The Fred Marcus story is not unusual. But the man himself was exceptional. An only child, born in Berlin in 1924, Fred Marcus had a carefree, comfortable childhood in a cultured German family — until Hitler came to power.
While many Jews were leaving the country, he and his parents were unable to do so due to the illness of his mother, Gertrud. Her death in 1938 freed him and his father, Samuel, to escape.
One of the few options left in 1939 was Shanghai, an open city with no passport or visa requirements. His father purchased steamship tickets from Genoa to Shanghai, and after a long 28-day journey, they arrived.
This website honors the memory of Fred Marcus. Husband, father, educator, traveler, and Holocaust survivor, Fred is the inspiration for the annual Fred Marcus Memorial Holocaust Lecture, an annual event that raises Holocaust awareness. In addition, Fred's wartime experiences as a Jewish refugee in Shanghai are detailed in a forthcoming book by Rena Krasno and Audrey Friedman Marcus.