Shanghai is looking to ensure the area where Jewish refugees were sheltered in WWII becomes a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Shanghai is applying to have the Tilanqiao area of Hongkou District added to the UNESCO Memory of the World Register, according to Xinhua news service.

An estimated 20,000 Jewish refugees fled the Nazis for Shanghai during the war, resulting in a vibrant Jewish community.

The Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum is working with the Hongkou district government to complete the application. As part of the application, the city completed the collecting of the refugee list, data bank, literary, video and audio material.

Shanghai also has announced plans to rebuild a cafe where Jewish refugees gathered during their time in the city. The Wiener Cafe Restaurant, opened in 1939, will be rebuilt using its original blueprints opposite the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum. It was demolished in 2009 to expand the city subway system.

Today, Jews return in hordes to visit some of the historical Shanghai spots. A monument stands at Houshan Park in the old Hongkou district and several of the diplomats who aided in bringing the Jews to Asia have been named Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem.

Jewish Shanghai Tours, a local business providing detailed tours of the city’s Jewish history, takes thousands of travelers through the district each year.

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