Joseph Weber

Joseph describes his living situation in Shanghai, and the help he received while he was there.

I knew a little bit of Chinese. He asked me where I was going, were we were going, and I didn’t understand him. I remember him [saying], “You stay here?” at the harbor, so somehow, somebody came to help us who put us on the back of trucks, open trucks, and they took us to a home, a heim, you know, a heim, the home, there were various homes, which happened to be a school building [on] Kinsha Road. It was a good building, a brick building. Not all were so fortunate, especially the youngsters. But for the first fourteen months, they put us in the schoolroom, my parents in one, my sister in another, and me with about fifty bachelors and other guys, away, so for the first fourteen months, this is how we lived. A double bed, an upper metal bed. I was in the upper, and an older guy was below me. And on this space, the half the space, between him, belonged to me. So that’s all that I had for fourteen months to my name, that little space.

Q: So this was a Jewish committee that met you at the boat, and that was sponsoring the soup kitchen.

Yeah, the money came from the United States until the war started, and I am forever grateful, but also from the Shanghai prominent Jews, the Sassoons, the Hardoons, the Kadoories, you may have heard. These are Iraqi Jews, by way of India or Iran, and they established themselves in Shanghai and became prominent and very philanthropic, and there was a school, Kadoorie school, [named] after Sir Horace Kadoorie. And they are the ones that helped us. Also the Russian Jews, and then, as I said, the American Jews sent money.

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