Chronology of Rescue by Dr. Feng Shan Ho, China

 

Click here for Chronology of Honoring Dr. Feng Shan Ho

 

Dr. Feng Shan Ho was among the early diplomats to save Jews during the Holocaust. Ho issued numerous visas to Jews seeking to escape Austria after the Anschluss of 1938. These visas enabled thousands of Jewish refugees to reach safe haven in North and South America, Cuba, the Philippines, Palestine and Shanghai. Many Jews were released from Nazi concentration camps on the strength of Chinese visas. Ho issued the life-saving visas on his own authority, despite orders to desist and a reprimand from his superiors. Many of these visas were to rescue and relief organizations all over Europe.  In particular, Ho issued visas to Recha Sternbuch, who was operating out of Switzerland.  Ho issued hundreds of visas to Sternbuch.  Ho also issued visas to the Af-Al-Pi (“Despite Everything”) Perl transport.  The Director of the Kulturgemeinde (Jewish Community Center) in Vienna, Dr. Joseph Löwenherz, encouraged Jews to immigrate to Palestine.  Ho provided many visas to representatives of the Kulturgemeinde.  After the war, he continued a 40-year diplomatic career in the Mideast and Latin America. Ambassador Ho died in San Francisco in September 1997 at age 96.  Dr. Ho was awarded the status of Righteous Among the Nations by the state of Israel in October 2000. 

 

September 10, 1901
Feng Shan Ho is born in rural Yiyang in Hunan Province, China.  His name Feng Shan means “Phoenix on the Mountain.”

1908
Feng Shan Ho’s father, Ho Yan Huai, dies leaving a widow and two young children.  The family is helped by the Norwegian Lutheran Mission in China.   Ho is educated in their schools.

1921
Feng Shan Ho receives a scholarship to attend one of China's most elite institutions, the College of Yale-in-China. He brings his mother and younger sister to the city and supports them by teaching high school while he himself attends college. 

1926
Feng Shan Ho graduates from the College of Yale-in-China.

1927- 1929
After teaching for a year in Shanghai, Ho returns to Hunan Province.
He passes a strict examination and wins a fellowship to study in Germany. He embarks for Munich. 

1932
Ho earns a Ph.D. in Political Economics at the University of Munich, graduating magna cum laude.  He returns to Hunan, China.

May 1932
The Christian Socialist Party forms a government with Englebert Dollfuss as Chancellor of Austria.  Dollfuss takes steps to curtail antisemitism by outlawing discrimination against Jews in housing and jobs.

1933- 1934
Dr. Feng Shan Ho becomes secretary to the governor of Hunan Province. He is sent to the Chicago World's Fair as one of China's representatives.

January 30, 1933
Adolf Hitler appointed Chancellor of Germany.

March 22, 1933
Dachau concentration camp opens.

April 1, 1933
German boycott of Jewish shops and businesses.

July 8, 1933
The Vatican signs a concordat with Nazi Germany, which gives the new regime legitimacy.

July 25, 1934
Austrian Nazis occupy Parliament building and murder Dollfuss.

1934
Kurt von Schuschnigg is named Austrian Chancellor and pressured by the Germans into twelve concessions, including lifting the ban on the Austrian Nazi party and placement of pro-Nazi ministers in key positions.

August 2, 1934
Hitler proclaims himself Führer und Reichskanzler (Leader and Reich Chancellor).  Armed forces must now swear allegiance to him.

1935
Dr. Feng Shan Ho enters the diplomatic service of the Republic of China.  He is posted as First Secretary to the Chinese Embassy in Turkey.

September 15, 1935
“Nuremberg Laws”: anti-Jewish racial laws enacted; Jews no longer considered German citizens.

March 7, 1936
Germans march into the Rhineland, previously demilitarized by the Versailles Treaty.

July, 1936
Sachsenhausen concentration camp opens.

October 25, 1936
Hitler and Mussolini form Rome-Berlin Axis.

Spring 1937
Japan invades China.

Dr. Feng Shan Ho is transferred to Vienna, Austria, where he serves as First Secretary of the Chinese Legation.

July 15, 1937
Buchenwald concentration camp opens.

March 9, 1938
Schuschnigg calls for a popular vote on Austrian independence.  Hitler demands that the vote be postponed and demands Schuschnigg’s resignation.

March 12, 1938
German troops cross into Austria.

March 13, 1938
Anschluss
(annexation of Austria by Germany); all antisemitic decrees from Germany immediately applied in Austria.

More than 185,000 Jews live in Austria, of whom 170,000 reside in Vienna.  This is the third largest Jewish community in Europe.

March 14, 1938
Cheering crowds greet Hitler as he parades triumphantly through Vienna.

