A Chinese 'Schindler's List'

A play, telling the story of more than 30,000 Jews sheltered by the Chinese during World War II, premiered in Shanghai on Thursday.

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Rachel Hirshfeld,

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A play, telling the story of the more than 30,000 Jews that were sheltered by the Chinese during World War II, premiered in Shanghai on Thursday. 

The directors of "North Bank Suzhou Creek" said the story of the Jews is not widely known and needs to be told. 

“This is the Chinese version of 'Schindler's List,” said Jefferey Sichel, one of the play’s directors said. "In essence, (it) is not well-known enough that the Chinese...gave shelter to over 30,000 Jews."

The play recounts the story of the daughter of a Jewish cafe owner, who becomes the object of affection of a Japanese official as well as a Chinese resistance fighter.

Wang Jiajian, who plays the role of the Chinese resistance fighter, said he felt that the Jewish and Chinese people were united at that time in history because they were both struggling to overcome oppressors, Reuters reported.

"When I hug Shana, the daughter of the Jewish man, sometimes I feel that I have gone back in time to that period," he said. "Our hearts understand each other, the way we think and the obstacles we face are very similar." 

The play was produced in cooperation with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the Israeli Consulate in Shanghai, the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum, Chinese production company Play Play Studio Company. It will run from March 22 to April 1 at the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum and will premiere in New York in May.