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Guide to Hans Arons papers 1988.2035
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Collection Details
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  • Scope and Contents note
  • Biographical/Historical note
  • Related Archival Materials note
  • Conditions Governing Access note
  • Conditions Governing Use note
  • Preferred Citation note

  • Title: Hans Arons papers
    Identifier/Call Number: 1988.2035
    Contributing Institution: Tauber Holocaust Library
    Language of Material: Multiple languages
    Container: Archives Box 18
    Physical Description: 0.1 Linear feet
    Date: 1939-1949
    Abstract: The Hans Arons collection is comprised of photographs depiciting his life and activities in the Jewish ghetto in Shanghai, China from 1939-1945, as well his refugee and identification documents from Shanghai.
    Creator: Arons, Hans J., 1914-1997

    Scope and Contents note

    The collection documents the experiences of a German Jewish man, Hans Arons, who fled Berlin for the safety of Shanghai, China in 1939. Shanghai was one of the few places in the world at that time that did not require visas, and thousands of German and Austrian Jews spent the war years in the ghetto of Hong Kew in Shanghai.
    The collection comprises photographs and documents. Photographs depict individuals and gatherings in Shanghai, China and provide insight into social and cultural conditions there. The documents include refugee and identification cards.

    Biographical/Historical note

    Hans Arons was born in 1914 in Hanover (Hannover), Germany. He was an only child. In 1918, his mother died, and he went to live with his paternal grandparents in northern Germany. Mr. Arons was schooled in horticulture, in Hanover, and graduated in 1934 as a gardener.
    Because of prohibitions against Jews in Germany, it became increasingly difficult for Mr. Arons to find work. He was employed on a farm near Berlin, where the landowner, a Catholic, was sympathetic to Jews. In December 1936, all Jews were ordered off the farm. Mr. Arons was transported to Buchenwald and later to Sachsenhausen. In December 1938, he was released from Sachsenhausen and returned to Berlin. His stepmother had successfully negotiated with the Gestapo office in Berlin for his release and had obtained boat tickets for Mr. Arons to go to Shanghai, China, where he arrived in January 1939. For the next eight years, he lived in the Ward Road Camp for stateless refugees.
    In November 1947, Mr. Arons immigrated to San Francisco. He moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico for work, where, in 1948, he joined the US Army. After basic training, he was stationed in Korea, Hawaii, and the Presidio in San Francisco. In San Francisco, he met and married his wife, also a former Berliner. He was discharged from the military in the early 1950’s, and settled in San Francisco. Mr. Arons died in 1997.

    Related Archival Materials note

    See also Hans Arons oral history interviews - OHP.5160.

    Conditions Governing Access note

    There are no restrictions to access for this collection.

    Conditions Governing Use note

    There are no restrictions to use for this collection.

    Preferred Citation note

    Hans Arons papers, 1988-2035, Tauber Holocaust Library, JFCS Holocaust Center, San Francisco, California

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Arons, Hans J., 1914-1997
    Buchenwald (Concentration camp).
    Sachsenhausen (Concentration Camp).
    Holocaust survivors -- United States
    Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Personal narratives
    Immigration records -- China -- Shanghai
    Jewish ghettos -- China -- Shanghai -- Photographs
    Jewish refugees -- China -- Shanghai
    Jews -- China -- Shanghai -- Photographs
    Photographs -- China -- Shanghai
    Shanghai (China) -- Social conditions -- 20th century -- Photographs
    World War, 1939-1945 -- China -- Shanghai