Biography On Sugihara As A Hero And Savior To Many.

1193 words - 5 pages

Sugihara and His Heroic ActionsThere are many lessons to be learned from Sugihara, among them that not always are the apparent right thing the correct thing to do. Of the many extant heroes, Sugihara is one of the great ones because he risked his life to help others for no reward. He only did what he felt was the right thing to do. Chiune Sugihara was a Japanese consul who risked his life while saving six thousand Jews from the terrorism of the Nazis, by issuing visas against the government's will. Chiune Sugihara led a courageous life from the start .He was born on January 1, 1900, in Yaotso, Gifu Pref., and died on July 31, 1986. He graduated from high school with top marks and was greatly encouraged by his father to become a medical doctor. However, Chiune dreamed about studying literature and living out of the country. Sugihara went to Tokyo's prominent Waseda University to study English. By working part-time as a longshoreman and tutor, he was able to pay for his own education. He went to the Japanese language institute in Harbin, China, where he studied Russian and graduated with honors. He also converted to Greek Orthodox Christianity and married a Caucasian woman. "He then served with the Japanese-controlled government in Manchuria, in northeastern China. He was later promoted to Vice Minister of the Foreign Affairs Department. He was soon in line to be the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Manchuria."(Jewish Virtual library) However he didn't agree with his government's policy and the brutal management of the Chinese bothered Sugihara. Therefore in 1934, out of protest, he resigned. At the beginning of the war in 1939 the Japanese government sent Sugihara to open a one-man consulate in Lithuania. Six months later as war broke, out the Soviet Union took control of Lithuania and ordered all consulates to close. It was there that Saguhari was faced with the biggest dilemma of his life.When the Germans invaded Poland lots of Jews escaped to Lithuania. The Jews there were given the opportunity to go to two Dutch colonial islands since they did not require formal entry visas. They needed to pass through the Soviet Union in order to escape and would only be able to do so if they acquired transit visas for Japan since they would be passing through Japan as well."On a summer morning in late July 1940, Consul Sugihara and his family awakened to a crowd of Polish Jewish refugees gathered outside the consulate. Desperate to flee the approaching Nazis, the refugees knew that their only path lay to the east." (Jewish Virtual library) They also knew that if Sugihara would grant them the Japanese transit visas they would be able to acquires Soviet exit visas, which would mean to them potential liberty. Sugihara was not authorized to give out the transit visas without acquiescence from the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo. However, after requesting permission three times, he was denied. The Japanese Consul in Tokyo wired:CONCERNING TRANSIT VISAS REQUESTED...

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