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'Chinese Schindler' Honored in San Francisco

A symposium honoring Dr. Ho Feng-shan was held at the Chinese Consulate-General on Sunday, drawing over 200 representatives from the local Jewish and Chinese community out of their homes to view a collection of photographs telling the story of Dr. Ho Feng-Shan, a Chinese diplomat in Vienna who saved  thousands of Jews during the early years of World War II. Dr. Ho, known as China's Schindler, was named Righteous Among the Nations by Israel in 2000.


The event, titled as 'symposium on Dr. Ho Fengshan: The Man and His Spirit', is a result of a close collaboration and cooperation between the Chinese Consulate-General in San Francisco and the American Jewish Committee (AJC) San Francisco Bay Area Regional Office and Hunan Association of America.


Yuan Nansheng, Consul General of China, spoke highly of the deeds of Dr. Ho Fengshan, "Dr. Ho was one of the hundreds of thousands of Chinese who rescued Jews at great personal risk and sacrifice during World War II and never sought recognition. His heroic deeds are a demonstration of selfless humanitarianism and compassionate nature of the Chinese people who are ready to stand out firmly for justice."


"The Chinese and Jewish people, both as victims of fascism in the World War II, have shared responsibility to safeguard the victory of World War II and the post-War international order. We will never allow any attempt to reverse the course of history; nor will we allow history to repeat itself," Yuan said.


"I do hope that our two communities (the Chinese and Jewish) continue our engagement and cooperation in the future to build a more solid foundation for increased understanding and friendship and for a new model of relations between China and the US." said Yuan.


John A. Perez, Speaker of California State Assembly, mentioned the Jewish saying---'Whosoever saves a single life, saves an entire universe'. Describing Dr. Ho as a 'brave soul' to stand up, he said that the spirit and legacy of Dr. Ho "shines through the darkness of human history" and his story "speaks to all lives hoping for a better world."  


Sidney Rittenberg, who lived in China for 35 years, now President of Rittenberg Associates, Inc., said, "The Chinese are the largest ancient civilization in the world that has persevered and grown for four or five thousand years. The Jews are the world's smallest ancient civilization that has persevered and grown for four or five thousand years. China was one of few countries with no history of anti-Semitism. The descendants of these two most ancient civilizations are natural friends, and increasingly so as time goes by. In the years to come, may we see a continued growth in understanding  and interchange between Chinese and Jews, between Jews and Christians and Muslims and Buddhists, for the benefit of world peace and human progress."


Manli Ho, Dr. Ho's daughter, made a presentation about the honorable character and noble deeds of his father by sharing scores of Dr. Ho's photographs and historical pictures.


Eight panelists, including professors from Peking University, Shanghai Jiaotong university, Tongji University and UC Berkeley, had a lively and stimulating panel discussion and exploration of the spirit and courage of Dr. Ho Feng-shan and lessons that people can learn from the story of Dr. Ho for deepening interaction and cooperation between the Chinese and Jewish communities around the world.


The symposium was emceed by Emmy Award winning ABC7 news anchor Cheryl Jennings. The panel discussion was moderated by Mervyn Danker, Director of AJC San Francisco Bay Area Regional Office.


Consul General Yuan Nansheng

Speaker of California State Assembly John A. Perez

Panel Discussion

 Former Chinese Ambassador to the United Kingdom Ma Zhengang(second from the right) Speaks at the Panel


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