Once My Name Was Sara
Author: I. Betty Grebenschikoff
Betty Grebenschikoff (née Ilse Kohn) is a Holocaust survivor. When her peaceful childhood in Berlin, Germany, was shattered by Nazi violence against Jews, the family was forced to flee to China in 1939. They were just one step ahead of the Gestapo. Shanghai was the only open port at the time that admitted European Jews without visas or passports. It became a place of refuge for about 20,000 refugees.
Grebenschikoff grew up in Shanghai, where the family tried to make a living under difficult circumstances. During World War II, the Jewish refugees were interned by Japanese authorities in a segregated area of Shanghai, also known as the Shanghai ghetto. Life became even harder than before.
In 1950 political events in China made yet another escape necessary, this time to Australia. Grebenschikoff finally realized her dream of immigrating to America in 1953.