A Look Back to our Youth in Shanghai


Recently yours truly received an email from Horst Lewinsky asking whether I would be interested in sharing his personal photo album from Shanghai with our fellow Shanghailanders. Horst thought that it may be a good idea to see whether anyone of us can recognize himself or a former school chum. Without any further ado, I accepted his gracious offer and thanked him on behalf of all the viewers of the Rickshaw Website.
            The photographs shown in this report are arranged by event, place, and function, and represent only the main highlights in the album. No attempt has been made to identify each individual or to place a date next to each picture. The reason is obvious; almost sixty years have elapsed from the time the photographs were made. As already stated in one of my previous reports, the many types of social activities the younger generation was engaged in under normal circumstances and in a different time period, were also available in the Shanghai Ghetto. The following photographs from Lewinski‘s album illustrate my point:
          We begin by illustrating the outside cover of Horst‘s album, shown in figures one, which he brought along from Shanghai in 1948. Below is a portrait of Horst made in 1947 just prior to leaving for the States.
    In figures two, we see several photographs of the 16th
Independence Boy Scout Troop. One of the photographs, made in August of 1947, shows Lewinsky with Horst Seidel holding a boy- scout flag. Two other photographs included in figure two show the British and the Jewish scout-masters, and the whole 16th Independent Boy Scout Troop.
    Not familiar to many Shanghailanders, including yours truly, were the Shanghai Hills. This pleasant picnic area situated on the way to Qing Pu was visited after the war by some of our refugee youth. It usually took a whole day by land and houseboat for this excursion where at several hundred feet one could find featherly bamboo and mountain streams. In figure three and figure three A we see a photo made in 1946 of a group of refugees in their late teens enjoying their outing in the Shanghai Hills. The Shanghai Hills was also the seat of the Catholic Bishopric. The cathedral with the picnickers in front is also shown in figure three B.
    Jessfield Park, located outside the “Designated Area,” was frequently visited by refugees during the hot summer months before and after the war. In figures four, we see two young couples enjoying a leisurely afternoon in the park Also included in figure four is a snapshot made at the SJYA School in the summer of 1947.
    A photograph of Horst Lewinsky with his friends made in June of 1945 at Wayside Heim is shown in figures five. On the back of the photograph, also illustrated, are the names of those appearing in the picture including the US Secretary of the Treasury to be, Werner Blumenthal, now, W. Michael Blumenthal. For those that may not remember this very important Shanghailander, a US one dollar bill with his signature is included in the report.
    A masquerade party held at the SJYA School in 1947, with elaborate costumes, is shown in figures six. A question that may be asked is, ‘from where did the group get all the paraphernalia for the costumes shown on the photograph?”
    US forces in Shanghai also had to cope occasionally with the familiar flooding of the streets. A photo shown in figures seven show two US sailors riding their military vehicle through deep water somewhere in the Settlement.
    And finally, in figures eight, is a photograph of three Jewish refugees sitting in a pedicab, riding through the familiar streets of Shanghai Hongkew.
Horst Lewinsky came to Shanghai in 1938 on the German steamer, “Ramses.” He attended both Kadoorie and Mission School that were located adjacent to the “Designated Area.
After immigrating to the United States, Horst later worked for the National Guard setting up communication systems. He currently resides in Northern California, and is now happily retired. 

       (Thanks to Rena Krasno and Tess Johnston for some additional information.)