University of Minnesota
Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies


Diplomat Rescuers and the Story of Feng Shan Ho

VisaTable of Contents

"It is a fantastic commentary on the inhumanity of our times that for thousands and thousands of people a piece of paper with a stamp on it is the difference between life and death." - Dorothy Thompson, American Journalist.

Jewish men30,000 Jewish men from Germany and Austria, mostly heads of households, community leaders and businessmen, were deported to Dachau and two other camps after Kristallnacht on November 9-10, 1938.  They were sent there to force them into turning over their assets and businesses and to leave the country.  In 1938 and 1939, more than 1,000 of these men were murdered in these camps.  Many Austrian deportees to Dachau were released on the strength of a Ho visa.

"I thought it only natural to feel compassion and to want to help.  From the standpoint of humanity, that is the way it should be." - Dr. Feng Shan Ho




Diplomat Rescuers and the Story of Feng Shan Ho is produced by the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre in partnership with Eric Saul of Visas For Life: The Righteous Diplomats and Manli Ho

Sponsorship for this publication has been generously provided by the Community Liaison Branch BC Ministry of Multiculturalism & Immigration, Heritage Canada, and the Vancouver Foundation.

Editor and Production Coordinater: Roberta Kremer

Layout and Design: Metaform Communication Design

Chinese Translation: Shi Kuan Tames Chen

Copy Editing and Administration Support: Jennifer Fillingham

Photo Credits: Visas for Life, the Manli Ho Collection, the Vancouver Holocaust Center archival collection, and Susan Bluman, personal collection.

ISBN I-895754-35-6 ©1999 Vancouver Holocaust Education Center

Related Views on the Controversy about Shanghai Visas

There is an academic debate about whether visas were necessary for admission to Shanghai. The answer seems to be they were not required
as Shanghai's international zone did not require a visa for non-Chinese to enter, even during the Japanese occupation of China. However, it is acknowledged by some sources and denied by others that an issued visa was needed to appease German bureacrats dealing with Jewish emigration, as reaching Shanghai necessitated crossing the USSR by rail or finding anothetr route by ship from Europe to China. We hope further research will clear up this matter.

Additional Information

Biography of Eric Saul, Curator of Visas for Life (PDF)

Shanghai Star - Courageous Diplomat Lauded