Background Information

Shanghai’s Hongkou district is filled with locations of historical importance. It is a little known fact that the city of Shanghai gave refuge to thousands of Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi persecution during World War II. Shanghai’s Hongkou district was one of the few places in the world would accept the sudden influx of Jewish refugees. Referred to as “Shanghai’s Ghetto,” Hongkou housed around 20,000 Jewish people searching for a safe place. Today, the Shanghai Jewish Refugee Museum commemorates the life of the once bustling Jewish neighborhood. Only a few minutes down the street from the museum stands Shanghai’s infamous Tilanqiao Prison. Having changed hands many times over the course of Shanghai’s complicated political history, Tilanqiao opened in the final years of the Qing Dynasty, and houses prisoners to this day.

German and Austrian Jewish Refugees in Shanghai (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum)

Shanghai’s Forgotten Jewish Past (The Atlantic)

Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum (Atlas Obscura)

This Day in History: Shanghai’s Tilanqiao Prison Opens (That’s Mags)

上海提篮桥监狱 Shanghai Tilanqiao Prison

Suggested Level

Context Information: Ted is an American student, and 韩 (Hán) is a domestic Chinese student. They are discussing Tilanqiao Prison, a place of refuge for Jews fleeing Nazi Germany during the second World War.

韩: 你想去,看看吗 (laughing)

Ted: (laughing)

韩: 你想去监狱吗?在中国有一个很出名的 famous prison。

Ted: 是吗?

韩: 提篮桥监狱。

Ted: 在上海?

韩:对在上海很,你知道在 the First World War?

Ted: 嗯。

韩: The Second, Second,第二次世界大战1

Ted: 对。

韩: 犹太人,你知道犹太人?

Ted: 犹太人,犹太是——

韩: 不知道?

Ted:  战争坏人2吗?

韩: 不是。这个单词——

Ted: 哦,对!

韩: 有一个,怎么读?

Ted: Jews?

韩: Jews。

Ted: 这是在上海吗?

韩: 对,他们逃到上海。就是因为没有地方去因为他们离开家乡。

Ted: 嗯。

韩: 因为——

Ted: 哦是一个——

韩: Nazis3

Ted: 对,是一个好的地方?

韩: Mhmm。

Ted: 哦,所以,为了为了离开德国的统治?

韩: 对。

Ted: 他们来——

韩: 来中4,来上海就是,for for protection。

Ted: 哦,但是你说这是一个,监狱?

韩: 不,但是,没和5这个监狱——

Ted: 哦不是真的监狱。

韩: 就是,他在一个地方就是,中国,就是有一块地,就是,就是让这些人住然后这个地方离监狱很近。

Ted: 哦。

韩: 是在附近。

Ted: 明白。


Ted: 这个地方吸引我的好奇。7

韩: 叫犹太难民纪念馆。

Ted: 是,离校园远不远?

韩: 比较远,可能要一个小时坐地铁。是可以——

Ted: 我觉得值得。

韩: Mhmm。

Ted: 觉得值——

韩: 如果,那上面会有英文的8,就是照片下面会有英文的解释。咱们,地铁in English,所以你会很很容易看懂。

Ted: 好,如果说比较简单中文可以9 (laughing)。


1. 第二次世界大战 (dì’èr cì shìjiè dàzhàn) ‘WWII’ can also be abbreviated to 二战 (èrzhàn).

2. Ted means something like ‘the enemy’ or ‘the Axis powers’. 敌人 (dīrén) ‘enemy’ would be a clearer alternative.

3. Nazi is 纳粹 (nàcuì).

4. 韩 probably stopped short of saying 来中国 (lái zhōngguó) ‘came to China’.

5. It is a bit difficult to tell what 韩 was going to say here since he was cut off. He was probably going to differentiate the prison from the area for Jewish refugees. Omitting 没和 (méihé) would probably make the sentence a bit clearer.

6. Ticket in Chinese is 票 (piào).

7. Ted is trying to say something like ‘this place has attracted my attention’. However, the phrasing might seem a bit strange to a native speaker. A possible alternative is 这个地方吸引我 (zhège dìfang xīyǐn wǒ) ‘this place attracts me’ or 这个地方让我很好奇 (zhège dìfang ràng wǒ hěn hàoqí) ‘this place makes me very curious’. 

8. 韩 probably stopped short of saying 会有英文的介绍 (huì yǒu yīngwénde jièshao) ‘it will have English introductions/explanations’

9. This phrase should include a 的 (de) to connect 简单 (jiǎndān) ‘simple’ with 中文 (zhōngwén) ‘Chinese’. This sentence should read 说比较简单的中文可以.


  1. 监狱 (jiānyù) Prison
  2. 出名 (chūmíng) Famous
  3. 二次世界大争 (èrcì shìjiè dàzhèng) World War II
  4. 犹太人 (yóutàirén) Jewish person
  5. 战争 (zhànzhèng) War
  6. 统治 (tǒngzhì) To rule
  7. 附近 (fùjìn) Surrounding area
  8. 教堂 (jiàotáng) Church
  9. 吸引 (xīyǐn) To attract
  10. 好奇 (hàoqí) Curious
  11. 难民 (nànmǐn) Refugee
  12. 纪念馆 (jìniànguǎn) Memorial hall
  13. 校园 (xiàoyuán) Campus