Hermann Goldfarb, born in Munich, Germany, in 1919, graduated high school shortly after Hitler came to power, and became an apprentice to a cabinetmaker.
In late October 1938, the police tried to deport Hermann and send him to Poland. To avoid arrest, he went into hiding. The following March he was ordered to leave the country. He had no place to go.
Eventually he got a ticket on a Japanese ship to sail to Shanghai, China, one of the few countries that Jews could enter without any immigration papers.
Thus, at 19, Hermann left his mother, brother and sister and sailed from Naples, Italy, through the Suez Canal to Shanghai, where he made a life for himself in a strange environment that by August 1939 was under Japanese occupation.
Like other refugees, Hermann had to battle the heat, humidity, disease and poverty. He worked first as a cabinetmaker and later as a knitting mill factory supervisor. In the factory, he met Else Ruben, who became his wife after the war. He also worked as a woodworking teacher for ORT until the Japanese forced the Jews into a crowded ghetto in an area called Hongkew.
The war continued in Shanghai until August 1945 when the Japanese capitulated. Hermann continued to work as a woodworker until December 1948, when he was able to emigrate with his wife and young daughter, Helen.
Biography written by: Barbara Appelbaum