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

Russian Emigres in China – Photographs from XXth Century Magazine, 1942…

Posted: October 2nd, 2020 | 5 Comments »

XXth Century magazine was a Nazi-funded English language publication in Shanghai during the Japanese occupation edited by Klaus Mehnert. Though funded from Berlin it was not overly politicised, though the message is clear. As it was designed for an audience in Shanghai largely and to build the Nazi alliance with the Japanese it was not anti-semitic, though is full of Nazi obsessions with racial hierarchies. A lot of foreigners around in Shanghai picked up work on the publication as well as English-speaking Chinese journalists including a young Eileen Chang (whose husband was obviously a collaborator) who wrote on fashion and submitted film reviews. In an article on Russian emigres in China the publication used these photographs….

Avenue Joffre (Huai Hai Lu) – Little Moscow
Russian Orthodox Priest on Peking’s Tartar Wall with the Orthodox Mission behind
Reading a Russian wall newspaper in Shanghai
The Russian Brigade of warlord Chang Tso-lin (Zhang Zuolin)
Russian man selling newspapers on the street, Shanghai
Uniformed principal and smallest boy at the St Tikhon of Zadonsk’s Orphanage
Archbishop Victor of Peking (Svjatin), served 1933—1956
The Russian Orthodox Mission Church on Xinle Lu and Xiangyang Lu, Shanghai – the archbishop’s house can be seen to the left which also still remains with retail shops at street level now
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5 Comments on “Russian Emigres in China – Photographs from XXth Century Magazine, 1942…”

  1. 1 Ulrich Elkmann said at 8:49 pm on October 2nd, 2020:

    A small correction. The name of the editor was not Meinhart, but Klaus Mehnert. (Ironically, he was born in Moscow in 1906.) After the war, he was interned by the GMT for three years; after his return to Germany (the western Federal Republic) he began to work for radio and eventually television. In the 1960s and 1970s, he was the foremost and best known foreign correspondent for state broadcaster ZDF from Moscow. XXth Century was, by the way, the last publication (I think) that was financed by the Third Reich to appear; the last issue to come out was the one for June 1945. It was also, because it was deliberately toned down, the only (or one of the very few) publications allowed to the Western internees in the Japanese internment camps in Shanghai. Eileen Chang published three or four of her early essays, which she wrote in English and later translated into Chinese, in the magazine, between 1942 and 1943.

  2. 2 Ulrich Elkmann said at 8:53 pm on October 2nd, 2020:


    The University of Hawaii has the entire run to be read:


  3. 3 Paul French said at 8:56 pm on October 2nd, 2020:

    Quite right – my terrible memory – there’s a very interesting article by Chang on Shanghai occupation period fashions as i recall.

  4. 4 Ulrich Elkmann said at 9:23 pm on October 2nd, 2020:

    Just for the record: her contributions to XXth Century were:
    “Chinese Life and Fashions”, vol 4, January 1943, 54-61.
    “On the Screen: Wife, Vamp, Child,” vol 4 (May 1943), 392.
    “Still Alive,” 4 (June 1943), 432-438.
    “On the Screen: The Opium War,” 4 (June 1943), 464.
    “On the Screen: Autumn and Cloud Over Moon,” vol 5 (July 1943), 75-76.
    “On the Screen: Mothers and Daughters-in-Law,” 5 (Aug.-Sept. 1943), 202.
    “On the Scrren: On with the Show and The Call of Spring,” 5 (October 1943), 278.
    “On the Screen: China: Educating the Family and The Fisher Girl,” 5 (November 1943), 358.
    “Demons and Fairies,” 5 (December 1943), 412-429.
    At least the Life-and-Fashions article was illustrated by herself.

  5. 5 Ulrich Elkmann said at 9:50 pm on October 2nd, 2020:

    Shame on me. I completely managed to overlook Zhang Ailing/Eilen Chang’s 100th birthday 2 days ago…

    This posting reminded me. The first two pages from her “Life and Fashion” essay are featured:


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