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Arnold Rothstein

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I confess to having not learned about Arnold Rothstein until I recently the Jewish Museum of Florida, located in Miami Beach. FYI, the museum is on the site of the first synagogue in Miami Beach, created in 1929. One of Rothstein's collections is housed there in a visiting exhibit called "Stranded in Shanghai."

Following the end of World War II, many of the surviving Jews of Europe decided to settle elsewhere in the hope of being welcomed or at least being tolerated. Shanghai, China was once such place. The exhibit clearly demonstrated that Shanghai, unlike Warsaw for example, did not create a ghetto for the Jews who moved there. These Jews simply settled in with the poorest of the Chinese residents of China, sharing living quarters, kitchens, storage, work, etc. with them. This was fortuitous, inasmuch as aside from just sparing space, the Chinese and Jewish residents of this ghetto also shared work, entertainment, and - best of all - hope.

Although I would have loved to stay at the museum for a much longer time, I unfortunately could not do so. Yet, the time I had viewing Rothstein's work, I was able to conclude that these photos (all monochrome) were professionally crafted and had powerful documentary value. Seeing the two cameras he used which also were on display - a double lens camera and a small bellows camera - made my impression even more meaningful.

You can view a sampling of these photos by using this link:


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