Thursday, October 21, 2010

"Old photos reveal tale of Japan and Jews of WWII"

From today's Japan Today:


The photos were found in an old diary owned by Osako, who was a young employee of the Japan Tourist Bureau at the time, and died in 2003. Akira Kitade, who worked under Osako and is researching a book about him, has contacted Israeli officials for help and visited the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.
The museum said he gave it about 30 photographs that he is trying to identify, and received a list of over 2,000 Jews who received travel papers that enabled them to reach Japan. 

The photos shed further light on the story of Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat stationed in Lithuania who granted transit visas to several thousand Jews in the early days of the war. In doing so, he defied strict stipulations from Tokyo that such recipients have proper funds and a clear final destination after Japan.

Dubbed the “Japanese Schindler,” Sugihara was honored in 1985 by Yad Vashem as one of the Righteous Among the Nations, a high honor reserved for non-Jews who saved Jews at their own personal risk from the Holocaust, Hitler’s destruction of 6 million Jews.
A short movie about him, “Visas and Virtue,” won an Academy Award in 1997. Museums at his home town and in Lithuania are dedicated to his memory.

Read the whole story:

See an online exhibition, "Flight and Rescue," at United States Holocaust Museum webpage:

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