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Iconic Jewish cafe 'White Horse Coffee' reopens for business

By Sun Chengdong (chinadaily.com.cn) Updated: 2015-08-27 13:06 Comments

Iconic Jewish cafe 'White Horse Coffee' reopens for business

"White Horse Coffee" owner's descendant Ron Klinger attending the opening ceremony in Shanghai, August 26, 2015. [Photo/CFP]

In honor of the 70th anniversary of victory day of WWII, "White Horse Coffee", a gathering place for Jewish refugees, reopened for business. The original owner's descendent, Ron Klinger, attended the opening ceremony.

Over 23,000 Jewish refugees fled to Shanghai from 1937 to 1945 to escape Nazi Germany's persecution. Most of them were relocated in an area of approximately one square mile in the Hongkou district of Japanese-occupied Shanghai, know as Restricted Sector for Stateless Refugees or Shanghai Ghetto.

Against extreme odds, such as language barriers, extreme poverty, rampant disease and isolation, the refugees were able to make the transition from being supported by welfare agencies to establishing a functioning community. Jewish cultural life flourished: schools were established, newspapers were published, theaters produced plays, sports teams participated in training and competitions.

In 1939, refugee Rudolf Mossberg and his relative bought a small building and opened a coffee shop. He named the coffee shop "White Horse Coffee", and it became an important gathering place for Jewish refugees. Regrettably, the original building of "White Horse coffee" was demolished.

Hongkou district's government decided to rebuild the "White Horse Coffee" as part of Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum's extended exhibitions. The new "White Horse Coffee" will be located opposite the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum. The design and decoration of the new "White Horse Coffee" will stay as close to the original as possible to provide a glimpse into the life of Jewish refugees of that period.

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