18,000–20,000 mostly Jewish refugees from the German-speaking areas.
City divided into three zones under Chinese, French and international administration. 1937: Chinese zone under Japanese control. 1941: Japan conquered the internationally administered zone; this resulted in coercive measures and controls for Jews.
Conditions of entry:
No visa was required to enter the French and international zone until 1941. 1940 introduction of a permit; "landing money" obligatory. Work permits, but little opportunity to work.
Shanghai became the last refuge for many victims of persecution especially after the November pogroms of 1938. Life was full of privation; work and housing options were severely restricted. Many of the refugees who arrived were penniless and were dependent on the support of the local Jewish aid organisations. Nevertheless, a rich cultural life developed with diverse entertainment opportunities, German press and European-style shops. Following the Japanese occupation, most of these initiatives ground to a halt. From February 1943 Jewish refugees had to move into a ghetto, they were only allowed to leave upon presentation of a pass.