A play about Jewish refugees in China has opened in Shanghai. The show, titled “North Bank Suzhou Creek,” charts the story of 30,000 Jews who fled to the nation during World War II.
Between 1933 and 1941, Jewish refugees made a home for themselves in the north part of China’s Suzhou Creek, building up an elaborate village before Japanese forces demanded they be moved to a ghetto.
The play premiered last week with a planned move to a New York stage in May and is loosely based on a memoir, “A Tale of Three Cities,” written by Fred Antman about his time in the village. The plot follows the story of the daughter of a Jewish café owner being pursued by two romantic interests.
One of the play’s director’s, Jeffrey Sichel, said the show was “the Chinese version of ‘Schindler’s List.’”
"In essence (it) is not well known enough that the Chinese gave shelter,” Sichel said, “that the Chinese really...gave shelter to over 30,000 Jews."
The play features a six-person cast, half Chinese and half American, and was created by two Jewish-American directors. It was produced with the help of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and the Israeli Consulate in Shanghai.