During World War ll, Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat served as vice-counsel in the Japanese consulate in Kaunas, Lithuania, disobeyed instructions from his own government and issued visas for Jews fleeing Nazi persecution from German-occupied Western Poland, Russian-occupied Eastern Poland, as well as Lithuanian residents. Sugihara issued more than 2,000 transit visas to Jewish refugees in 1940, continuing to sign the travel documents even after the Japanese consulate was closed down. Many of the visas were for entire families. As a result, it is estimated that Sugihara saved 6,000 Jews. Those 6,000 Jews have now an estimated 40,000 to 100,000 descendants. Sugihara’s “Jews” passage took them through Russia to Japan to Shanghai, China, and from there to the United States, Canada, Australia and elsewhere.
Sponsor: JGSCV of Conejo and Ventura and Temple Adat Elohim