In this talk for the Royal Geographical Society Hong Kong, well-known China historian, raconteur and author Paul French talks of Macau during World War II. Based on true stories and new research, he attempts to weave together the stories of those Jewish refugees who in the war moved on from their temporary haven of Shanghai. Many sought a possible route to freedom via the Portuguese colony of Macao: “the Casablanca of the Orient”.   

In studying members of the Jewish community in Macau, he shows how the delicately balanced neutral enclave became their wartime home.  They resided amid Nazi, Japanese and Nationalist Chinese spies, escaped Allied prisoners from Hong Kong, and Chinese refugees fleeing the Japanese onslaught.  In this exciting tale, he recovers for history the story of those who ventured to Macau and, in some cases, their acts of brave resistance.
Paul is a well-known author who has won the Kirkus Book of the Year, BBC Book of the Month and has been a frequent New York Times Bestseller, and is winner of numerous other awards. From the UK, he studied Mandarin at the University of London and has an MPhil in economics from the University of Glasgow. He was then based in Shanghai for a decade as a business advisor, writer and analyst, becoming an international expert on the city. He is the author of many well-known works of Chinese and Asian history including Destination Shanghai, China’s Foreign Journalists from Opium Wars to Mao, Adventures of an American in Shanghai, North Korea: Paranoid Peninsula, One Billion Shoppers, Midnight in Peking, City of Devils and now Strangers on the Praia.  Both Midnight in Peking and City of Devils are currently being filmed for television productions.

To buy Paul’s latest book, please see Strangers on the Praia.

To register for the talk, which is for RGS members and their guests and is free of charge, please click here. It starts at 7pm Hong Kong time.