March 18, 1938
SS Chief Heinrich Himmler given power to operate in Austria.  The offices of Vienna’s Jewish community and Zionist organizations are closed and their leaders jailed.  All Jewish organizations and congregations are forbidden.  One hundred ten prominent Jewish leaders are arrested and deported to Dachau.  Jews are banned from any public activity.

The Gestapo launches an organized campaign of looting Jewish apartments and confiscating artworks.

March 26, 1938
Jews are dismissed from their posts in universities and colleges.

April 10, 1938
99.73% of Austrians vote in favor of annexation to Germany (Anschluss).

May 1938
The German Nuremberg Laws, which forcibly segregate Jews in Germany and deprive them of citizenship and the means of livelihood, are officially enforced in Austria. More than 200,000 Austrian Jews would be persecuted under these laws, according to German records.

To force emigration, the families of Jews arrested and deported to concentration camps are told that proof of immediate emigration would secure their release. German Property Transfer Office actively confiscates Jewish property, businesses and bank accounts.

The methods used in Austria combining economic expropriation and expulsion of Jews become the model in future Nazi-conquered territories.

Vienna becomes the center of emigration. All foreign consulates are besieged by Jewish refugees desperate for visas. Most refuse to help.

Dr. Feng Shan Ho is appointed Chinese Consul General in Vienna, reporting to the Chinese embassy in Berlin. 

Ho comes to the aid of the Austrian Jewish refugees being coerced to emigrate, by issuing them visas to Shanghai, China. Shanghai is under Japanese occupation and does not require a visa for entry. But for Jews to be allowed to leave Austria, a visa is necessary as proof of destination. Ho issues the visas under his own authority, enabling thousands ofJews to escape. 

July 6-15, 1938
Representatives from 32 countries meet at Evian, France, to discuss refugee policies; none of the participating countries are willing to open their doors to Jewish refugees.

After the Anschluss, the Swiss government sets up policy to bar emigration of Jews. They demand that passports of Jews be stamped with a red "J" to prevent them from crossing into Switzerland.

July 20, 1938
Eric Goldstaub, a 17-year old Viennese Jew, is turned down by 50 consulates in Vienna before he visits the Chinese Consulate, where he obtains 20 visas for himself and his extended family. With these visas, the family procures ship’s tickets to Shanghai. Before they can leave, Goldstaub and his father are arrested and imprisoned on Kristallnacht.  Using the visas as proof of emigration, the Goldstaubs are released within a few days and embark to Shanghai.

August 1, 1938
SS Lieutenant Adolf Eichmann establishes the Office of Jewish Emigration in Vienna to increase the pace of forced emigration.  It is Eichmann’s first major assignment and he eventually becomes one of the chief architects of the Holocaust.

Besides having to obtain and show proof of destination, Jews emigrating from Austria are automatically divested of all of their property and assets.  Emigrants are required to pay a tax based on the assets they declare.

August - December, 1938
Police captain Paul Grüninger allows 3,600 Austrian Jewish refugees entry into Switzerland, against orders of the Swiss government.  Many of these refugees have Chinese visas issued by Ho.

September, 1938
Word has spread among the Jewish community that the Chinese Consulate is issuing visas. Large crowds and long lines form in front of the consulate.

Ho is ordered by the Chinese ambassador in Berlin to stop issuing visas to Jews. Undaunted, Ho continues the issuing of visas to all who ask. The ambassador sends a subordinate to Vienna to try to stem the tide. The investigator returns empty-handed to Berlin. Dr. Ho continues his "liberal" visa policy.

October 10, 1938
Hitler gives personal instructions to “act for the deportation of 27,000 Viennese Jews of Czech nationality.”

October 28, 1938
Thousands of Jews who are Polish nationals are deported into the no-man’s-land on the German-Polish border.

November 9-10, 1938
Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass): an anti-Jewish pogrom in Germany, Austria, and the Sudetenland; 200 synagogues are destroyed, cemeteries desecrated, 7,500 Jewish shops looted and nearly 100 Jews murdered.  Many Jews commit suicide in the following weeks and months. 30,000 German, Austrian and Sudeten Jews are sent to concentration camps of Dachau, Buchenwald, and Sachsenhausen. Between 1938 and 1939, more than 1,000 Jews are murdered in these camps.

November 10, 1938
Consul General Feng Shan Ho protects the Rosenburg family from arrest during a Gestapo search of their home. He issues them visas to Shanghai and escorts them safely to the train station.

November 1938-1939
Many Austrian Jews are released from Dachau and Buchenwald on the strength of Chinese visas. Among them are the fathers of Bernard Grossfeld and Marion Alflen, and the brother of Lilith Doron, who are released from Dachau. Dr. Jacob Rosenfeld is released from Buchenwald and embarks for China, where he later becomes a hero in the Chinese Communist revolution.

