TIL Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat in Lithuania during WWII, saved 3000-6000 Jewish lives by unlawfully issuing transit visas so...


TIL Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat in Lithuania during WWII, saved 3000-6000 Jewish lives by unlawfully issuing transit visas so that they could travel to Japanese territory, risking his career and his family’s lives.



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  • >Sugihara continued to hand-write visas, reportedly spending 18–20 hours a day on them, producing a normal month’s worth of visas each day, until 4 September, when he had to leave his post before the consulate was closed. By that time he had granted thousands of visas to Jews, many of whom were heads of households and thus permitted to take their families with them. According to witnesses, he was still writing visas while in transit from his hotel and after boarding the train at the Kaunas Railway Station, throwing visas into the crowd of desperate refugees out of the train’s window even as the train pulled out

    >In final desperation, blank sheets of paper with only the consulate seal and his signature (that could be later written over into a visa) were hurriedly prepared and flung out from the train. As he prepared to depart, he said, “Please forgive me. I cannot write anymore. I wish you the best.” When he bowed deeply to the people before him, someone exclaimed, “Sugihara. We’ll never forget you. I’ll surely see you again!”

    That is some immense dedication to helping those people

  • It’s kind of interesting that a Japanese man saved many Jews from Nazi Germany, while a [Nazi German](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Rabe) saved many Chinese from the Japanese army in Nanking.

  • The Nazis repaid the favor with [John Rabe.](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Rabe)

  • “You want to know about my motivation, don’t you? Well. It is the kind of sentiments anyone would have when he actually sees refugees face to face, begging with tears in their eyes. He just cannot help but sympathize with them. “

  • Inspiring. But sad that his life afterward was difficult, and he didn’t live to receive his honors and recognition.

  • I hope these jews didn’t end up in Hiroshima or Nagasaki

  • weeping as i read this wikipedia page. thank you for sharing! what an amazing story.

  • But certainly killing countless Japanese civilians in most agonizing ways was still blameless due to their general monstrousness and fanaticism?

  • As for the Chinese and Koreans’ treatment by Japan, he and the Jewish people he saved were just fine with it.

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