Wedding at the Ohel Moshe Synagogue

- Karl Maehrischel
Karl Maehrischel, a Jewish refugee, and Sylvia Gohstand, a Jewish girl born in China, fell in love with each other in Shanghai and got married on October 15, 1944 at the Ohel Moshe Synagogue.

Kart was born on November 14, 1920 in Vienna, and took refuge in Shanghai between 1939 and 1949. Sylvia was born in Harbin, Manchuria China in 1925 and later moved to Shanghai with her family.

The couple now lives in Sydney, Australia.

“I’m a Russian Jew. My family had passports and were free. Karl and l were the only couple of ‘local girl and stateless refugee’ to be married at Ohel Moishe Synagogue. Mr Ghoya, one of the Japanese officials in charge of the Hongkew District, had promised to issue passes to Kart’s family and friends for them to attend our wedding outside the ghetto but at the last minute, he changed his mind. Thus we were married in the ghetto and our ‘free’ friends and family came to the Ohel Moishe Synagogue and a reception was held in Cafe Barcelona in Chusan Road. However, this was only our religious ceremony and was not recognized under the existing law. The civil ceremony took place in 1948. Afterwards we were presented with beautiful Chinese wedding scrolls. Our son was born in Shanghai in 1946.”

Sylvia Maehnschel, April 2009