Macau During World War II

The Crossroads in Macau

Macau provided refuge for those fleeing the advancing war.

Years:  1941 — 1949

Macau became a refugee center during World War II in the Pacific, when its population soared from 200,000 to about 1 million in a short time. When Hong Kong was invaded by the Japanese in December, 1941, many Macanese found shelter in Macau, provided by the Portuguese Government there despite food shortages and the growing influx of Chinese refugees.

After World War II, another surge of Macanese arrived from Shanghai when the city was liberated by the advancing Chinese Communist Army in 1949.

After these major events, families were looking for a more stable place to live and raise their children. Many chose to go back to Portugal, others to emigrate to Brazil or Australia, with a large number choosing to pursue the American Dream in the U.S.. These mainly chose California.

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