Popular Articles

His son, Nobuki Sugihara: “He thought he would be maybe saving only 2-3 people initially”

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

Click an icon above to share, email, or save this article

The son of the venerated Japanese diplomat who helped thousands of Jews escape Lithuania ahead of the Nazis, spoke at a park dedication in Israel honouring his father this week. (Photo: Supplied)

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

Click an icon above to share, email, or save this article

In a very heartfelt ceremony, Nobuki Sugihara, inaugurated a square in honour of his father, Chiune Sugihara (1900 -1986), who saved an estimated 4000 Jews in World War II.

Chiune Sugihara was the first Japanese diplomat posted in Lithuania. He felt great empathy for the plight of the refugees who had fled ahead of the German military advance. Seeing thousands who had nowhere to go, and with fleeing to Russia prohibited, in his role as deputy counsel he initiated using his position to assist the helpless.

In an undertaking at great risk to his own career and life, he issued 10 day transit visas so they could travel to the Dutch Island of Curacao in the Caribbean. Even after receiving instructions that a means test was to be applied to ensure travelers could finance their travel, he ignored the order and kept issuing visas to desperate Jews – even as he and his family were at the train station to leave Lithuania after Russia (by then in control of the country) ordered foreign embassies to close. Sugihara thereafter earned the nickname ‘The Japanese Schindler’ and in 1984 was recognized as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem.

Q: Mr. Sugihara, How do you feel knowing that your father has been revered by such a gesture? 

A: I don’t think my father thought of himself as a ‘hero’. I personally think of him as a man who took pity on the helpless, had empathy and just ‘Did the right thing’. 

Q: Isn’t it amazing how your father has been compared to Oskar Schindler?

A: He/ we do not like that comparison; Schindler also exploited desperate Jews and used them as ‘cheap labour’. One could even compare that to forced labour, taking advantage of peoples, or compare it to slavery even. You see, my father didn’t do that. 

Q: Can you please tell me about the square itself? 

A: It is part of a pre-existing park. It will take a few years for some of the fixtures to be complete. And, seeing a children’s playground metaphorically represents the fact that the generations that survived after the Holocaust era have thrived. Many other upgrades like a new car park and other facilities will be added in the future.   

Get thej.ca a Pro Israel Voice by Email. Never miss a top story that effects you, your family & your community

Q: How did it feel to see survivors and their descendants attend because of your father’s selfless act?

A: It feels very uplifting. My father thought he would be maybe saving only 2-3 people initially. However, that 2-3 eventually became 4000 – 6000 and they’re now saying that there are a high estimate of around 100 000 descendants of all these survivors today. They finally got to their motherland after enduring so much. 

Looking back, my father also came to visit me in Israel when I was a student and he did enjoy it. 

Q: I heard that you had issues with visa/ entry to Israel initially, how did you overcome that hurdle?

A: It was not a ‘visa’, it was an ‘entry permit’. But Yad Veshem, the Prime Minister and other individuals managed to sort that out.  I had all the necessary documents and so, they let me in ultimately.

Q: What was it like being back in Jerusalem?

A: It was good to be back. I’ve lived there; I studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem long ago. I have always visited a few times a year. It always feels like home.  

Avi Kumar is a historian of Sri Lankan descent who lives in New York.

He has a unique spin on current affairs.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

Click an icon above to share, email, or save this article

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

Click an icon above to share, email, or save this article

Read More

Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

cOMING SOON…….

Breaking News

Recent

Features

News

Current Events

Opinions

Politics

Religion

Culture

Memoriam and Obituaries

PodcastS

Terms and Conditions

Privacy Policy

About Us

Advertise with us

contact 

Subscribe Now

Receive the latest in community & international Jewish news direct to your inbox

© 2020 THEJ.CA, All Rights Reserved

Terms and Conditions

Privacy Policy

About Us

Advertise with us

contact 

Subscribe Now

Receive the latest in community & international Jewish news direct to your inbox

© 2020 THEJ.CA, All Rights Reserved

Subscribe Now

Receive the latest in community & international Jewish news direct to your inbox

Terms and Conditions

Privacy Policy

About Us

Advertise with us

contact 

© 2020 THEJ.CA, All Rights Reserved

Previous
Next