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Kohl, Stephan (2014): Die Politik gegenüber jüdischen Flüchtlingen im japanischen Herrschaftsbereich von 1931 bis 1945 unter besonderer Berücksichtigung ihrer Situation in Schanghai. Master of Arts, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
(Munich University Japan Center Graduation Theses) [PDF, 1MB]

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During the Second World War, approximately 20.000 Jews escaped Nazi persecution by fleeing to Shanghai and thus into the domain of the Japanese Empire. This paper examines the question of how Japan, at the time allied with Germany, reacted to the sudden influx of Jewish refugees into its sphere of power, and which factors determined Japanese policy towards them. The first part of the paper focuses on Japan's development of official policies regarding Jews in general, with particular emphasis on Jewish refugees from Central Europe. The second part centers on the situation in Shanghai which was characterized by the juxtaposition of four different administrative zones -- the International Settlement, the French Concession, the Chinese administered parts of the city, and the Japanese zone of control. The results of this examination show that Japanese attitudes towards Jews can in no way be characterized as pro-Jewish but were based on western anti-Semitic oulooks. However, Japan did not take part in the persecution of Jews as was demanded on several occasions by Germany. Instead, Japan pursued a policy that mainly focused on its own interests and tried to utilize the Jews in ways that promoted these interests.

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