Son of 'Japanese Schindler' dedicates memorial in Jerusalem

Roughly 6,000 Jews were saved by Chiune Sugihara, Japanese ambassador to Lithuania in 1940, who granted them visas to travel to Japan and escape the Nazis.

February 16, 2019 06:06
1 minute read.
Nobuki Sugihara, son of Japanese diplomat, Chiune Sugihara

Nobuki Sugihara, son of Japanese diplomat, Chiune Sugihara (depicted in black and white picture), who helped saved thousands of Lithuanian Jews in World War 2, speaks during a street-naming ceremony in honour of his father in Netanya, Israel June 7, 2016.. (photo credit: BAZ RATNER/REUTERS)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


The story of Oskar Schindler, the German industrialist who saved hundreds of Jews from death in the Holocaust and honored by Yad Vashem as a "Righteous Among the Nations," is one of the most well known episodes in Holocaust history.

Less well known is the story of the "Japanese Schindler," Chiune Sugihara, who according to estimates saved roughly 6,000 Lithuanian Jews simply by granting them visas.
Sugihara was Japan's ambassador to Lithuania in 1940, when the Germans invaded the country. Jews came to the Japanese consulate in the hope of obtaining visas to escape the Nazis. The Japanese government denied Sugihara's request to grant them visas, but he decided to disobey the order and grant them anyway. 

He was able to print and stamp about 2,000 family visas, on which multiple people could travel, before he was forced to leave Kaunas (at that time the Lithuanian capital). According to witnesses, he kept writing visas on his way to the train, and when he ran out of time he threw papers stamped with the consulate seal and his signature out the train window, so that refugees in the following crowd could write the visas on their own.

Once he returned to Japan, he was fired by the government for disobediance.
A report on Israel's Kan News followed Sugihara's son, Nobuki, at a dedication of a plaque for his father at the Chamber of the Holocaust, a small museum on Mt. Zion in Jerusalem.

The elder Sugihara was recognized as a Righteous Among the Nations in 1985. He refused a monetary award from the Israeli government, but he agreed to accept a scholarship for his son to study in Jerusalem.

"My father didn't tell me anything [about his work in Lithuania] when I was a child," said Nobuki in Hebrew in an interview with Kan. He was 19 years old when he discovered what his father did. 

After asking his father what he thought when he was granting the visas, Chiune replied that he only hoped that one or two Jewish refugees would escape from the situation in Europe.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

July 22, 2019
UK Jewish students visit Israel with JNF-UK to strengthen their connection to Israel


Cookie Settings