Ho Feng Shan: The ‘Chinese Schindler’ Who Saved Thousands of Jews
HONG KONG (CNN) — When Ho Feng Shan died at the age of 96, he took a secret to his grave. The only clue was a single sentence in his obituary in 1997.
Throughout his long life, Ho never mentioned his heroic deeds during World War II — not to his wife, his children or friends.
During 1938 to 1940, Ho, the consul general of the then Nationalist Chinese government’s embassy in Vienna, saved perhaps tens of thousands of Jews from the Holocaust with just a stroke of his pen.
When Jews desperately sought visas to escape from Nazi-occupied Austria, he issued thousands — in defiance of his superior’s orders.
The exact number of entry papers Ho issued — and the number of lives saved — may never be known, as too many have already been lost to time.
But based on the serial number of one visa nearing 4,000, the best estimate is that thousands of visas were issued.
By Wayne Chang for CNN
Born September 10, 1901 in Yiyang, Hunan; died September 28, 1997 in San Francisco, Dr. Ho Feng-shan was a Chinese diplomat in Vienna who risked his own life and career during World War II to save more than one thousand Jews.
Ho’s actions were recognized posthumously when he was awarded the title “Righteous among the Nations” by the Israeli organization Yad Vashem in 2000. He is known as “China’s Schindler.” Dr. Ho never mentioned a word about it until his daughter Ms. Manli Ho discovered her father’s heroic action.
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