November 12, 1938
All Austrian and German Jews are forced by decree to transfer their businesses to non-Jewish ownership.

Ironically, Jews are fined more than $28,000,000 for the destruction of their property during the Nazi rampage of Kristallnacht in Austria.

November 15, 1938
Jewish children are barred from public schools.

By the end of November, a curfew is imposed and Jews are denied access to most public places.  Virtually all remaining Jewish businesses and properties are confiscated by the Nazis.

December 6, 1938
Japanese government ministers decide Jews residing in Japanese controlled territories will not be discriminated against or molested; they can freely emigrate to these territories if they wish.

December 1938-January 1939
Seven thousand Austrian Jews cross the border to Switzerland or Italy.  Many of them have Chinese visas.

1938-1939
Pio Perucchi and Candido Porta, Swiss consular officers in Milan, Italy, issue more than 1,600 illegal and unauthorized Swiss visas to Jews who have fled from Austria to Italy after the Anschluss. Some of these Jewish refugees escape Austria with a Chinese visa.  The refugees then enter Switzerland, where they are protected for the duration of the war.  Perucchi and Porta are demoted and transferred for their unauthorized activities.

18,000 German, Austrian and Polish Jews flood into Japanese-occupied Shanghai, China. Among them are Austrian Jews with Ho visas, others are Berlin Jews with visas from British consular officer and intelligence agent Frank Foley. 

In Shanghai, China, Paul Komor forms a relief agency, the International Committee for Granting Relief to European Refugees (IC); helps immigrants with food, housing, clothing and funds; issues papers that allow many Shanghai refugees to leave China.

March 15, 1939
German troops invade Czechoslovakia.

Spring, 1939
The Nazis confiscate the Chinese consulate building in Vienna, saying that it is Jewish-owned. Dr. Ho asks the Chinese government for funds to relocate, but is refused. He finds smaller facilities and pays out of his own pocket to move there and re-open the consulate.

Under a special law, Austrian Jews are evicted from their homes and are gathered into designated streets and selected districts of Vienna.

April 8, 1939
The Chinese Foreign Ministry punishes Ho with a demerit for disobeying government policy in issuing large numbers of visas to Jewish refugees.

May 17, 1939
British government issues a Palestine White Paper establishing a limit of 75,000 Jews to be admitted to Palestine over the next five years.  Of these, only 25,000 can be refugees.

Some 400 Jewish refugees, equipped with Chinese visas, embark for Palestine illegally via the Aliyah Bet.

July 1939
The Soviet Union curtails transit to Shanghai via Poland and Russia.

September 1, 1939
Germany invades Poland; beginning of World War II.

September 1939
By the outbreak of war, nearly 70% of the 185,246 Jews in Austria have emigrated.

October 12, 1939
Germany begins deportation of Austrian and Czech Jews to Poland.

October 1939
Hitler extends power of doctors to kill mentally and physically disabled persons.

April 9, 1940
Germany invades and defeats Denmark and Norway.

May 10, 1940
Germany invades the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and France.

May 20, 1940
Concentration camp established at Auschwitz.

May 1940
Under Dr. Ho’s watch, the Chinese Consulate in Vienna has issued an average of 400 to 500 or more visas each month for the two years following the Anschluss to thousands of Jewish refugees. At times, the numbers of monthly visas reach 900 or more.

Consul General Ho leaves Vienna for New York. His successor, adhering strictly to Chinese government regulations, curtails the issuing of visas to Jews.

June 10, 1940
German army invades France.

September 27, 1940
Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis alliance is signed.

June 22, 1941
German army invades Soviet Union; Nazi Einsatzgruppen (mobile killing squads) begin mass murder of Jews, civilians and Communist leaders.

July 31, 1941
Heydrich appointed by Göring to implement the “Final Solution.”

October-November 1941
German and Austrian Jews are deported to ghettoes in Eastern Europe.

October 15, 1941
Nazi authorities pass a law imposing the death penalty for all Jews who leave the ghettoes without permission or for “persons who knowingly provide hiding places for Jews.”

November 10, 1941
All emigration of Jews from Austria now officially prohibited.  126,445 Jews have been able to emigrate from Austria, thousands with the Ho visa.

December 7, 1941
Japanese attack Pearl Harbor.

December 1941
China breaks relations with Germany and the Chinese consulate in Vienna is closed.

1941-1943
Dr. Feng Shan Ho returns to China’s wartime capital of Chungking. He is appointed Secretary General of China’s Military Commission, and stationed in Washington, DC.

