Chiune Sugihara

Meet Chiune Sugihara, the “Japanese Schindler.”

During WW2, Sugihara was a Japanese diplomat for the Japanese Empire stationed in Kaunas, Lithuania. He acted on his own and helped provide transit visas to Jewish families in Poland and Lithuania, so the families could travel across Japan & escape to safety like the Dutch Caribbean.

Sugihara suffered greatly after going back to Japan. His position was taken from him and at one point he was selling light bulbs door to door.

An estimate is the Sugihara saved 6,000-10,000 lives but that number could be deflated because transit visas allowed families to travel on one visa.

Read more about Sugihara in the book, “Visas for Life,” by Yukiko Sugihara, Chiune’s second wife, & translated to English by Hiroki Sugihara, Chiune’s oldest son. Yukiko was at her husband’s side forging transit visas in Lithuania.

I call Sugihara a hero. Yet, he lost so much saving Jewish lives that so many of us would commend today. The larger question for me is why the #Holocaust was permitted, why did Sugihara need to provide visas to Jewish families, & why do we commend him today but he paid dearly for saving lives during WW2?

Inclusion matters. For more information about diversity in Hollywood movies, TV and streaming content, and how to write and live inclusively, check out my book, “How To Write Inclusively: An Analysis & How To Guide.


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