Following the November pogrom
of 1938, the situation of the Jewish population worsened
dramatically, and the majority of Hamburg's Jews left
their hometown. James Iwan Wolf (1893-1981), son of Leopold Wolf and a member of
the famous Wolf
Brothers, was one of about 500 to 700 Jewish emigrants from Hamburg who fled to
After the Hongkew district had been turned into a Jewish ghetto in 1943, the Shanghai office in
charge of stateless refugees – a Japanese military authority
responsible for supervising and controlling a total of between 20,000 and 30,000
Jewish refugees from Europe – issued James Iwan
Wolf's pass on June 2, 1944.
Printed in Japanese, Chinese, English, and German, the document points to the
various international powers' spheres of influence in the port city of
While James Iwan and his brother Donat Wolf (1902-1984) continued to perform on stage in Shanghai under the name
Wolf Brothers, his
pass shows that he made his living by repairing typewriters. It also included a
permit, which was renewed monthly and contained specific information on the
times when its bearer was allowed to leave the closed off Hongkew district and
enter certain other districts. Thus James Iwan
Wolf was repeatedly subjected to the arbitrary decisions of
Japanese officials who decided on the renewal of his passport.
Read on >
Pass for Stateless Refugees from the Designated Area Hongkew issued by the Stateless Refugees Bureau Shanghai, in 1944 for James Iwan Wolf (translated by Xin Tong), edited in: Key Documents of German-Jewish History,
<https://dx.doi.org/10.23691/jgo:source-188.en.v1> [February 24, 2021].