September 19, 2011 Jewish Migration to China, 1845-1940, Is Subject of Oct. 4 Lecture

Liliane Willens to Discuss Her Memoir “Stateless in Shanghai”

Press Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022
Public Contact: Peggy Pearlstein (202) 707-3779

Liliane Willens, author of the recently published memoir “Stateless in Shanghai,” will discuss “The Three Waves of Jewish Migration to China, 1845-1940,” at the Library at noon on Tuesday, Oct. 4, in the African and Middle Eastern Division Reading Room, located in Room 220 of the Thomas Jefferson Building at 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C.

Sponsored jointly by the Hebraic Section of the African and Middle Eastern Division and the Asian Division of the Library of Congress, the event is free and open to the public but seating is limited.

Willens will discuss some of the historical trends behind Jewish immigration to China from her own unique perspective as a “stateless” girl in Shanghai, the world’s most cosmopolitan city on the eve of World War II.

Willens was born in Shanghai to Jewish Russian parents who had fled to China to escape the Bolshevik Revolution. After immigrating to the United States, she received her Ph.D. from Boston University and taught at Boston College and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has published a book on Voltaire and articles on French literature and history. When she moved to Washington, D.C., she worked for the Agency for International Development and for the Peace Corps. Now retired, she gives lectures on China and on Old Shanghai.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs, and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at and via interactive exhibitions on a personalized website at

The African and Middle Eastern Division furthers this mission as the Library’s center for the study of some 78 countries and regions from Southern Africa to the Maghreb and from the Middle East to Central Asia. The Division’s Hebraic Section is one of the world’s foremost centers for the study of Hebrew and Yiddish materials. For more information on the Division and its holdings, visit

The Asian Division holds more than 2.8 million books, periodicals, newspapers, manuscripts and electronic media from Asia. The collection is the most comprehensive source of Asian-language materials outside of Asia, and covers the area ranging from the South Asian subcontinent and Southeast Asia to China, Japan, Korea and Mongolia. For more information, visit


PR 11-172
ISSN 0731-3527