30-e and 40-e years of the XX century became one of the most terrible for the Jews of Europe. Millions of people were killed in the concentration camps of the Nazis. One of the countries that opened their doors to those who fled from the Holocaust, was China. An Austrian Jew literally found a new life in Shanghai.
It is part of history that cannot be forgotten. During the reign of the Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, the Jews lived in constant fear. Their synagogues were burned, and millions sent to concentration camps. Killed six million Jews.
Some countries have opened their doors to fleeing Jews. China was one of them. Many Jewish families have applied for visas to come to China. Cities such as Shanghai, took Jewish refugees. A finally has found peace in China, and this country changed their lives.
Elizabeth Linton was born in Austria. Recently, she and her husband visited in Shanghai, but not for sightseeing, and in memory of her late father Michael Weiss, who arrived in Shanghai to escape the Holocaust. Weiss was born in Vienna, Austria. After Hitler seized the country, Weiss realized that, as a Jew, will not be able to stay in the country.
“Upon arriving in Shanghai, he began working as an engineer. He graduated from the University in Vienna. At that time he was about 25 years,” says Elizabeth Linton, daughter of Johannes Michael Weiss.
“I heard about how many countries, including America, have rejected the Jews who sought refuge. All of this heartbreaking story. But look, as did the Chinese. They accepted these refugees with open arms. Some of them arrived without visas or without passports and other documents,” says bill Linton, the husband of Elizabeth Linton.
After Weiss was in China, it took a couple of American missionaries Theodore and Carol Stearns.
“And they introduced him to watchman nee in the Church in Shanghai,” continues Elizabeth Linton.
Watchman nee was a Church leader and Christian teacher who worked at that time in China. Acquainted with many Chinese Christians, Weiss was deeply moved by their support and love for him. He learned about the Bible from Chinese Christians.
“If I’m not mistaken, the 15th of November 1939, he was baptized by watchman nee. That watchman nee gave him the baptismal name of “John”. Johannes is the same as John,” says Elizabeth Linton.
When Weiss had decided that life in Shanghai was invaded by Japanese troops. He was captured and sent to a concentration camp. During his imprisonment, Weiss many times been threatened with death. However, he did only two things: read the Bible and prayed. At the end of the Second world war Johannes Michael Weiss has lived eight years in China, and then returned to Vienna. There, he immediately began a new life.
“And he prayed. I have a lot of prayers he wrote for his children, so we met with the Lord at an early age and came to believe wholeheartedly in God,” says Linton.
Today, avoiding exposure of the Shanghai Jewish refugees Museum, Elizabeth and shares his memories.
“He was and still is here, especially under his own name John, which he received at baptism,” she says.
Johannes Michael Weiss died in 1983. Having a degree in theology, he never ceased to glorify Jesus and to thank God for the Chinese, who introduced him to the Lord.
“My father told me that he survived thanks to the Word of God,” says Elizabeth Linton.