Chiune “Sempo” Sugihara, The Japanese Diplomat Who Saved 6000 Jews.

by Daniel Russ on May 24, 2013




Chiune Shugihara was a Japanese diplomat during the build up of the Second World War. His position was inside the Lithuathian Consulate of Japan. Lithuanian Jews were getting the news that Jews were being killed by Germans and Russians and so they began petitioning the Japanese Consulate to help them escape. The Japanese authorities refused, but Sugihara, also known as “Sempo”, (This was easier for people to pronounce) wrote visas anyway. He was moved by the Jews at the Consulate fence begging for egress and instead wrote visas for 6000 Jews. The idea was to file paperwork that would indicate they were headed for the Soviet Union, but the plan was to hide them in the Dutch prefecture Curacao.


He wrote as many visas as he could, and employed his wife to help as well. When he was stripped of his position and a train was sent for him, he filled out applications many just with his stamp, documents that could be filled out later. He threw them out of the window of the train for Jews to pick up. Because he wrote visas to heads of households, they were allowed to bring their entire families with them. It is believed that 40,000 Jewish descendants are alive because of his actions.


Israel recognized him as one the righteous among nations in 1985. 



Sources: The Holocaust Chronicle, Louis Weber, Publications International LTD; wikipedia.




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