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New Edition of The Jews in China Expected

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, a new edition of The Jews in China, a pictorial about the history of Jews living in China, will be published soon by China Intercontinental Press.

The first version of The Jews in China was published by the press three years ago in 2001, with both text and captions in Chinese and English.

The book gained recognition in the West when it was presented to guests as a gift by then Chinese President Jiang Zemin during his trip to the United States in 2002.

French and German editions of the book were published in 2003.

The book ranges over the Jews' entire history in China, from the first documentary evidence of a Jewish presence in the Tang Dynasty to the last departure from Shanghai of World War II Jewish refugees.

Particularly well done are the sections on the 19th century Sephardic Jews from Baghdad — the Hardoons, Sassoons, Kardoories — who settled in Shanghai and Hong Kong and amassed fortunes; on the Russian Jews who escaped from Czarist oppression and Whiteguard programs and made their homes in Harbin and Tianjin; and especially on the Jews who fled the Nazi slaughter in Europe only to meet Japanese harassment in occupied Shanghai.

But as experts suggested, the section on ancient history was less satisfactory in the first version, since it failed to deal with issues such as when the Jews first came to China and where they came from. These problems will be corrected in the new edition, according to the press.

The new version will be published in Chinese, English and Hebrew. The release date has not yet been set.

(Shenzhen Daily April 21, 2005)


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