January 20, 1942
Wannsee Conference in Berlin; Heydrich outlines plan to murder Europe’s Jews.

January 27, 1942
Paul Komor is arrested by Japanese secret police in Shanghai; imprisoned on suspicion of being a spy; Komor is later released and prevented from working with the IC for the duration of the war.

November 1942
The Viennese Jewish community is officially dissolved.  Only 7,000 Jews remain in Austria.

1943-1947
Dr. Feng Shan Ho is transferred back to Chungking to head the Information Section of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

June 1943
Himmler orders the liquidation of all ghettos in Poland and the Soviet Union.

June 6, 1944
D-Day: Allied invasion at Normandy.

January 27, 1945
Soviet troops enter Auschwitz concentration camp.

April 1945
US and British troops liberate the concentration camps at Buchenwald, Dachau, Nordhausen, Bergen-Belsen and other camps.

April 30, 1945
Hitler commits suicide.

May 8, 1945
V-E Day: Germany surrenders; end of the Third Reich.

1945
Of the 185,000 Jews who once lived in Austria, only 1,747 return to Austria from the ghettoes and concentration camps. More than 65,000 Austrian Jews died in the ghettoes and concentration camps of Eastern Europe.

1945-1948
Thousands of survivors of Hitler’s concentration camps emigrate to the United States, Canada and Israel.

1947
Dr. Feng Shan Ho begins a nine-year tenure as ambassador to Egypt and seven other Middle Eastern countries.  He becomes dean of the diplomatic corps.

May 14, 1948
The state of Israel is established.

1949
The Chinese civil war ends in a Communist victory on the mainland.  Dr. Ho chooses to remain loyal to the Chinese Nationalists who have fled to Taiwan.

With the Communist takeover, the last remaining members of the Shanghai Jewish community are forced to leave China.

1953
The state of Israel passes a law to honor those who rescued Jews during the Holocaust; a commission is established to recognize them as Righteous Among the Nations.

1956
Egypt recognizes the People’s Republic of China. Ambassador Ho, as the representative of the Nationalist Chinese, leaves Cairo.

1958-1965
Dr. Feng Shan Ho serves as Chinese Ambassador to Mexico.

1963
Israel honors first of the Righteous Among the Nations.

1968-1970
Ambassador Ho is transferred to head the Chinese Embassy in Bolivia.

1970-1973
Dr. Ho’s last assignment is as Ambassador to Colombia.

1973
Ambassador Ho retires to San Francisco after four decades of diplomatic service. The Chinese Nationalists on Taiwan turn on him for reasons that remain unclear.  Ho is denied a pension and, nearly three decades later, his name has not yet been cleared.

1990
Dr. Ho’s memoirs, Forty Years of my Diplomatic Life, is published.

1995
Pan-Jun-Shun, a Chinese national, is honored by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations.  At this time, he is the only Chinese person honored by Israel for rescuing Jews in the Holocaust.

September 28, 1997
Dr. Feng Shan Ho dies in San Francisco at the age of 96.

October 1997
Dr. Ho’s rescue activities in Vienna are discovered by Eric Saul, director of the Visas for Life: The Righteous and Honorable Diplomats Project through an obituary written by Dr. Ho’s daughter, Manli Ho.

Visas for Life Project discovers in Kranzler’s book that Ho issued visas to Recha Sternbuch in support of her rescue activities out of Bern, Switzerland.  This is the first written record, outside of Ho’s memoires, that verifies his rescue activities.

Genya Markon, of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, refers the Visas for Life Project to the Goldstaub brothers, who received multiple visas from Dr. Ho in Vienna.

Visas for Life Project interviews the Goldstaub brothers and receives copies of their Ho visas.

April 1998
Dr. Feng Shan Ho honored in Visas for Life: Diplomats Who Saved Jews exhibit at Yad Vashem Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Memorial Museum, Jerusalem, Israel.  Manli Ho, daughter of Dr. Feng Shan Ho, is sponsored by the Visas for Life Project.

While in Israel, the Visas for Life Project discovers additional Ho survivors.

November 1998
The Visas for Life Project curates a separate version of the Visas for Life: The Righteous and Honorable Diplomats exhibit that will specifically tour throughout Europe.  The exhibit opens in Bern, Switzerland.  In attendance is the President of Switzerland.  Manli Ho is sponsored to attend this exhibit by the Visas for Life Project.

The Visas for Life exhibit is translated into German.

1998
The Visas for Life Project does extensive research on the rescue of Jews in Marseilles, France, 1940-1941.  During this research, Visas for Life Project discovers a Chinese diplomat who was very active in supplying visas to the Emergency Rescue Committee, the Nimes Committee, the AFL-CIO, the American Friends Service Committee (Quakers), and the various Yishuv and Mossad rescue operations working out of Marseilles.

