Hermann Goldfarb

in Voices from Shanghai

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780226181660
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226181684 | DOI:
Hermann Goldfarb

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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This chapter presents “Wandering” (1942), a poem by Hermann Goldfarb. The poem internalizes the wandering Jew theme as the Jewish condition of homelessness. To the Shanghai refugees, this theme was preeminently meaningful. They had wandered to what seemed the farthest reaches of the earth, yet they knew that once the conflagration in Europe was over they would not remain in China. Once again they would have to pick up and go. The poet chides a so-called “civilized” world that tolerates homelessness and suffering, but gestures toward a “new world,” presumably Australia or America, where some of the Shanghai Jews moved after World War II.

Keywords: poem; Hermann Goldfarb; wandering Jew; Shanghai; homelessness; Jews; World War II

Chapter.  446 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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