1941: The Last Year of ‘Our’ East Asia by Tom Crichton
Shanghai, China, December 31, 1940: The wild, wicked, and bizarre International Settlement is ready to celebrate its final New Year under the control of white men. By the following year, it will be in Japanese hands, and its white ‘masters’ will be their prisoners.
The author is invited to the mysterious Soviet Club, about which few ‘Shanghai-landers’ know anything. At that date, the Soviet Union is the most widely hated country in the world and Soviet citizens in Shanghai are pariahs. Surprisingly, the guests of honor are the Nazi German leaders in the Settlement and a surprise guest, Hitler’s World War I officer-Captain Fritz Weideman, is expected to land from South America to assert new German authority in China over the objections of her Axis ally Japan. Weideman is blocked by British Intelligence and is a no-show, but Communist Russians and Nazi Germans party until dawn.
Shanghai puts on a saturnalia unique even in its history with record alcohol sales and nightclub attendance while a record 500 homeless beggars freeze in the streets.
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