The film presents the little-known story of the 20,000 European Jews who fled to Shanghai between late 1937 and 1941. After 1939, Shanghai was the last and only resort to find safe haven from the Nazis, though not that safe either, as the film shows. This was due to Shanghai's status as a free port not requiring entry papers, and the relative tolerance of the Japanese occupiers, who, far from being saviors, resisted their Grand Ally's (Germany) demand to exterminate the Jews, and even prevented the actions of the Nazi "Butcher of Warsaw" who was assigned to liquidate the Shanghai Jews. After the Communist takeover of China, all traces of the Jews' existence, including a Jewish cemetery with 2,000 graves, were razed. The Jews passage through Shanghai is revealed, and preserved through four survivors (Fred Fields now of Miami, Ernest and Illo Heppner, and Siegmar Simon), and an incredible collage of rare film footage.
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