Shanghai Ghetto

And suddenly the Chinese coolies came one day and started to take all our furniture away. Because we were moving into one room, you couldn’t move with furniture for a three bedroom house. I took a couple of items. I was sort of five then. Took a couple of items into the toilet, locked the door and wouldn’t let anybody in. They tried sweets, they tried all sorts of things. Didn’t work. I finally of course, had to open the door. And off we went into the- we moved… into a tiny room. Single room on the first floor.

And when the war broke out between Japan and America they put the Americans and British into camps. And the ones that were neutral had an armband with an ‘N’ and they thought we were their friends being German and they said ‘Will you celebrate our victories with us?’ Till the Germans told them that we were not their friends, we were their enemies. But they didn’t want to put us into camps any more case they had to feed all these British and Americans so they put us in a ghetto where we couldn’t go out. But we had to fend for ourselves.

It was easy to get matchbox covers because my father was a heavy smoker & my mother needed them to light the charcoal cooker.

 
 
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@ AJR Refugee Voices 2020

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