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Mr Chu's daughter delighted to find her Jewish playmate

THE relatives of Mr Chu, the "Shanghai Uncle" an elderly Jewish woman has been searching for years to show her gratitude for his help to her refugee family 60 years ago, have showed up today with fond childhood memories.

Mr Chu, whose real name was Zhou Zhiji, died 10 years ago at the age of 88. He used to be a director of a Shanghai tobacco company and he could speak fluent English, which helped him to make friends with Jewish refugee families, said his daughter Zhou Huizhen, now a 70-year-old grandmother.

Zhou said she was watching a local TV news program when she suddenly saw her father's photo being held by a 73-year-old Jewish woman, Vera Sasson, who was her playmate when she was only five or six years old.

Zhou recalled that during the 1940s, her family had a very close relationship with their neighbor, a Jewish family living at 432 Kunming Road, Hongkou District.

She said his father usually took the little cute Jewish girl home and invited her to eat Shanghai snacks such as sweet soup made of red beans. She said the Jewish family would in return invite her to taste their home-made bread.

Moreover, Mr Chu paid rickshaws to send the Jewish girl to school and back home every day, which deeply moved the Sassons who responded by giving foreign clothes and porcelain pieces to the Shanghai family.

"I'm also very grateful to the Jewish family for their help to me and my relatives and for the memory I cherish," said Zhou.

A telephone meeting will be held tomorrow between Zhou and Sasson, who now lives in the United States.


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