A Chinese family is seeking a former Jewish refugee in Shanghai to return 2,000 of his books they kept safe for 70 years, media reports said Thursday.
Shanghai was home to tens of thousands of Jewish refugees who fled Nazi persecution in Europe from the 1930s.
One of them, a Jewish schoolteacher, left books with Lin Daozhi for safekeeping when he left China in 1943, the China Daily newspaper reported.
He is believed to be a German Jew named Carl Anger, based on a card dated 1947 and found with the books, it said.
They include religious works in Hebrew, English and German as well as children’s tomes.
The books narrowly escaped destruction by the invading Japanese during World War II and again by China’s rampaging “Red Guards” during the chaotic Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976.
But the Lin family’s 10-square-metre home, which sheltered the texts for decades, is now scheduled for demolition and his descendants—he died in 1981 aged 93—hope to return them.
“After keeping these books for seven decades, we are seeking help… because the room we use to store these books is going to be pulled down,” Lin’s daughter-in-law told the Global Times newspaper.
A local library is storing the works while the family seeks the assistance of the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum to find the original owner or his relatives. AFP