KehilaLinks Logo. Harbin,
Heilongjiang PROVINCE,

Harbin is the capital of the modern province of Heilongjiang (literally Black Dragon River), People's Republic of China. That province is one of three provinces in the region of Dongbei (“东北”, literally East North in Mandarin), formerly known as Manchuria

Harbin was originally a Manchu word meaning "a place for drying fishing nets". Today the city is known for its magnificent winter ice and snow sculptures and is a thriving industrial center. It lies 642 air miles (1,033 km) north-northeast of Beijing, the Chinese capital, along the southern bank of the Songhua River (Sungari in Russian), a tributary of the Heilong River (Amur in Russian).  The Heilong is one of the three major rivers in China and marks part of China's northeastern border with Russia.

View Harbin via MapQuest at Latitude 45°73´N, Longitude 126°61´E (MapQuest Coordinates).
Then click your browser's "Back" button to return here.  Or click here for the map in a new browser window.

Isak Grigori (Itzko Gershevich) Clurman stands on the coal pile of his Harbin lumberyard in the 1930s.
The city's New Synagogue is visible in the background

Background Information

Pictures and Maps

Personal Stories

    • Yaacov (Yana) Liberman -- Excerpts from My China: Jewish Life in the Orient 1900-1950
    • Mara Moustafine -- My Family and Its City: Fifty Years in Harbin 1909-1959, Text with Photos and Charts,
      Link to Mara's Web Site
    • Max Star -- Excerpts from In the Lion's Den 
    • Robert Skidelsky -- "A Chinese Homecoming", Prospect Magazine, January 2006
    • Reuvim Traub -- His 1923 Letter from Harbin to his Father
    • Bob Sitsky -- Excerpts from Growing Up in Tientsin
    • Mikhail Rinsky --  Jewish Tragedy in Inner Mongolia. English translation of accounts of the Japanese occupation
      from members of the Jewish community of Hailar, west of Harbin on the Chinese Eastern Railway.
    • Irene Clurman -- Reclaiming My Russian-Chinese Heritage
    • Dara Horn -- Cities of Ice, a dispatch from frozen Harbin, where Jews once flourished—and melted away

Searchable Databases (Use the "Back" button on your browser to return here.)

    • JewishGen Family Finder (JGFF) for Harbin
      A database of ancestral towns and surnames currently being researched by Jewish genealogists worldwide.

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Compiled by Irene Clurman and Vincent Prichard
Updated on 1 June 2024
Copyright © 2007-2024 Irene Clurman. All Rights Reserved.
Web Design by Vincent Prichard

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