Katya Knyazeva (avezink) wrote,
Katya Knyazeva
avezink

Revisiting the “New Russian Synagogue”

Another curious rediscovery is described in James Ross’ Escape To Shanghai: A Jewish Community in China (1994). This book, by the way, is quite comprehensive and full of exclusive details; it also gives an excellent summary of the relationship of Russian and European Jews in wartime Shanghai.

So the author goes to the New Ashkenazi Synagogue, built in 1937–1941, on Route Tenant de La Tour in the French Concession:

My Chinese guide and I went first to the “new” Russian synagogue on Xiangyang Nan Road (formerly Rue de la Tour in the French Concession), consecrated in 1941. The original building still stands and it is now used as an auditorium for the Shanghai Education College. Chen Weng Zhang, the former doorkeeper for the synagogue, still works there. He told us the interior of the synagogue was destroyed in a fire in the early 1950s. But the outside, with round windows over the entrance and long, narrow windows along the side of the building remains the same. Chen was never allowed inside the synagogue, but he remembers that there were some tablets (memorial tablets) in the front lobby. The youtairen (Jews) burned candles or incense there, he said, much like the Buddhists.

This description – "narrow windows along the side of the building" – makes me return to the suggestion that these photos from the USHMM collection were taken inside this synagogue, after all. The building still stands, but is much altered.

Tags: 1941, 1990s, 1994, jews, memoir, route tenant de la tour, shanghai, synagogue, xiangyang road, 襄阳南路
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