The son of Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara, who helped thousands of Jews flee Nazi persecution during World War Two, has met survivors his father saved and their descendants.
Sugihara worked at the Japanese consulate in Lithuania during the war. He is believed to have saved the lives of about 6,000 Jews by issuing transit visas against orders from Tokyo.
The late diplomat’s fourth son, Nobuki Sugihara, gave a talk on Wednesday at a Holocaust museum in New York.
Nobuki explained how his father issued the visas from a humanitarian standpoint when Jewish lives were in danger.
He said his father wanted to do what he could to help save lives. Nobuki also said his father wanted peace.
About 170 survivors and their descendants conveyed their gratitude to the diplomat’s son at the event.
A woman, whose father reached the United States thanks to the visa, said he always used to talk about Sugihara until his death at the age of 100. She said if it weren’t for Sugihara, neither she, nor her many relatives, would be here.
Speaking to NHK after the event, Nobuki said his father treated people with respect and did not discriminate against others. He said he wants people to learn that hatred based on discrimination is futile.
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