Fig. 1


Fig. 2


Fig. 3*


Fig. 4


Fig. 5




Viewed from a different angle


    For the 18,000 stateless refugees that disembarked at the Port of Shanghai in the late 30ís, the Bund was their first glimpse of the city before cattle trucks transported them to the heime.

The Bund, a four kilometer strip that is part of the west bank of the Whangpoo River, off limits to most of the stateless refugees during the war, was then, and today regarded as the museum of international architecture.

Located on the Bund, we find the famous Cathay Hotel, one of the grandest structures on the strip, which was created by Sir Victor Sassoon, a member of the well-known and powerful Iraqi Jewish mercantile family. Figure one shows the main entrance to the hotel located on Nanking Road. Figure two shows the front view of the hotel seen from the Bund, with its four- sided copper-sheathed pyramid dome, a familiar landmark, and part and parcel to this famous panoramic view. The hotel, today called the Peace Hotel, first opened in 1929.

Figure three exhibits some rare photographs of the Bund shot during its heydays, and prior to the Sino-Japanese war (circa the 20ís and early 30ís).

In figure four we see the ocean liner, Conte Verde docked on the Whangpoo River. Many Jewish refugees came to Shanghai on this ship in the late 30's, and similar ones operated by the Lloyd Triestino Line. There were, of course, other liners from different ship lines including cargo ships that brought refugees to Shanghai and to other major cities in the Far East.

Yours truly was recently fortunate in acquiring some rare picture postcards mailed from Shanghai. Two of them, seen in figures five and seven, were sent originally from Shanghai to Vienna in the late 20ís. One of the postcards and another one unsent (see figure six,) show the famous Garden Bridge, the first real bridge over the Soochow Creek, built in 1907. Missing from that particular angle of photography is the popular Broadway Mansions, built later in 1934 by a British merchant. The Broadway Mansions, later renamed the Shanghai Mansions, and then back to Broadway Mansions, remained an icon to this day, and can usually be seen along with the Garden Bridge on many contemporary postcards and photographs. On the postcard in figure seven, one of two sent from Shanghai to Vienna, we see the famous Peace Monument located on the Bund at the intersection of Avenue Edward V11 (see also figure 7a). While many still had a fleeting view of this popular statue, seen together with the Bund on many photos, it was later dismantled by the Japanese and used to produce ammunition.

In figure eight, we see the Soochow Creek, which flows under the Garden Bridge to the East to join the Whangpoo River. Figure nine shows the main post office along the creek and to the immediate left of the post office (looking at the photograph), we find the Embankment House, built in 1932 by the Sassoons. A huge structure conspicuously located and seen from almost all directions, it was once the largest apartment complex in Shanghai.  

More photos to follow.   

*Photos in Fig.3 and 7a - courtesy Andreas Heinsius.


Fig. 6


Fig. 7


Fig. 7a*


Fig. 8


Fig. 9