Holocaust survivor tells of shanghai ghetto

May 2, 2014

Doris Fogel, in foreground, recounts her childhood as a refugee from the Nazis, spent among 20,000 Jews in the Shanghai ghetto. Behind her is Gov. Pat Quinn. The annual Holocaust Memorial Ceremony took place in the House chamber of the Old State Capitol in Springfield.
Credit Brian Mackey / Illinois Public Radio/WUIS
Illinois officials are remembering the six-million Jews killed in the Holocaust. An annual ceremony took place yesterday in Springfield's Old State Capitol. IPR'S Brian Mackey was there.'

Praying: Y'hey sh'lama raba min sh'ma-ya ..." 

The ceremony included the Kaddish, a Jewish prayer of mourning. Gov. Pat Quinn and other officials spoke. Then a survivor shared her story.

Doris Fogel was age four and living in Berlin on Kristallnacht, the night of broken glass, when synagogues and Jewish businesses were destroyed across Germany and Austria. That was 1938. The next year, family friends arranged passage to China.

"The port city of Shanghai was, for many Jews, after the terrifying events of Kristallnacht, the last refuge that could be reached without a passport, visa, or affidavit -- unlike the United States and Canada, who had already closed their doors," says Fogel.

After nearly a decade in at times terrible conditions, she left Shanghai and came to the United States, settling in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Fogel, who will soon be 80, says it is incumbent upon the survivors, the living, to remember what happened -- to "never forget."