In conjunction with NSW Parliamentary Friends of Israel and the Embassy of Israel, the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies arranged an exhibition, produced on behalf of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, titled “Beyond Duty” at NSW Parliament House in February 2020, identifying 34 diplomats who have been declared Righteous Among The Nations. The panels were based on materials and research provided by Yad Vashem.

The Board of Deputies was informed by a member of the community that one of the panels contained an inaccuracy. Yad Vashem has acknowledged the inaccuracy and expressed its regret. The “China panel” named Ho Feng Shan, Consul for the Republic of China in Vienna, during the period after the Anschluss in 1938. Ho provided visas to mainly Austrian Jews so that they could obtain exit permits from the Nazis. The Chinese visas allowed entry to Shanghai, either in transit to elsewhere, or as it turned out, as a place of longer-term wartime refuge; they also allowed for onward travel in China and to Japanese-occupied Manchukuo and its main city, Harbin. The images on the panel show Ho as consul and later standing by his name carved in a memorial stone for the Righteous Among The Nations at Yad Vashem. A third image purports to be a copy of a Ho visa for transit through Shanghai for a refugee from Vienna.

Yad Vashem acknowledges that the visa displayed in the panel was placed there in error. It was issued for a Jewish refugee, on behalf of the Manchuko regime, by a diplomat who has not been recognised as Righteous Among The Nations. We have been informed by Yad Vashem that the panel in question will henceforth include a photograph of an authenticated visa issued by Ho.

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies