JTA NEWS
19 November 2017 - 2 Kislev 5778 - ב' כסלו ה' אלפים תשע"ח
JTA NEWS :
Japan’s “Schindler” granddaughter visits Australia E-mail

The granddaughter of Japan’s “Schindler”, diplomat Chiune Sugihara, paid a special visit to the Sydney Jewish Museum last month to meet the descendants of those whom Chiune “Sempo” Sugihara saved.

Madoka Sugihara travelled from Japan with her daughter Oriha, and gave a presentation about her grandfather, who helped save tens of thousands of lives during WWII, risking his life in the process.

“My grandfather issued visas according to his conscience,” Madoka told the small gathering. “I was surprised to hear the stories from my grandmother and father before my grandfather died because I never heard it from him.”

Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat who saved thousands of Lithuanian Jews from the Holocaust by issuing transit visas so they could travel through Japanese territory. He was a Japanese government official who served as vice-consul for the Japanese Empire in Lithuania, and had been ordered by his government not to issue visas.

In 1985, Israel honoured Mr Sugihara as one of the Righteous Among the Nations for his actions.

Oriha read out a passage her great-grandfather wrote in 1978: “I admit that I myself agonised over the decision all night after receiving the orders. After much struggle and torment, I ultimately reached the conclusion that humanity and compassion come first. I risked my career and duly executed my mission without hesitation. I’m confident even now that I did the right thing.”

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