Sabes Jewish Community Center, Minneapolis
March 19, 2015
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen:
I am glad to join you this evening for the Grand Opening of the exhibit Jewish Refugees in Shanghai. First, I wish to express my appreciation to the Confucius Institute at the University of Minnesota and the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas for organizing this event. I would also like to extend my sincere greetings and best wishes to the Jewish community in Minnesota and all the guests present here.
I have attended exhibits on Jewish Refugees in Shanghai on several occasions before. Each time, I was saddened by the tragic experiences of the Jewish people caused by the Nazis persecution and deeply touched by their courage, determination and perseverance in pursuit of freedom and survival. It was with such an indomitable spirit that the Jewish refugees had overcome all the difficulties in Shanghai, their new home, and rekindled their hope for a new life. They started businesses and families there, and new babies were born. I am delighted that several representatives of them are with us today. I have great respect for them. Their presence makes our gathering today special.
Recalling that part of history, I feel proud that China provided refuge for the Jewish people who fled the atrocities of the Nazis. The Chinese people also endured immeasurable sufferings at that time and they understood the pains of the Jewish refugees. There were many moving stories about the friendship between the local Shanghainess and the Jewish refugees. From which, we can feel the beauty and warmth of humanity even in the darkness of those traumatic years.
This exhibit was held at a special time as the world is celebrating the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Anti-Fascist War, which will for sure help us revisit the lessons of the past and reflect on the importance of maintaining the lasting peace of the world. Thank you.