Chiune Sugihara (杉原千畝) [1900-1986] -Japanese Official – Hero or Villain?

CHIUNE SUGIHARA (杉原千畝) [1900-1986]

The ‘Japanese Schindler’ and one Australian family’s tug-of-war with the national archives

Translator’s Note: The history of WWII is complicated and complex. Its breadth and scope is vast, often contradictory and as inspiring as it is repulsive! This was a time of stark ideology (everyone knew what they believed and why), and willingness to fight and die for these beliefs. Of course, it was also the time mass murder and death destruction on an industrial scale. Around 34 million people were killed by Nazi Germany and her Axis allies in the Soviet Union. Around 60 million were killed in China by the imperial Japanese Army between 1931-1945, and around 11 million people were systematically murdered in the Nazi German Death Camps – 6 million Jews and 5 million Communists, Slavs, Homosexuals, Protestants, Catholics, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Romany, Dissidents and the Disabled).

Soviet Stamp Celebrating Russian Jewry (1933)

Without the sacrifice of the Soviet people and the Soviet Red Army in the East – it is unlikely that the Western Allies could have secured a military victory when they did in the West (in 1944). The Holocaust would have gone on unabated and millions more would have died – perhaps seeing the genocide of the majority of Jewish people. This fact is often ignored in modern Israel amongst historians who perpetuate a right-wing Zionist narrative. This narrative aligns itself with the US re-writing of history (ahistorical ‘fake’ history) that states the USSR was just as bad as Nazi Germany.

Jewish Women – Soviet Red Army (1943)

Without the agreement of the USSR – Chiune Sugihara and his wife – could not have saved the 6000 Jewish people they did. This action alone put his life and the life of his wife at risk and means they were both heroes who worked with the USSR. The USSR – and Joseph Stalin – was heroic also. Although the NKVD – the Police in Soviet Russia tasked with ‘protecting’ the Revolution – is often vilified in the anti-Soviet narratives of the West, as a powerful organisation it carried-out the vital mission (directed by Joseph Stalin) of rescuing the Jews whom Chiune Sugihara provided with travel Visas. I would say that the Zionist habit of white-washing the USSR out of the history of ‘rescuing Jews’ from the Nazi German Holocaust amounts to a deliberate crime of historical misrepresentation. The USSR cut-off diplomatic relations with Israel in 1952 due to the terroristic behaviour of Israeli diplomats and Israeli Intelligence. These relations were restored in 1956 – but were cut-off for good following the1967 Six Day War, which the Soviets perceived as an aggressive ‘land grab’ by the Isrealis packaged as an act of ‘self-defence’. In 1975 the UN – after a long investigation – declared the ideology of ‘Zionism’ to be ‘racist’ and a form of ‘White Supremacy’ developed by secular, middle-class Jews living in 1880s Germany. This explains the background to the Zionist misrepresentation of Soviet history.

Imperial Japanese War Crimes – Unit 731 Slowly Cuts a Conscious Chinese Man to Pieces (1931-1945)

On the other hand, a very dear friend of mine currently living in Eastern Europe informed me today that Chiune Sugihara is often depicted as a ‘Saint’ within Orthodox Christianity. So far, so good. However, the fact that Chiune Sugihara felt compelled to ‘hide’ his participation in the Imperial Japanese puppet-government of Manchukuo (i.e. ‘Manchuria’ in Northeast China), is suspicious. What did he have to hide? If he had done nothing wrong, then why go to such deceptive ends to conceal the past? As a member of the Imperial Japanese government – did he ‘agree’ with the policy of subjugating the racially ’inferior’ Chinese (as the Japanese declared them) whilst supporting Russia and defending the Jewish people? Did he know about the human-experiments carried-out by Unit 731?

Imperial Japanese War Crime – Unit 731 – Manchuria (1931-1945)

Did he know about the medical-experiments that involved teams of Japanese surgeons cutting open a Chinese man, woman or child – to see how long the human body can survive whilst the individual is dismembered whilst being fully conscious? Did he know that Soviet POWs were used in their thousands as a means to test ‘new’ Japanese terror-weapons such as gas, nerve gas and various type of high-explosives? All this depravity happened throughout Manchukuo under the authority and guidance of the Japanese officials (of which Chiune Sugihara was one). These are issues the reader must ponder for themselves and make their own mind up about. ACW (13.12.2020) 

Distinguished Russian Jewish Gentlemen

Also phonetically written as ‘Tiune Sugihara’ in the Roman alphabet: born – January 1 1900 – died 31 July 1986 – aged 86-years-old – in Japan. He was a Japanese diplomat who represented the Japanese Empire in Lithuania. He helped more than 6,000 Polish and Lithuanian Jews who fled Nazi German persecution to leave the country by issuing Japanese transit visas (without an order from Tokyo) – which allowed them to travel to the Far East through the territory of the USSR. For his contribution to the salvation of Jews from the Nazis, he was awarded the ‘Righteous Among the Nations’ award. 

