In Memory of Dr. Ho Feng-shan and Chiune Sugihara, Two men of Righteous Among the Nations ( Edited )

何凤山 Ho Feng-Shan  

Dr Ho Feng-shan with his OLIVETTI typewriter. I have one too. 

Born September 10, 1901 in YiyangHunan; died September 28, 1997 in San Francisco, Dr. Ho Feng-shan was a Chinese diplomat in Vienna who risked his own life and career during World War II to save more than one thousand Jews. Ho's actions were recognized posthumously when he was awarded the title "Righteous among the Nations" by the Israeli organization Yad Vashem in 2000. He is known as "China’s Schindler." Dr. Ho never mentioned a word about it until his daughter Ms. Manli Ho discovered her father's heroic action. 

After the Kristallnacht in 1938, the situation became rapidly more difficult for the almost 200,000 Austrian Jews. The only way for Jews to escape from Nazism was to leave Europe. In order to leave, they had to provide proof of emigration, usually a visa from a foreign nation, or a valid boat ticket. This was difficult, however, because at the 1938 Evian Conference 31 countries (out of a total of 32, which included the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand) refused to accept Jewish immigrants. The only country willing to accept Jews was the Dominican Republic, which offered to accept up to 100,000 refugees. Acting against the orders of his superior Chen Jie (陳介), the ROC ambassador to Berlin, Ho started to issue visas to Shanghai for humanitarian reasons. 1,200 visas were issued by Ho in the first three months of holding office as Consul-General.
At the time it was not necessary to have a visa to enter Shanghai, but the visas allowed the Jews to leave Austria. Many Jewish families left for Shanghai, whence most of them would later leave for Hong Kong and Australia. Ho continued to issue these visas until he was ordered to return to the ROC in May 1940. The exact number of visas given by Ho to Jewish refugees is unknown. It is known that Ho issued the 200th visa in June 1938, and signed 1906th on October 27, 1938. How many Jews were saved through his actions is unknown, but given that Ho issued nearly 2,000 visas only during his first half year at his post, the number may be in the thousands.

Chiune Sugihara 杉原 千畝 

Despite  the appalling atrocities that Japanese militarists inflicted upon many nations in Asia, in particular, China during WWII, there were some righteous Japanese with a heart of gold.  Mr. Chiune Sugihara, born January 1900 , died 31 July 1986, was a Japanese diplomat who served as Vice-Consul for the Empire of Japan in Lithuania. During World War II, he helped several thousand Jews leave the country by issuing transit visas to Jewish refugees so that they could travel to Japan. Most of the Jews who escaped were refugees from German-occupied Poland and residents of Lithuania. Sugihara wrote travel visas that facilitated the escape of more than 6,000 Jewish refugees to Japanese territory, risking his career and his family's lives. Sugihara had told the refugees to call him "Sempo", the Sino-Japanese reading of the characters in his first name, discovering it was much easier for Western people to pronounce.[1] In 1985, Israel honored him as Righteous Among the Nations for his actions.


Basement could be treasure trove.

According to the original story that goes with the enclosed picture, authorities with Northwest University of Science and Technology in China are excited to find these old machines from the basement of their time-honored administrative building. These typewriters, obviously once used by the school long time ago, will be kept in a local museum.

Well....maybe the blue one isn't old enough to deserve a place in a museum.


Some Vintage Photos of Shanghai

In the workshop of Imperial Gazette.

What is the technical term for what the workers are doing?

Shanghai, dubbed as Paris of the Orient 

Some of my German typewriters

Pictured here are some German typewriters in my 80+ collection.

The CONTINENTAL KLEINE is special with decals saying MADE IN GERMANY in complicated Chinese characters, which clearly shows these machines were exported to the Chinese market at least 65 years ago. The communist took power in 1949.

Within the Chinese antique collectors' community, one category is referred to as Min Guo Huo, meaning stuff from the Kuomingtang (KMT) regime (1911-1949). This category is ensued by "early years since the founding of New China" (1950s) and then the notorious "Cultural Revolution"(1966-1976).

The desktop Olympia, Model 8, is my all time favorite.It was bought from ebay.de An old German engineer was its first owner and the machine had been kept in the basement for at least 50 years.  One of those machines I saw in a local antique market had Pica Italic font. I regretted even today that I didn't buy it.

The gray portable was bought from an antique dealer. It has my favorite Congress Elite font.

According to Mr. Lu, a retired typewriter repairman, "German typewriters will never be out of order!"

P.S. these typewriters and my house look so dusty in these pictures. It's not because I don't clean often, the phone camera sucks!


Imported,manual typewriters in Shanghai between 80's and 90's. (Part II)

Then, the poor brothers from further lands. As one can easily summarize, these brothers are from the former USSR/socialist country camp.

From Bulgaria

Predom from Poland 
Hermes from Hungary

From Amigo Mexico and Brazil

These desktops are from Brazil and were widely used in trade firms.

I believe this model was also made in Brazil. 

The following are the genuine Rovers made by IMC Italy. They are not some shoddy products of Weilv Mechanical Factory