The Great Shanghai Escape Part IX



The refugees stay in Japan lasted much longer than their brief transit visas had initially allowed for, with the imperial government allowing them to remain for several months. Though some refugees made it to the United States or other countries, most had nowhere to go. With the Japanese government commencing the operational planning for Pearl Harbor, they wished to rid the country of all foreign elements, and the refugee community was unceremoniously deported to Shanghai, China, under Japanese occupation, where theyโ€™d remain throughout the war.
Many refugees were assisted by Professor Setsuzo Kotsuji, who later converted to Judaism. Others were assisted by the Polish ambassador to Japan Tadeusz Romer. The Jewish rescue activist Zorach Warhaftig continued to be active on behalf of the refugee community as well. The Dutch national Nathan Gutwirth was able to rescue a ship of 74 refugees who were missing documentation, by requesting assistance from the Dutch consul in Kobe, Japan, Nicolaas de Voogd. De Voogd provided the desperate refugees with Curacao visas, enabling them to arrive in Japan.
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