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Originally privileged by the "Unequal Treaties" and housed in the International Settlement and French Concession away from the Chinese city in the 1800s, they lost most of their status during and after the Japanese occupation of Shanghai in World War II. A 1943 Sino-British Friendship Treaty abandoned the treaty port system, and by this time most American, British, and Dutch Shanghailanders had been deported to concentration camps by the Japanese.
The concessions' extraterritorial zones proved a haven, however, to refugee Jews lacking visas. World War II saw a community of about 18,000 develop, principally from Germany and Austria. After World War II, the majority moved on to the United States or Israel. See History of the Jews in China for more.
- Bickers, Robert (1998). Shanghailanders: The Formation and Identity of the British Settler Community in Shanghai 1843-1937. In: Past and Present.
- Journal of Modern Asian Studies 30, 2 (1996), Death of a Young Shanghailander: The Thorburn Case and the Defence of the British Treaty Ports in China in 1931. R. A. Bickers. (pp. 271–300.)