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Georg F. Duckwitz
Hans & Sophie Scholl and the White Rose Movement
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Chiune Sugihara was a Japanese diplomat during World War 2. He was one of his father Yoshini and mother Yatsu Sugihara's five sons and one daughter. He was born in Yaotsu, Chubu region in Japan on January 1, 1900 and died on July 31, 1986.
During World War 2, Chiune Sugihara served as a vice-consul at the Japanese empire in the Republic of Lithuania. Aside from his duties at the empire, he was instructed to report on Soviet Russian and German troop movement.Chiune Sugihara helped roughly 6,000 Jews obtain visas into Japan, though the number was actually much higher as a house holder with a visa had the right to refuge their entire family to Japan. Most of the people he helped were Jews living in German occupied Poland and residents of Lithuania. Regardless of the instructions he'd been given, on July 18, 1940 Sugihara began writing visas for Jewish citizens on his own accord. He wrote thousands and thousands by hand, working 18-20 hours a day and doing more than a months worth of work each day. On September 4, 1940 Sugihara was made to leave his position as vice- consul as the Japanese empire was closing down. The night before his set departure Sugihara stayed up hand writing hundreds more visa transits. Upon his departure from Lithuania, he was writing visas and throwing them out of the train to desperate Jews on the platform. In an effort to write as many as he could, it came down to the consul stamp and his signature on a blank piece of paper that could later be turned into a visa. When finally he had to leave, he apologised to the crowd, that he had no time to write anymore. He was greatly thanked and never forgotten by the lucky Jews he went to such great lengths to save.
Aside from the risk of losing his job, had he ever been caught Sugihara would have faced the death penalty for himself and possibly his entire family, being in Lithuania, a Nazi occupied nation, he also could have been sent to a concentration camp. However, he discussed his plan to help the Jews with his wife and she too agreed it was the right thing to help and that she too would put her life on the line. Luckily, Sugihara was never caught, or punished in anyway. Infact, he was quoted saying.
" No one ever said anything about it, I remember thinking that they probably didnt realize how many I actually issued."
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