A Shanghai Refugee Baby Bringing her Birth Certificate back to the City of the Birth

- Sonja Mühlberger
Sonja Mühlberger neé Krips was born on 26 October 1939 in Shanghai. She was married in Moscow in 1961 and now lives in Germany where she is a teacher and social activist.

Sonja collects and reviews documents about the Shanghai refugee experience. She is the author of “Geboren in Shanghai – Als Kind von Emigranten” (Born in Shanghai as a Child of Emigrants) and the co-author of “Ein Shanghai” . She has also published numerous articles on the subject, including “Offsprings of Jewish Migrants Born in Shanghai” and “Life and Existence of Jews in Hongkou (1939 — 1947)”.

Although life was tough for refugees in Shanghai, the city gave them an incomparable sense of security. “My dad and mom told me later that I could come back to Shanghai any time in case of any trouble, for l have the birth certificate of Shanghai.”

Sonja’s feeling towards Shanghai can be expressed in two Chinese words, “Gan Ji”, which means “Gratitude” in English. “For my parents, their time in Shanghai was certainly hard. But without the exile life in Shanghai, it would be impossible for me to be alive today and for me to have the opportunity to tell this experience.”

On May 19, 2011 the exhibition “Exil Shanghai“ opened. It was co-sponsored by the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum and the Ministry of Culture of the city of Hamburg at the Hamburg History Museum. Sonja spoke at the opening ceremony with a deep affection: “Shanghai is always a special place to me.”