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Staff members at work in the offices of the International Committee for European Immigrants in China.

Photograph | Digitized | Photograph Number: 21617

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    Staff members at work in the offices of the International Committee for European Immigrants in China.
    Staff members at work in the offices of the International Committee for European Immigrants in China.

Among those pictured is Eric Goldstaub (seated on the left).


    Staff members at work in the offices of the International Committee for European Immigrants in China.

    Among those pictured is Eric Goldstaub (seated on the left).
    Shanghai, [Kiangsu] China
    Photo Credit
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Eric Goldstaub
    Event History
    The International Committee for European Immigrants in China, a refugee assistance organization in Shanghai, was founded on August 7, 1938 to deal with the wave of Jewish refugees arriving in Shanghai from Nazi Germany. Established under the aegis of Sir Victor Sassoon, a wealthy Iraqi Jew with British citizenship, the committee was organized by Hungarian businessman Paul Komor, together with Eduard Kann, Aladair Kelen and Michael Speelman. The International Committee was referred to as the I.C. or Komor Committee, after its first secretary. I.C. headquarters were first located at Komor's firm, but were soon moved to the Hotel Cathay owned by Sir Victor Sassoon. Initially, the I.C. provided housing, meals, jobs and financial assistance for the Jewish refugees in Shanghai. Later, after the establishment of the Committee for the Assistance of European Refugees in Shanghai under the direction of Michael Speelman (the Speelman Committee), the I.C. focused its efforts on providing international identification cards to the Jewish refugees whose passports had been confiscated or invalidated. These documents, which bore the I.C. stamp and Komor's signature, gave the refugees "legal" status in Shanghai, and were used in lieu of regular passports for those applying to emigrate. Komor headed the committee until his sudden arrest by Japanese naval intelligence in January 1942. After his release two months later, the Japanese prohibited him from returning to the I.C., but the committee continued to function for another year after his departure.

    [Sources: Komor, Valerie S., "Paul Komor, 1886 Budapest, Hungary -1973 Santa Cruz, California" [unpublished biographical sketch of Paul Komor], New York, N.Y., 2000; Vamos, Peter. "Central and Eastern European Jewish Refugees in Shanghai, 1938-1948' [unpublished paper] U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, DC, 2001.]

    Rights & Restrictions

    Photo Source
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Provenance: Eric Goldstaub

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Eric Goldstaub is the only child of Adolf and Camilla Fiedler Goldstaub. His father owned a sewing accessories business in Vienna, Austria. Born on November 14, 1921, Eric grew up in Vienna and attended the Grinzig gymnasium, where he was one of two Jewish students in his class. Both Eric and his father were involved in athletics. Adolf was a member of a gymnastics association and the Maccabi Jewish sports organization. Soon after the Anschluss Eric was among a group of Viennese Jews rounded up by Austrian police and SA members and forced to scrub streets in the seventeenth and eighteen districts of the capital. Following this incident Eric made every effort to secure visas for his family to leave Austria. After visiting every consulate in Vienna, Eric went to the Chinese embassy, where he was among the first Austrian Jews to receive Chinese visas. He succeeded in getting twenty visas for members of his immediate and extended family, including the parents of Harry Fiedler. On Kristallnacht Eric's father was arrested and held for a couple of days, and his store looted. Eric was detained at his school by members of the SA and allowed to leave only after producing his visas and ship tickets. On November 13 the entire family left together for Genoa. They sailed aboard the Conte Bianca with several hundred other Viennese Jewish refugees, arriving in Shanghai in mid-December. The family settled in the Embankment building owned by Sir Victor Sassoon. Following the Japanese occupation, the family moved to quarters in Hongkew. Eric found employment in the import/export firm run by Paul Komor, the former Hungarian consul to Shanghai. Komor, who also headed the International Committee for Refugees, utilized Eric and his other employees in its operations. In addition to these activities, Eric organized a dancing school in the ghetto and was a leading member of the Jewish soccer league. Eric remained in Shanghai until 1949, leaving one week before the communist takeover. He sailed to Canada in the summer of 1949 and settled permanently in Toronto.
    Record last modified:
    2002-04-30 00:00:00
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