Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat in Lithuania, knew he had to do the right thing and save as many people as possible, saying, ‘I may have to disobey my government, but if I do not, I will disobey God.’
As the Soviet Union occupied sovereign Lithuania in 1940, many Jewish refugees from Poland, as well as Lithuanian Jews, tried to acquire exit visas.
One man, Chiune Sugihara, a low-level diplomat who worked in the Japanese embassy in Lithuania, risked his life to save thousands of strangers.
Aware that applicants were in danger if they stayed behind, Sugihara decided to grant visas on his own. He ignored the requirements and issued thousands of visas, in violation of his orders.
In 1985, Israel named him to the Righteous Among the Nations for his actions, the only Japanese national to be so honored.
This is his remarkable story.
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