October 17, 1999
Dr. Ho honored in an exhibit at the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre, the first time that Dr. Ho is honored exclusively.  The Centre produces an important catalog on Dr. Ho’s rescue activities.  This catalog is distributed widely throughout the United States, including at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.

The Visas for Life Project discovers the Seeman sisters, who received Dr. Ho visas, in Vancouver.

1999
The Israeli Foreign Ministry circulates the Yad Vashem version of the Visas for Life exhibit that opened in April 1998.  This exhibit tours throughout the world.  Dr. Ho is featured in this exhibit.

Dr. Ho is featured in an extensive catalog produced by the Israeli Foreign Ministry.

Dr. Ho is featured in an exhibit at the Holocaust Center in West Bloomfield, Michigan.  This exhibit is arranged by the Visas for Life Project, and Manli Ho is hosted by the Center and attends the opening of the exhibit along with members of the family of Sugihara, who was also honored in the exhibition.

January 2000
Dr. Ho honored in Visas for Life exhibit at the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust in Stockholm, Sweden.  Manli Ho is sponsored by the Visas for Life Project.

This exhibit is attended by the King and Queen of Sweden and by Per Anger, the Swedish diplomat who worked with Raoul Wallenberg.

Visas for Life presents the Ho story to two Chinese journalists who widely disseminate a news story throughout the Chinese-speaking world.  This is one of the first major news stories on Dr. Ho.

April 4, 2000
Dr. Ho honored in Visas for Life: The Righteous and Honorable Diplomats exhibit opening at the United Nations headquarters, New York City.  Dr. Ho’s exhibit is expanded for showing in the United Nations.

May 2000
Visas for Life exhibit opens at the national convention of the American Jewish Committee in Washington, D.C.  Dinner attended by U.S. Secretary of State, the Prime Minister of Sweden and the President of Germany.  Manli Ho’s accommodations are sponsored by Visas for Life and the American Jewish Committee.

July 2000
Dr. Ho honored in Visas for Life: The Righteous and Honorable Diplomats exhibit opening at the United Nations European headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland.

July 7, 2000
Dr. Ho is designated “Righteous Among the Nations,” Israel’s highest award.

August 2000
Visas for Life exhibit opens at the National Museum in Ljubljana, Slovenia.  In attendance is the President of Slovenia.  Dr. Ho is honored in this exhibit.

2000
Visas for Life Project arranges for Dr. Feng Shan Ho to be honored at a special dinner by the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles.  Manli Ho is sponsored to this program.  The Simon Wiesenthal Center produces a 5-minutes film on Dr. Ho’s life.

Dr. Ho is honored in a special feature article in the Asian edition of Reader’s Digest.  The article is written by Claudia Cornwall, whose family was helped by a Chinese diplomat in Hamburg, Germany.  This article documents in detail how the Visas for Life Project discovered Dr. Ho, publicized his story and made Dr. Ho an international hero.

The Visas for Life exhibit opens at the Denver Public Library.  Dr. Ho is prominently featured in the exhibition.  During this exhibition, the Visas for Life Project discovers a Chinese visa issued in Milan, Italy.  The visa was issued to the Weiss family.

January 2001
Family members of Dr. Ho, along with members of the Visas for Life Project, travel to Israel to attend Dr. Ho's ceremony honoring him as a Righteous Person.  His name is inscribed on the commemorative Wall of the Righteous.  He is the third person of Chinese ancestry to be so honored.

September 2001
Visas for Life exhibit is translated into French and opens at the Memorial du Martyr Juif Inconnu at the Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine in Paris, France.  Exhibit opening ceremony takes place at the Hotel de Ville (City Hall) of Paris.  Opening is attended by the Mayor of Paris and members of the Rothschild family.  Dr. Ho is honored in the exhibit.

September 10, 2001
Dr. Ho is honored on the centennial of his birth in Yiyang, in Hunan Province, China.  His family attends ceremonies and brings with them an exhibit on Dr. Ho's life, which was curated by the Visas for Life Project.

Dr. Ho is also honored at the former Yale-in-China campus in Yali, China.

Dr. Ho is honored in a special ceremony at the national library in Beijing, China.  The Visas for Life: Dr. Ho exhibit is opened by the Ho family.  This exhibit is co-sponsored by the Israeli embassy in Beijing.

Visas for Life Project builds these special exhibits for display in China.  Visas for Life helps to underwrite expenses for these exhibits.

2001
Dr. Ho is honored in a Visas for Life exhibit at the Presidio of San Francisco.

January 2002
Wing Luke Museum in Seattle, Washington, opens exhibit honoring Dr. Ho.  This exhibit was proposed by the Visas for Life Project.  Manli Ho was sponsored to attend the opening by the Wing Luke Museum.

