“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
— Mark Twain

This Weekend – Limmud China 2020 – Online – & Jewish Refugees in Macao during WW2

Posted: April 30th, 2020 | No Comments »

This year’s festival of Jewish cilutre, hisytory and society in China – Limmud China – is online. The full programme is here – my own session on Sunday is about my forthcoming novella Strangers on the Praia which deals with the Jewish refugee community in Macao during WW2…do zoom in if you can…Details of my session here

Strangers on the Praia – a novella coming out in May, dealing with the niche story of the few, mostly younger Jews women, who moved on from Shanghai to Macao – neutral in WW2 as a Portuguese colony – in the hope that it might be a way back to sanctuary in the UK or US via Lisbon. Macao was essentially the ‘Casablanca of the Far East’. Ultimately there were no boats from Macao to Lisbon – though several Jewish refugees did get to Free China via the French treaty port of Kwangchowan near the border with Indo-China and from there to Kunming and then to British India.

Bio: Paul French is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Midnight in Peking and City of Devils. Both now being adapted for TV. Now, in his new novella published in May, Strangers on the Praia, French weaves together the true stories of those Jewish refugees who moved on from Shanghai to seek a possible route to freedom via the neutral Portuguese colony of Macao, “the Casablanca of the Orient”. The delicately balanced neutral enclave became their wartime refuge. Strangers on the Praia relates the story of one young Jewish woman’s struggle for freedom that would prove ultimately an act of brave resistance.

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