Kissinger’s niece portrays Jewish refugee in China
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Kissinger’s niece portrays Jewish refugee in China

Sivan Kaynar Kissinger stars in Chinese musical about real-life Jewish family who fled Nazi Germany to Shanghai

Sivan Kaynar Kissinger sings a number from 'Shimmer' (Channel 2 news)
Sivan Kaynar Kissinger sings a number from 'Shimmer' (Channel 2 news)

A new Chinese musical theater production tells the story of a Jewish refugee’s escape from Nazi Germany to Shanghai, and stars none other than the niece of former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger.

Rina Sharon and her family were one of the last Jewish families to manage to leave Germany after the Nazis’ rise to power, Channel 2 reported Friday. The family reached Shanghai, one of the only locations to accept Jews fleeing persecution: Around 20,000 Jews found shelter there during the war. Sharon’s family spent 10 years in China, before immigrating to Israel.

“They were very good and kind to us,” Sharon recounted. “You didn’t feel anything like anti-Semitism there.”

Israeli actress Sivan Kaynar Kissinger, who portrays Sharon in the production, “Shimmer,” said it was her uncle who inadvertently gave the play’s Chinese director the idea for the play.

“A few years ago the director saw an interview with Henry, where he said…that if one day someone were to tell the story of the Chinese, how they saved the Jews, it would be as powerful as two atomic bombs.”

Former United States secretary of state, Henry Kissinger visits Fox Business Network at FOX Studios on December 18, 2015 in New York City. (John Lamparski/Getty Images via JTA)
Henry Kissinger. (John Lamparski/Getty Images via JTA)

The production, with its 40 Chinese actors, is now in Israel, where it hopes to find an audience.

Sharon said she hoped the play would raise awareness and appreciation for the Chinese and their aid to the Jews during World War II.

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