April 2002
Visas for Life exhibit is hosted by the London Jewish Community and Cultural Centre at King's College, London.  In attendance is the Mayor of London and numerous Ambassadors.  Dr. Ho is honored in this exhibit.

October 2002
Visas for Life exhibit shown at Boston University, sponsored by the American Jewish Committee.  Dr. Ho is honored in this exhibit.  Later, an article appears in the Boston Globe as an Op-Ed piece.

Visas for Life exhibit shown at Rider College, sponsored by the American Jewish Committee, New Jersey.  Dr. Ho is honored in this exhibit.

November 2002
Visas for Life exhibit opens at St. Mary's College in San Antonio, Texas.  Dr. Ho is honored in this exhibit.

Dr. Ho is honored in a special program in New York City sponsored by Boys Town of Jerusalem.  Manli Ho attends the program and receives the prestigious Jan Zwartendijk award on behalf of her father.

December 2002
Visas for Life exhibit opens at the Cape Town Holocaust Centre in Cape Town, South Africa, and then tours to Johannesburg and Durban, South Africa.  Dr. Ho is honored in this exhibit.

May 2003
Visas for Life exhibit opens at the Marshfield Public Library, Marshfield, Wisconsin, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, sponsored by the Milwaukee Chapter of the American Jewish Committee.  The exhibit is also shown in Milwaukee.  Dr. Ho is honored in these exhibitions.

September 2003
Visas for Life exhibit opens at the City Hall in Vienna, Austria.  Dr. Ho is the featured diplomat in the exhibition.  Many families of the diplomats travel to the opening of the exhibition.  The exhibit is widely covered in the press.  Manli Ho is invited to represent her father and is sponsored by Visas for Life and the Jewish Committee in Vienna.  Numerous articles appear in the local press.

Manli Ho is able to interview Joni Moser, who received a Ho visa as a young man in Vienna.

October 2003
Visas for Life exhibit shows in the rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC, sponsored by Congressman Tom Lantos and Senator Charles Schumer.  Dr. Ho is featured in the exhibition.

December 11, 2003
Visas for Life exhibit opens at the Arts and Cultural Center sponsored by the Holocaust Documentation and Education Center in North Miami, Florida.  Guests of honor were the Mayor of Hollywood, Florida, and former US Attorney General Janet Reno.  Visas for Life arranges to have Manli Ho invited to this program to represent her father. 

February 2004
Dr. Ho is honored in an exhibit at the Binyaneh Ha’ooma Convention Center in Jerusalem, sponsored by the American Jewish Committee.

Dr. Ho is honored in a special program at Boys Town in Jerusalem.  Manli Ho is hosted by Boys Town.

2017
As of 2017, 2 Chinese individuals have been recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations.  They are Dr. Feng Shan Ho and Pan-Jun-Shun.

 

 

Chronology of Honoring Dr. Feng Shan Ho


Dr. Feng Shan Ho was the Chinese Consul General stationed in Vienna, Austria, 1938-1940.  After the German annexation of Austria (the Anschluss) in March 1938, thousands of Austrian Jews wished to emigrate from the country.  In order to do so, they needed destination visas.  Dr. Ho willingly, and on his own authority, issued thousands of visas to desperate Austrian Jews.  Issuing visas was against the wishes of his supervisor and the official policy of the Chinese government.  Dr. Ho was eventually reprimanded by his superiors for aiding Jews.

For decades, Dr. Ho’s activities were unrecognized, except by the Jews whom he had saved.  The Visas for Life: The Righteous and Honorable Diplomats program read of Dr. Ho’s activities in an obituary published in the Sacramento Bee after his death in 1997.  The Visas for Life Project contacted Dr. Ho’s daughter and son and, with them, conducted several years of research to determine the specifics of Dr. Ho’s actions aiding Jews in Austria.

The Project found a number of Jewish survivors who had received Ho visas in Vienna.  They provided testimony of his activities on their behalf.  This extensive research and the testimonies were submitted to Yad Vashem for consideration for Dr. Ho being recognized as Righteous Among the Nations.  Dr. Ho’s actions were deemed to be worthy of recognition and he was honored by Yad Vashem in July 2000.  Dr. Ho was finally recognized 62 years after his courageous actions.

The Visas for Life Project curated three major exhibitions on Dr. Ho, which circulated worldwide.



September 28, 1997
Dr. Feng Shan Ho dies in San Francisco at the age of 96.

October 1997
Dr. Ho’s rescue activities in Vienna are discovered by Eric Saul, director of the Visas for Life: The Righteous and Honorable Diplomats Project through an obituary written by Dr. Ho’s daughter, Manli Ho.

