- Sugihara, Sempo
- (1900–1986)Sugihara was the Japanese consul-general in Kaunas (Kovno), Lithuania, who with the Dutch consul Jan Zwartendijk issued entry visas from their respective countries that allowed thousands of Jews to pass through the Soviet Union and Japan toward their destination to colonies in the Dutch East Indies. The Soviets had made the visas a condition for allowing refugees who fled the German army to travel by train across Siberia to Vladivostok. The Japanese government, however, refused to allow the issuance of the visas, and after repeatedly being denied his request for the passports, Sugihara issued them himself. Sugihara was punished for his action and was forced to resign from the Japanese Foreign Service in disgrace.Most of the Jews who used the Sugihara visas ended up in Japan for a short time but spent much of the war in Shanghai, although none made it to the Dutch colony of Curacao, which was their original destination. Included among those saved by the efforts of both Zwartendijk and Sugihara were the 400 Talmudic scholars of the Mirrer Yeshiva (house of study). The Talmudic academy was the only one from Eastern Europe to survive the war intact.See also Righteous Gentiles.
Historical dictionary of the Holocaust. Jack R. Fischel. 2014.