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Holocaust Memorial Day - Yom Ha'Sho'a

Tuesday, April 18, 2023 27 Nisan 5783

7:00 PM - 8:30 PMHar El

Join as at Har El for a fascinating lecture for Yom Ha'Shoa - Holocaust Memorial Day:

“Overlooked Shelters in Asia: Central European Jewish Refugees’ Experiences in Hong Kong and Singapore (1938-1941)”

By Ryan Cheuk Him Sun

Before, during, and after the Second World War, Shanghai was the only place in the world that Jewish refugees could escape to without needing a visa. On the sea journey to Shanghai, the ships carrying Jewish refugee passengers docked at two important port-cities: Hong Kong and Singapore. As British colonies, these two places required visas for entry. But these barriers did not stop the local Jewish communities from providing aid, nor hindered some Jewish refugees from obtaining work visas. At the outbreak of the Second World War, around 500 Jewish refugees found shelter in Hong Kong and Singapore. As German nationals, Jewish refugees were classified as ‘enemy aliens’ and subjected to movement restrictions; and in the case of Hong Kong, all male ‘enemy aliens’ were sent to La Salle internment camp. Despite these challenges, Jewish refugees remained, continuing to work and contribute to Hong Kong and Singapore society. Yet, their shelter would not last. Between June and August 1940, both the Hong Kong and Singapore colonial governments expelled all Jewish refugees: those in Hong Kong went to Shanghai, while those in Singapore were transferred to Australian internment camps. This talk explores this unique and overlooked period in Global Holocaust history, revealing a larger geography of potential refuges outside Europe and beyond Shanghai. 

Ryan Cheuk Him Sun is a 4th year History PhD Candidate at the University of British Columbia. His research focuses on the entangled histories of the British Empire and the Holocaust, particularly the experiences of Jewish refugees in the British colonies of Hong Kong and Singapore, and their migration and ship journeys.

For more information contact Noga at

The lecture is also appropriate for children in grade 6th and up. Parental discretion is advised.

This event is by donation. We kindly suggest a $5 donation.


The event is by donation. Please give to help support us in brining Jewish programming to the North Shore
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