Chiune Sugihara – is Considered a Saint within Orthodox Christianity

He was born in 1900 – the son of Yoshimizu and Yatsu Sugihara. His father wanted his son to become a Doctor, but Chiune refused this – deliberately failing the entrance exams for medical school.In 1918 he entered Waseda University, where he studied English literature. However, he could not complete his studies due to lack of funds. In 1919 he passed an examination for a scholarship from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Sugihara was sent to Harbin (in China), at that time the progressive centre of Russian emigration, to study the Russian language. 

The Japanese transit visa, which is currently held in the National Archives of Australia, that Chiune Sugihara issued to Mark Margolin in 1940 that allowed him and his family to escape Europe.

In 1924 he began work at the Japanese Embassy in Harbin. This is where Chiune became acquainted with the teachings of the Russian Orthodox Church – which so impress him that he is baptized with the name Paul (according to other sources, Paul was the name of the priest who baptized him, and Chiune received the baptismal name Sergius). In 1924 he married the ethnic Russian woman named ‘Klavdia Semyonovna Apollonova’. They were divorced in 1935. After graduation, Sugihara worked at the Japanese Foreign Ministry, and then at the Manchukuo Foreign Ministry – reaching the post of Deputy Foreign Minister. He participated in the negotiations with the USSR regarding the purchase of the Chinese Eastern Railway by the Imperial Japanese. In 1936 he married Yukiko Kikuchi, who bore him three children. Under the influence of her husband, Yukiko converted to Orthodoxy. In 1938 he worked at the Japanese Embassy in Helsinki.In March 1939, Sugihara was appointed vice consul in Kaunas, then the capital of Lithuania, where he became the first Japanese diplomat. 

A Distinugished Gentleman

After the German attack on Poland (September 1, 1939) – and the outbreak of the Second World War – many Jews fled from the Germans to Lithuania. Most of them tried desperately to move further away from the impending war, but most of Europe was already occupied by the Nazis, and most of the rest of the countries banned the entry of Jewish refugees.  Several people developed the following scheme for the salvation of Jews. Although Holland was already occupied, the colonies were still under the rule of the Queen of the Netherlands. A Dutch businessman (who traded in Philips electrical goods originally founded by a relative of Karl Marx) – Consul of the Netherlands in Lithuania since 1939 Jan Zwartendijk – (in some sources mistakenly Zwartendijk) issued Certificates to Jews so that entry visa were not required to enter the Dutch colony of Curacao, which served as a Visa substitute. Soviet diplomats agreed to let people with such pseudo-Visas travel freely (with assistance) whilst travelling through the USSR, but only on the condition that they also receive a Japanese transit Visa, since in the Far East they could leave the USSR only through Japan. These Japanese transit Visas were issued by Chiune Sugihara. Without the direct support of Joseph Stalin (who personally assessed this request and granted its enacting) this escape root could not have functioned. A number of modern Jewish writers (no doubt constructing history whilst under the influence of the anti-Socialist ideology of ‘Zionism’), ‘omit’ all mention of the Soviet collaboration in this rescue mission. Some escaping Jews decided to stay in the USSR – stating that they were finally ‘free’ of anti-Semitism for the first time in their lives – even joining the Red Army, but this narrative does not fit-in with contemporary Israeli disinformation about the USSR. 

Heroic Postage Stamp

With the outbreak of World War II, a stream of Jewish refugees from Poland poured into Lithuania. They hoped to move further – to Palestine and the United States. On May 26, 1940, the People’s Commissar for Railways – Lazar Kaganovich – received an appeal from the Lithuanian government to the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Affairs with a request to allow about 5,000 Jews to transit from Vilna to Palestine. However, to move to Palestine, the consent of Great Britain was required (which was refused by Winston Churchill), so the Far East passage through the USSR to Japan and then on to China or the USA – soon became the main escape route. In June 1940, Lithuania was annexed by the USSR. In July 1940, foreign diplomats were required to leave the country. Sugihara, who spoke Russian, managed to negotiate with the new government delay of one month in order to complete his diplomatic affairs. Having received instructions from the Japanese Foreign Ministry to issue Visas only to those who met the formal criteria and had the necessary amount of money, Sugihara ignored these instructions and issued a much larger number of Visas. 

