Stefanie SCHERR (Swinburne University of Technology/Melbourne), Waiting at the Gates of Hong Kong: Russian Refugees in Hong Kong during the 1950s and 1960s, English/30 Pages, October 2011.


A wave of thousands of Russian refugees migrated from mainland China through Hong Kong during the 1950s and 1960s. The resettlement of these Russian migrants was fraught with difficulties. For more than two decades they were stranded in Hong Kong hoping for resettlement in Western countries such as the United States, Brazil, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand.

The Russian refugees experienced their migration through Hong Kong as a waiting period and a time of transition on their way to respective countries of resettlement. Life stories, biographical and archival documents described this waiting period as a situation of ambivalence and uncertainty, but also as a moment of agency and resistance. The migration experience of the Russian refugees provided insight into Hong Kong’s refugee policy after the Second World War and highlighted the relief work of the UNHCR and various voluntary agencies such as the World Council of Churches.