Visas for Life Project discovers in Kranzler’s book that Ho issued visas to Recha Sternbuch in support of her rescue activities out of Bern, Switzerland.  This is the first written record, outside of Ho’s memoires, that verifies his rescue activities.

Genya Markon, of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, refers the Visas for Life Project to the Goldstaub brothers, who received multiple visas from Dr. Ho in Vienna.

Visas for Life Project interviews the Goldstaub brothers and receives copies of their Ho visas.

Visas for Life Project institutes large scale research project on Dr. Feng Shan Ho.  There is a large scale search of literature on the Holocaust in Austria.

April 1998
Dr. Feng Shan Ho honored in Visas for Life: Diplomats Who Saved Jews exhibit at Yad Vashem Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Memorial Museum, Jerusalem, Israel.  Manli Ho, daughter of Dr. Feng Shan Ho, is sponsored by the Visas for Life Project.

While in Israel, the Visas for Life Project discovers additional Ho survivors.

November 1998
The Visas for Life Project curates a separate version of the Visas for Life: The Righteous and Honorable Diplomats exhibit that will specifically tour throughout Europe.  The exhibit opens in Bern, Switzerland.  In attendance is the President of Switzerland.  Manli Ho is sponsored to attend this exhibit by the Visas for Life Project.

The Visas for Life exhibit is translated into German.

1998
The Visas for Life Project does extensive research on the rescue of Jews in Marseilles, France, 1940-1941.  During this research, Visas for Life Project discovers a Chinese diplomat who was very active in supplying visas to the Emergency Rescue Committee, the Nimes Committee, the AFL-CIO, the American Friends Service Committee (Quakers), and the various Yishuv and Mossad rescue operations working out of Marseilles.

October 17, 1999
Dr. Ho honored in an exhibit at the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre, the first time that Dr. Ho is honored exclusively.  The Centre produces an important catalog on Dr. Ho’s rescue activities.  This catalog is distributed widely throughout the United States, including at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.

The Visas for Life Project discovers the Seeman sisters, who received Dr. Ho visas, in Vancouver.

1999
The Israeli Foreign Ministry circulates the Yad Vashem version of the Visas for Life exhibit that opened in April 1998.  This exhibit tours throughout the world.  Dr. Ho is featured in this exhibit.

Dr. Ho is featured in an extensive catalog produced by the Israeli Foreign Ministry.

Dr. Ho is featured in an exhibit at the Holocaust Center in West Bloomfield, Michigan.  This exhibit is arranged by the Visas for Life Project, and Manli Ho is hosted by the Center and attends the opening of the exhibit along with members of the family of Sugihara, who was also honored in the exhibition.

January 2000
Dr. Ho honored in Visas for Life exhibit at the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust in Stockholm, Sweden.  Manli Ho is sponsored by the Visas for Life Project.

This exhibit is attended by the King and Queen of Sweden and by Per Anger, the Swedish diplomat who worked with Raoul Wallenberg.

Visas for Life presents the Ho story to two Chinese journalists who widely disseminate a news story throughout the Chinese-speaking world.  This is one of the first major news stories on Dr. Ho.

April 4, 2000
Dr. Ho honored in Visas for Life: The Righteous and Honorable Diplomats exhibit opening at the United Nations headquarters, New York City.  Dr. Ho’s exhibit is expanded for showing in the United Nations.

May 2000
Visas for Life exhibit opens at the national convention of the American Jewish Committee in Washington, D.C.  Dinner attended by U.S. Secretary of State, the Prime Minister of Sweden and the President of Germany.  Manli Ho’s accommodations are sponsored by Visas for Life and the American Jewish Committee.

July 2000
Dr. Ho honored in Visas for Life: The Righteous and Honorable Diplomats exhibit opening at the United Nations European headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland.

July 7, 2000
Dr. Ho is designated “Righteous Among the Nations,” Israel’s highest award.

August 2000
Visas for Life exhibit opens at the National Museum in Ljubljana, Slovenia.  In attendance is the President of Slovenia.  Dr. Ho is honored in this exhibit.

2000
Visas for Life Project arranges for Dr. Feng Shan Ho to be honored at a special dinner by the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles.  Manli Ho is sponsored to this program.  The Simon Wiesenthal Center produces a 5-minutes film on Dr. Ho’s life.

Dr. Ho is honored in a special feature article in the Asian edition of Reader’s Digest.  The article is written by Claudia Cornwall, whose family was helped by a Chinese diplomat in Hamburg, Germany.  This article documents in detail how the Visas for Life Project discovered Dr. Ho, publicized his story and made Dr. Ho an international hero.