A Striking Couple!

From July 31 to August 28, 1940, Sugihara was only concerned with issuing Visas to refugees escaping Nazi German tyranny. He soon ran out of Visa forms and continued handwriting Visas with the help of his wife. He spent all his time writing Visas, working 18-20 hours a day. In total, he issued, according to some estimates, 2,139 Visas. Considering that the Visa was issued for a family, we can assume that thanks to him, about 6 thousand people left. As calculated today, the total number of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of refugees rescued by diplomats from Japan and Holland and transported in transit through the USSR – exceeded 50,000 persons. When Chiune and Yukiko vacated their mansion – closing the Consulate, they rented a hotel room for three more days and continued to affix Visas. Even sitting in the compartment of the train to Berlin, he wrote out Visas and handed them to Jews waiting outside the window. And when the train started, the diplomat handed the Consular Stamp through the window to the remaining refugees – and they continued the procedure without him, forging the signature. At least 400 Visas with fake signatures ‘worked’ on the Japanese border. 

Imperial Japanese Atrocities – Manchuria (1931-1945)

Refugees who received Visas crossed the Soviet border and travelled through the USSR to Vladivostok, where they boarded Japanese steamers and went to Japan. Most of them were sent by the Japanese to Shanghai, where they survived the war. Some left for other countries in the Pacific region or remained in Japan. In the Kaunas Sugihara Museum – a two-story mansion of the former Japanese Consulate – a document unprecedented in world diplomacy is on display: its right half is occupied by an explanation of the uselessness of a Visa to enter the island of Curacao signed by Zwartendijk, and on the left half is a Japanese transit Visa signed by Sugihara. Also in the corner are the stamps of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Lithuanian SSR and the NKVD of the USSR (by that time Lithuania had already become a Soviet Socialist Republic). Officials from the NKVD ensured that all the transiting Jewish people were looked after whilst in the USSR – whilst special NKVD troops ensured their safety from any external attack ordered by Nazi Germany. Again, with the demonisation of Soviet history – many Zionist accounts omit these inconvenient facts.  

A Saint in the Orthodox Church

After leaving Lithuania, Sugihara worked as a Consul in Prague, and in 1941 as a Consul in Königsberg. Then he worked in Romania. After the occupation of Bucharest by Soviet troops in 1945, Sugihara was interned in the USSR. At the end of 1946 he was allowed to leave for Japan, but in Vladivostok he was detained for several more months, and he returned to Japan in the spring of 1947, together with his family. At this time, the Foreign Ministry of Japanese-occupied Japan was radically reduced, and Sugihara was dismissed from the diplomatic service. 

Imperial Japan War Crimes – Unit 731 Human Experiments – Manchuria (1931-1945)

Sugihara worked for a trading company. In 1960-1975 he lived in the USSR, working as a representative of a Japanese company. During this period, he changed his name to Senpo Sugiwara so that his former status of Deputy Foreign Minister of Manchukuo. The Imperial Japanese committed War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity in Manchuria – killing millions of Chinese and Soviet POWs through medical and military experiments. As an ‘Official’ who did nothing to stop these crimes or assist the victims in any way – it is entirely possible that Sugihara would have been ‘tried’ by the Allies for ‘War Crimes’ and executed.  

A Hero in Japan!

In 1968, Sugiharu was found by one of the Jews he saved, Israeli diplomat Yoshua Nishri. A monument at Waseda University was erected in 2011 in honour of graduate Chiune Sugihara on the 25th anniversary of his death and in memory of the 6,000 Jewish refugees he saved in 1940-1941. Chiune Sugihara Memorial Museum is located in the small provincial town of Yaotsu in Gifu Prefecture in central Japan. In 1994, the local municipality created the Hill of Humanity Park and in 2000 opened a Memorial Museum in honour of its distinguished native. In 1985, Sugihara was awarded the honorary title of Righteous Among the Nations – by Israel providing he omit any mention of the USSR in the official history of his activities. For health reasons, he himself was no longer able to attend the honorary ceremony – instead his wife and son accepted the award for him. Sugihara and his family members also received permanent Israeli Citizenship when it was ascertained that the ‘correct’ version of history would be perpetuated. . 

Lithuania Stamp – 2004

Russian Language References:Сугихара,_Тиунэ

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