The Japanese Schindler
Posted on April 21, 2016
A man described as the Japanese Schindler, Chiune Sugihara, is depicted on the lower left postage stamp on this Lithuanian postal cover …
Chiune Sugihara (杉原 千畝 Sugihara Chiune, 1 January 1900 – 31 July 1986) was a Japanese diplomat who served as Vice-Consul for the Empire of Japan in Lithuania. During World War II, he helped 6,000 Jews to leave the country by issuing transit visas so that they could travel to Japanese territory, risking his career and his family’s lives.
Chiune “Sempo” Sugihara and his second wife
The Jews who escaped were refugees from German-occupied Western Poland or Russian-occupied Eastern Poland, as well as residents of Lithuania. In 1985, Israel named him to the Righteous Among the Nations for his actions, the only Japanese national to be so honored.
The office of Chiune Sugihara, Kaunas, Lithuania
Sugihara was never the subject of a Hollywood blockbuster, but was the subject of a short film that won the 1997 Academy Award for ‘Best Live Action Short Film’ …
Chris Tashima as Chiune Sugihara (above and below)
As Gerard of Typecasting in China fame previously told us, there was also a “Chinese Schindler”.
Born in Hunan Province, Ho Feng Shan became a diplomat in the service of China. Between 1938 and 1940, while Consul General in Vienna, Austria, Dr Ho rescued thousands of Jews from the Holocaust by issuing visas to Shanghai and other documents. Ingoring the orders of superiors, and at risk to his career and personal safety, he acted with steadfast courage when most would not.