Steven Spielberg popularized the story of Oskar Schindler in his Academy Award winning movie, The Schindler’s List. He could have easily did a movie on Chiune Sugihara instead.
Sugihara’s heroic story is told in the Huffington Post. He is a Japanese diplomat who disobeyed government orders and helped 6,000 Jews to escape from Nazi-occupied territories via Japan. Sugihara will be remembered on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
“Without him, many of the most accomplished minds of our world would not exist today. His legacy produced doctors, bankers, lawyers, authors, politicians, even the first Orthodox Jewish Rhodes Scholar,” said Richard Salomon, a board member of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center.
Here’s how it happened. Nazi troops were descending on Lithuania. Jews flocked to the Japanese consulate requesting visas for their escape. Sughihara issued thousands despite government orders from the Japanese consulate not to do so.
Sugihara would later be transferred out of Lithuania and eventually ended up imprisoned in a Soviet prison camp for 18 months.