Japanese Diplomat Saved Thousands During Holocaust

Japanese Diplomat Saved Thousands During Holocaust

Some compare him to Oskar Schindler, but supporters say Chiune Sugihara "even more impressive."

Chiune Sugihara was a Japanese Diplomat working as Vice Consul for the Empire of Japan in Lithuania. During World War II, he helped more than six thousand Jews escape to Japan by issuing transit visas, risking his own life and that of his family. Most of the Jews who fled were refugees from German occupied Poland and Lithuania. Sugihara came to know Judaism through a young boy named Solly Ganor. Solly and his family unfortunately suffered the brutality of the Holocaust even though they were issued visas to escape Lithuania.

In this very moving story, Chiune Sugihara is remembered by a handful of the Jews who he saved. They tell their stories in Hebrew, translated to English via Subtitles. Nina Admoni, one of the refugees said in the film she is alive today surrounded by her children and grandchildren only because of Sugihara. The rest of her relatives who stayed behind were murdered in the Holocaust.

Another person in the film said that there is so much information that needs to be told about Sugihara. He didn’t just save 6,000 Jewish Souls. He allowed the visas that were handed to the Jewish Refugees to be copied so that more Jews could be added to the list. He gave the visa stamps away and made sure that the Russian Soldiers looked the other way, when the Jews came through the Russian border on their way to Japan.

All the persons interviewed said that without Sugihara’s help, none of them nor their families would be alive today. In 1985, one year before his death, Sugihara was honored as a Righteous Gentile in Israel’s Holocaust Museum, Yad Vashem.

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