the Japanese and the Allies. I also imagine anyone guilty of resisting, including attempting escape, was liable to be killed.

While there have been books written on Hongkew, the following short articles from the UN and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum are a useful primer:

Shanghai: a Haven for Holocaust Victims

Polish Jewish Refugees in the Shanghai Ghetto, 1941–1945

commented 21 minutes ago by Rob Ton G2G6 Pilot

(Now if one of you handy-dandy Wikitreers would "star" ROB TON's review, I will do my best to become the wallpaper for a GREAT ANSWER. )

by Dorothy Coakley G2G6 Pilot (174k points)
Maybe we should have a "History Star" Badge for Rob
Hear, hear!!!  The breadth of Rob's knowledge is astonishing!!!
Yes! I vote aye on a hiistory star for Rob!
+3 votes
The principal of a school I worked at was in the Shanghai ghetto as a child.
by Susan Scarcella G2G6 Mach 7 (71.2k points)

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