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Shanghai Escape

post written by Emma Filbrun

Shanghai Escape by Kathy KacerTitle: Shanghai Escape
Author: Kathy Kacer
Series: Holocaust Remembrance
Major Themes: China, Holocaust, Jews
Synopsis: On the eve of World War II, Lily and her family flee to China to escape Hitler and the Nazis.

Did you know that, on the eve of World War II, a large number of Jews fled from Europe to China? I had never heard of that! Apparently, China was the only country in the world that would accept them at that time, and Shanghai ended up, at least temporarily, with a large Jewish population.

Shanghai Escape tells the true story of Lily and her father and mother, a Jewish family from Vienna, Austria. When a friend warned her father of the Nazi’s plans for Kristallnacht, they were able to flee the city just in time, along with their family. After travelling for a month, they arrived in Shanghai, China. They settled into a new, peaceful life—until the Japanese, who had conquered China, aligned themselves with Hitler and the Nazis and forced all the Jews in Shanghai into a ghetto. Life became a daily struggle—would the war ever end?

I found this story to be quite fascinating, and well-written all the way through. I learned quite a lot about the lives of these Jewish refugees, and about life in China during the war in general. As always, I am amazed at what humans can and will do to other humans, and what people can survive.

I received a free ecopy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

WARNING: Towards the end of the war, a bombing is described, and then Lily and her friend discover the body of a little girl.

Age Levels:

Read Aloud—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 13
Reading Independently—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 12, 12 – 15


Links to buy Shanghai Escape:

Amazon: Paperback | Kindle

AbeBooks: View Choices on


China, Holocaust, Jews

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