Survival in Shanghai: The Journals of Fred Marcus 1939-49 (Pacific View Press) is a coming-of-age story based on diaries the late Fred Marcus wrote while a young Jewish refugee in Shanghai. The background material and commentary by authors Audrey Friedman Marcus and Rena Krasno enriches Fred’s story by providing a historical context and explaining some of the references that would be obscure to readers.
The Fred Marcus story is not unusual. But the man himself was exceptional. An only child, born in Berlin in 1924, Fred Marcus had a carefree, comfortable childhood in a cultured German family — until Hitler came to power.
While many Jews were leaving the country, he and his parents were unable to do so due to the illness of his mother, Gertrud. Her death in 1938 freed him and his father, Samuel, to escape.
One of the few options left in 1939 was Shanghai, an open city with no passport or visa requirements. His father purchased steamship tickets from Genoa to Shanghai, and after a long 28-day journey, they arrived.
This website provides information on the book Survival in Shanghai. Visitors to the site will also get to know an exceptional man who faced his difficulties with courage and without complaint, who studied, worked hard, and made the most of his ten years in Shanghai. Information on Fred’s later accomplishments are included, as well as a brief history of Jews in Shanghai. Also included is information on the annual lecture named after Fred, the Fred Marcus Memorial Holocaust Lecture, which takes place each spring in Denver, Colorado under the auspices of the Holocaust Awareness Institute of the Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Denver. You’ll find links to this organization as well as to other sites related to Jews in Shanghai.