Asian Jewish Life – Film in Focus – Harbour of Hope: Rescuing Survivor’s Stories – Issue 13

Film in Focus
Harbour of Hope
Rescuing Survivor’s Stories
directed by Magnus Gertten

Film in Focus - Harbour of Hope
Nadine Hwang
Last seen at the harbor of Malmö,
Sweden. Pictured here on April 28, 1945,
the day she arrived in Sweden after being liberated from
Ravensbrück Concentration Camp in Germany. 

The film Harbour of Hope presents original archival footage, mainly shot on April 28, 1945, the day several hundred concentration camp survivors came to Malmö, Sweden on ships from Copenhagen. The film also tells the story of life after the Holocaust for some of these survivors.

While Nadine Hwang was just one of many, this story connects the Jewish and Asian experience in the most unexpected way.

Big Girl Small - Rachel DeWoskin -2
Rescuing Survivor’s Stories
Documentation - Harbor of Hope

Nadine Hwang was one of two Chinese women that escaped the horrors of Ravensbrück concentration camp, the only main camp designated almost exclusively for women. (The other was a woman by the name of Emma Esther Yang.) Documents, testimony and photographs all confirm that Hwang made her way to Malmö on April 28, 1945. Research reveals that she left Sweden for China in July 1945, but there ends her paper trail.

She had been deported to Ravensbrückin Germany toward the end of the warin 1944, for reasons we can only guess.While in the camp a friendship developed between Nadine and Rachel Krausz (a Jewish British-born woman) and her nine-year old daughter Irene, who isone of the main characters in Harbour of Hope. According to testimony given by Irene, Nadine helped them to get out of the camp. Years later, Irene named her own daughter Nadine as a token of appreciation for the aid she offered and the kindness she showed to Irene and her mother.

Prior to interment in Ravensbrück, Hwang had led a life most uncommon. She was the daughter of a Chinese Ambassador and was raised in China  and Spain. She became a lawyer andwas appointed honorary general ofthe Chinese Army in 1920, during the civil war. In the mid-1930s she moved to Paris and became the mistress of Natalie Clifford Barney, a very prominent figure with the Parisian salon set.

Irene Krausz-Fainman was born in Holland in 1935 and now lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. She has been haunted by memories of the camp for most of her life.

Harbour of Hope has been featured in countless film festivals including the UK Jewish Film Festival in November 2013 in London and the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival in December 2012. In fact, it was during a 2012 screening in Jerusalem when a woman afterwards raised her hand and identified herself as a baby in the film.

It was then that they realized it was still possible to continue the quest to document and preserve these stories.The filmmakers of this harrowing but life   are continuing to look for additional survivors who began their lives anew in Malmö for their ongoing testimony and memory project. They are relying on photographs,archival footage and passenger lists tohelp make these identifications. If youhave any information, particularly with respect to the group of survivors that arrived on April 28, 1945, please contact them at

Or, please see the Harbour of Hope site at to see how you can otherwise help provide information on Nadine Hwang or any of these other 30,000 survivors.

^back to top


COPYRIGHT Asian Jewish Life is the sole title published by Asian Jewish Life Ltd. © Copyright 2015. Written material and photographs in the magazine or on the website may not be used or reproduced in any form or in any way without express permission from the editor. • Click to contact us