The Visas for Life exhibit opens at the Denver Public Library.  Dr. Ho is prominently featured in the exhibition.  During this exhibition, the Visas for Life Project discovers a Chinese visa issued in Milan, Italy.  The visa was issued to the Weiss family.

January 2001
Family members of Dr. Ho, along with members of the Visas for Life Project, travel to Israel to attend Dr. Ho's ceremony honoring him as a Righteous Person.  His name is inscribed on the commemorative Wall of the Righteous.  He is the third person of Chinese ancestry to be so honored.

September 2001
Visas for Life exhibit is translated into French and opens at the Memorial du Martyr Juif Inconnu at the Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine in Paris, France.  Exhibit opening ceremony takes place at the Hotel de Ville (City Hall) of Paris.  Opening is attended by the Mayor of Paris and members of the Rothschild family.  Dr. Ho is honored in the exhibit.

September 10, 2001
Dr. Ho is honored on the centennial of his birth in Yiyang, in Hunan Province, China.  His family attends ceremonies and brings with them an exhibit on Dr. Ho's life, which was curated by the Visas for Life Project.

Dr. Ho is also honored at the former Yale-in-China campus in Yali, China.

Dr. Ho is honored in a special ceremony at the national library in Beijing, China.  The Visas for Life: Dr. Ho exhibit is opened by the Ho family.  This exhibit is co-sponsored by the Israeli embassy in Beijing.

Visas for Life Project builds these special exhibits for display in China.  Visas for Life helps to underwrite expenses for these exhibits.

2001
Dr. Ho is honored in a Visas for Life exhibit at the Presidio of San Francisco.

January 2002
Wing Luke Museum in Seattle, Washington, opens exhibit honoring Dr. Ho.  This exhibit was proposed by the Visas for Life Project.  Manli Ho was sponsored to attend the opening by the Wing Luke Museum.

April 2002
Visas for Life exhibit is hosted by the London Jewish Community and Cultural Centre at King's College, London.  In attendance is the Mayor of London and numerous Ambassadors.  Dr. Ho is honored in this exhibit.

October 2002
Visas for Life exhibit shown at Boston University, sponsored by the American Jewish Committee.  Dr. Ho is honored in this exhibit.  Later, an article appears in the Boston Globe as an Op-Ed piece.

Visas for Life exhibit shown at Rider College, sponsored by the American Jewish Committee, New Jersey.  Dr. Ho is honored in this exhibit.

November 2002
Visas for Life exhibit opens at St. Mary's College in San Antonio, Texas.  Dr. Ho is honored in this exhibit.

Dr. Ho is honored in a special program in New York City sponsored by Boys Town of Jerusalem.  Manli Ho attends the program and receives the prestigious Jan Zwartendijk award on behalf of her father.

December 2002
Visas for Life exhibit opens at the Cape Town Holocaust Centre in Cape Town, South Africa, and then tours to Johannesburg and Durban, South Africa.  Dr. Ho is honored in this exhibit.

May 2003
Visas for Life exhibit opens at the Marshfield Public Library, Marshfield, Wisconsin, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, sponsored by the Milwaukee Chapter of the American Jewish Committee.  The exhibit is also shown in Milwaukee.  Dr. Ho is honored in these exhibitions.

September 2003
Visas for Life exhibit opens at the City Hall in Vienna, Austria.  Dr. Ho is the featured diplomat in the exhibition.  Many families of the diplomats travel to the opening of the exhibition.  The exhibit is widely covered in the press.  Manli Ho is invited to represent her father and is sponsored by Visas for Life and the Jewish Committee in Vienna.  Numerous articles appear in the local press.

Manli Ho is able to interview Joni Moser, who received a Ho visa as a young man in Vienna.

October 2003
Visas for Life exhibit shows in the rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC, sponsored by Congressman Tom Lantos and Senator Charles Schumer.  Dr. Ho is featured in the exhibition.

December 11, 2003
Visas for Life exhibit opens at the Arts and Cultural Center sponsored by the Holocaust Documentation and Education Center in North Miami, Florida.  Guests of honor were the Mayor of Hollywood, Florida, and former US Attorney General Janet Reno.  Visas for Life arranges to have Manli Ho invited to this program to represent her father. 

February 2004
Dr. Ho is honored in an exhibit at the Binyaneh Ha’ooma Convention Center in Jerusalem, sponsored by the American Jewish Committee.

Dr. Ho is honored in a special program at Boys Town in Jerusalem.  Manli Ho is hosted by Boys Town.

2017
As of 2017, 2 Chinese individuals have been recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations.  They are Dr. Feng Shan Ho and Pan-Jun-Shun.
 

 

Updated October 15, 2017