Shanghai, China, 1930s. You can see the "coolies" carrying people in their rickshaws. Their lives were often worse than death. Very poor and treated like the dregs of society by the the other citizens.
“The last days of Shanghai,” a portrait of a city full of Western influence; American neon-lit dive bars on every corner, shops and businesses advertised in English and western ex-pat communities going about their daily lives in the midst of a war-torn China. This is a photograph of Jack Birns, the LIFE photojournalist who remained on assignment for two years until Shanghai fell to communist forces in May 1949.