Teacher Resources – China

Madame Xia remembers the 1937 Nanjing Massacre

Language: Mandarin

 Madame Xia discusses her family's experiences on December 13, 1937, when Japanese forces entered Nanjing, China.

  • Madame Xia remembers the 1937 Nanjing Massacre

    Language: Mandarin

     Madame Xia discusses her family's experiences on December 13, 1937, when Japanese forces entered Nanjing, China.

  • Madame Yong on the Nanjing Massacre

    Language: English

    Madame Yong talks about the 1937 mass murder in Nanjing, China and describes the losses in her family. She remembers the atrocities perpetrated by the Japanese soldiers. Madame Yong explains why her family was unable to flee the area prior to the killing.

  • Eva Antman

    Language: English

    Eva describes the patterns of relationships among the inhabitants of the Hongkew ghetto in Shanghai, China, and focuses on the friendships she and her family had formed while retaining their humanity under difficult circumstances.

  • Henry Ebstein

    Language: English

    Henry describes his flight from Berlin, Germany, to Shanghai, China, in summer 1940 and recalls the family members he left behind.

  • Gert Marcus

    Language: English

    Gert expresses his gratitude toward Chinese people and explains that Shanghai served his family as a place of refuge during the war.

  • Eva Antman

    Language: English

    Eva reflects on the living conditions she had as a child living in Shanghai, China, during the war and discusses her daily activities.

  • Judith Freudenthal

    Language: English

    Judith describes the overcrowded housing conditions in the Hongkew ghetto in Shanghai, China, and discusses the general lack of privacy.

  • Berthold Katz

    Language: English

    Berthold Katz talks about Kanoh Ghoya, a Japanese official responsible for giving monthly passes to Jews who were living in the Hongkew ghetto in Shanghai, China, and remembers his brutal treatment of the ghetto inhabitants.

  • Hildegard Fabian

    Language: English

    Hildegard recalls her trip from Shanghai, China to San Francisco, CA, on the board of the U.S. Army transporter “Marine  Adder,” in August 1947.  She explains that the trip was sponsored by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC).

  • Miriam Brookfield

    Language: English

    Miriam explains that the Jewish refugees living in Shanghai, China, had no intention to stay there once the war ended, and that helped them to retain hope in surviving the war.

About

USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education is dedicated to making audio-visual interviews with survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust and other genocides a compelling voice for education and action.

With a current collection of over 55,000 eyewitness testimonies, the Institute’s Visual History Archive preserves history as told by the people who lived it. These testimonies were conducted in 62 countries and in 41 languages. Each testimony is a unique source of insight and knowledge offering powerful stories from history that demand to be explored and shared. In this way we will be able to see their faces and hear their voices, allowing them to teach, and inspire action against intolerance.

The Visual History Archive is the largest digital collection of its kind in the world. Currently encompassing 115,000 hours of video testimony, the archive is an invaluable resource for humanity, with nearly every testimony containing a complete personal history of life before, during and after the interviewee’s firsthand experience with genocide. The Visual History Archive is digitized, fully searchable, and hyperlinked to the minute. This indexing allows students, professors, researchers, and others around the world to retrieve entire testimonies or search for specific sections within testimonies through a set of more than 64,800 keywords and key phrases, 1.86 million names, and 718,000 images.

In the spring of 2013, the Visual History Archive was expanded to include testimonies from eyewitnesses of genocide from Rwanda. Learn more about our archival collections.

Approaching its 20th Anniversary in 2014, the Institute is committed to teaching with testimony, endeavoring to make the power of each story accessible to students, educators, scholars, and the general public on every continent.

China in the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive

The Visual History Archive has 440 testimonies with content related to China. Each testimony was indexed using a controlled vocabulary, the USC Shoah Foundation’s Thesaurus, which, in its entirety, consists of approximately 64,800 terms. These index terms include geographical locations and time periods (e.g. “Beijing (Beijing, China),” “China 1941”), as well as location names (e.g. “Hongkew (Shanghai, China: Ghetto)”) and experiences (e.g. “separation of loved ones,” “decisions regarding flight”). Appropriate index terms are matched with one-minute segments of each testimony, thereby permitting users to perform detailed searches for relevant testimonies or segments of testimonies.

The testimonies are searchable using a web-based software tool, the USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive (VHA) which is available at a number of universities and institutions in the United States and abroad via a separate, high-capacity network called Internet2—or its variants in other countries.

Out of 440 testimonies, 433 were collected from Jewish survivors, five from liberators, and one from political prisoner.

One interview was recorded from a man who was born in Harbin, China, in 1920 and emigrated from China to USSR in 1937, where, wrongly accused of espionage, he was arrested and sentenced to ten years of incarceration in Soviet GULAG. Interviews of Jewish survivors include accounts about flight from Germany and German-occupied areas of Europe to China in 1937-1942, living conditions in China under Japanese administration, life in the Hongkew Ghetto (312 testimonies) or in the refugee camps set up for Jewish refugees in Shanghai, and liberation at the arrival of the American goodwill mission on September 3, 1945.

Testimonies featuring China-related content were recorded in 14 languages.  In addition to 389 interviews recorded in the English language (88.4% of the content), the following languages are also represented in the collection: Bulgarian (1 interview), Czech (1), French (1), German (11), Hebrew (8), Hungarian (1), Polish (1), Portuguese (3), Russian (16), Sign language (1), Spanish (5), Swedish (1), and Yiddish (1).