Shanghai refuge

Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 22.38.00Where Dalrymple’s aunt and grandparents went

Dalrymple’s maternal grandparents were refugees in Shanghai, but, he writes,

they died at the end of the war and are (I believe) buried there.

Dalrymple was surprised to discover after his mother’s death that she had received letters in England from them throughout the war. He quotes a sentence from one of the letters to her from her father in Shanghai:

It is a beautiful spring morning and the sun is shining brightly, but there is no sun bright enough to penetrate the dark clouds that are covering the whole earth.

Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 22.48.35Dalrymple’s grandfather

went on to express the belief that one day the clouds would clear, but his hope was clearly less strong and more hypothetical than his despair, the reasons for which were all too real and evident. He died at just about the time the clouds were clearing, in 1945, but had he remained in China he soon would have seen them gather again.

Dalrymple’s mother’s sister,

who was also a refugee in Shanghai and learned good Chinese, never wanted to talk about her past and it did not seem right to badger her into doing so.

Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 23.09.54

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