The Sugihara Refugee Story: Survivors and Those without Whom This Story Would Not Be Told

  • Speaker: Mark Halpern
  • Lecture Date: 01-26-2020


Most Jewish genealogists know the story of Chiune Sugihara, known as the Japanese Schindler. Sugihara issued over 2,000 Japanese transit visas that enabled many Jews to escape war torn Europe in the summer of 1940. But there is so much more to the story. There were many people – Europeans, Americans, Japanese – who helped to save these people. We will identify some of them and talk about their exploits. We will trace one Polish Jewish woman’s journey from Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, Poland to Santa Monica, California using her Sugihara transit visa to ultimately obtain US citizenship. Her journey started in Poland and included stops in Lithuania; Moscow and Vladivostok, Russia; Tsuruga and Kobe Japan; Shanghai, China; Windsor, Canada; and Chicago and Los Angeles over 15 years mostly as a Stateless person. We will document her journey using genealogical methods and records.

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