China Underground > China Book Library > Witness to History by Paul Hoffmann

Witness to History by Paul Hoffmann

On the dark, rainy afternoon of November 28, 1938, a slight 18-year-old Austrian man took in his first impressions of Shanghai.

Paul Hoffmann had left his family and all that was familiar to him in Vienna and was now among a forlorn stream of thousands of Jewish refugees into China. For the next thirteen years, Shanghai would be his home, and he made the most of the last years of the foreign-dominated world of old Shanghai.

Witness to History is the moving memoir of a man caught up in the tides of history, who witnessed and experienced the Nazi revolution in Europe, the Japanese invasion of China, and the Communist victory in 1949, and emerged from the challenges all the wiser. In Shanghai, he taught mathematics, lived a high life, and worked for an American lawyer, Norwood Altman, who was also secretly the US spy chief in China before and after the Communist takeover.

Jean Hoffmann Lewanda was born in April of 1954 in New York City, one year after Paul and Shulamis Hoffmann arrived in America. She received an undergraduate degree from the University at Albany, her master’s degree from New York University, and a Sixth Year Certificate from the University of Connecticut. Jean was a Special Educator for forty years in both private and public schools across all grade levels in the Greater Hartford area in Connecticut. Now retired, Jean lives in Yardley, Pennsylvania near her children and grandchildren. She now shares her family story by participating in Holocaust Education programs.

Publisher: Earnshaw Books

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