22 January 2020 - 25 Tevet 5780 - כ"ה טבת ה' אלפים תש"פ
Chiune Sugihara honoured as a saviour of Yeshiva students E-mail

During an event commemorating International Remembrance Day in January at Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, Chiune Sugihara was posthumously honoured at a ceremony in a joint initiative of the IsraelClaims Conference and Limmud FSU, an international Jewish education organisation.

The event honoured the man who saved so many – close to 6,000 Jews – an act that has been officially recognised and honoured. In an attendance was his son Nabuki Sugihara, who said: “He saw human beings in danger and he decided to help them.”

Chiune Sugihara was the Japanese vice consul in Lithuania during WWII, issued visas to Lithuanian Jews for transit through Japan, saving thousands in the process. Then an independent state, Lithuania was overtaken by the Nazis, who began their policy of transferring Jews to the death camps.

Sugihara, who, according to his son, knew practically nothing about the Jews and their history, felt he couldn’t just ignore what he saw. “He saw on the first day 20 people, Jews, standing in front of his office, waiting for a sign to get some help,” recalled the son. “On the following day, they were 30, and then 40 and so on. He just couldn’t stay there and do nothing.”

Nabuki revealed that his father, who died in 1986, never spoke about what happened when he was consul, but that “today it is known in Japan, his action is told, more people know and learn about it.”

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