The Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum recently received a passport that belonged to a German-Jewish woman who fled to the city during World War II, Shanghai Daily reports.
The woman, named Ruth Callmann, entered at Tianjin in 1939 when she was 21 years old, according to the report. After a month there, she moved to Shanghai, then relocated to the US in 1947. She lived in San Francisco for most of her life before passing away in 2011.
Callmann made her only return trip to Shanghai in 2009. Upon visiting the refugees museum, she denied the curator’s request to donate her passport to the museum but sent a facsimile of the document.
“She said that the passport and a sandalwood fan she used in Shanghai were too precious to her as they were the only reminders of her time in the city,” the curator, Chen Jian, said.
Callman later told a close friend, Janis Seeman, that she wanted her passport to be given to the refugees museum after her death. Last week, Seeman followed through with her friend’s request and delivered the document to Shanghai.
“The passport is such a precious gift,” Chen said. “I never thought that she would remember us after all this time.”