Large Ghetto Map

 
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"Wissen Sie schon?"

By
Ralph Harpuder

The talent and endurance of Jewish refugees that Hitler could not take away from refugees fleeing to Shanghai as he did with their precious heirlooms, helped rebuild and transform the ruins left from the 1937 Sino-Japanese War into one flourishing store after another. In a short time, enterprising refugees from Central Europe revitalized Chusan Road, which became the commercial hub of "Little Vienna", with Viennese restaurants, bakeries, and a variety of stores. In figures one and two, we see a photograph of Chusan Road taken during the Hongkew era (courtesy, Horst Eisfelder), and again fifty years later (Photo ) respectively.

Chusan Road was the place to go to learn about what people were saying about other people. It was also the street where one could hear the latest "Bonkes" (rumors), here illustrated by way of a cartoon in figure three.

Gerhard Gottschalk popular comedian and administrator during the ghetto years referred to Chusan Road in one of his poems, "Wie die kleinen Kinder"

We begin our nostalgic tour on Chusan Road corner Ward Road with a visit to Marlene Sweet Shop (figure four) , where Zenta, an attractive young hostess, was serving Sahnen Ice Cream in a cone daily beginning at noon; indeed a rare and expensive treat in those days.

As we continue walking on Chusan Road toward "den kleinen Wayside Park", we approach Hongkew‘s Restaurant Row where, with a few "Knackedicke Dollars", we could indulge ourselves in "ein heimisches Gericht" (native dish).

On the left side of the street, on Chusan Road, was Sidas Restaurant (figure five) where, on climbing a very narrow and curved staircase, we could feast on an authentic Wiener Schnitzel. Across the street, were four of the most popular restaurants of Hongkew shown in figure six: International, Café Europe, Delikat, and Barcelona, all owned and operated by Jewish refugees who brought "die Feinkost" (gourmet taste) from their native country.

For many refugees with a limited budget, and that was the greater majority, or those stopping for a late snack, Ollendorff (figure seven), located at the corner Chusan Road and Ward Road, always hit the spot.

And who could forget "Die Wiener Konditorei" (figure eight), located at the heart of Chusan Road, where refugees, able to afford the mouthwatering pastries, spent their afternoon Kafeklatsch. Sahn Baiser, Schweine Ohr, Bienen Stich, and Pariser Spitz, their specialty, were among the wide assortment of Viennese pastries offered to their customers. Advertisements of different kind of stores on this particular and popular block called Chusan Road are illustrated in figure nine.

There were, of course, other popular streets within the twelve block long and five block wide Hongkew Ghetto (figure ten), with a variety of stores and work- shops that met the needs for the twenty, or so, thousand refugees. There was Tongshan Road, Wayside Road, and Kumping Road, and perhaps a few others, however, Chusan Road will remain the most remembered and talked about street among all remaining Shanghailanders. To validate this assumption, we turn to the bimonthly Igud Yotzei Sin Bulletin where we find a column published regularly under the title, "Chusan Road Chatter ".

A return visit in 1979 by Treasury Secretary W. M. Blumenthal to his parent’s flat (single room apartment) at 59 Chusan Road, while on an economic mission under the Carter Administration, brought back profound memories of his young adult life on this popular street.