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1940 escaping Europe passport - Sugihara issued visa

Article about: Added here images of 3 items: a Soviet passport issued in Tianjin port city, China, 1946, for a Jewish woman who immigrated in 1949 via Shanghai to the new state of Israel. Other item is a b

  1. #1

    Default 1940 escaping Europe passport - Sugihara issued visa

    Hi,



    Thought of sharing this interesting war related travel document with you all.

    After the German invasion of Poland with the collaboration of the Soviet Union, thousands of refugees ended up trapped in the still-free Baltic states, one of them was Lithuania.

    Here is a travel document issued to a Jewish family at Kaunas, 1940 September 3rd. By this time the only way to avoid capture and escape war torn Europe was to escape east. No one wanted to issue visas or no one could at this time in Eastern Europe. The Japanese consul in Kaunas issued, on his own behalf over 2000 transit visa to Japan, thus saving thousands of lives. He did so in the short period of 2 months only: July & August.



    Here is a passport issued with the rare Righteous Among the Nations Chiune Sugihara, visa #2095 dating August 31. The visa was for going to Palestine and not the usual route via Siberia to Japan.

    The family exited Lithuania at Sumskas - Railway station on September 22, staying in Moscow, destination was the sea port city of Odessa, exiting on October 5. From there direct sailing to Turkey.



    Chiune Sugihara - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



    No words can express the gratitude that we all have for this courageous diplomat...



    Neil
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #2

    Default Re: 1940 escaping Europe passport - Sugihara issued visa

    a amazing man.

  4. #3
    ?

    Default Re: 1940 escaping Europe passport - Sugihara issued visa

    I imagine a very rare document. Certainly something I would like to have in my collection.

  5. #4

    Default Re: 1940 escaping Europe passport - Sugihara issued visa

    Indeed. Such passes were inssued only for 2 months and most documents did not survive the end of the war.
    The combination of a pass issued under Soviet rule when it was nearly imposible to get one already.
    I never thought I would find one myself, but if one is patient enough, say 'being at the right time and right place'...

  6. #5

    Default Re: 1940 escaping Europe passport - Sugihara issued visa

    That is a beautiful piece.
    Do you know what happened to the Japanese Consul?
    2000 passports are a lot, that would have been noticed, i guess.

    Cheers
    Nuno

  7. #6

    Default Re: 1940 escaping Europe passport - Sugihara issued visa

    Quote by huddyhuddy View Post
    Hi,
    Thought of sharing this interesting war related travel document with you all.

    After the German invasion of Poland with the collaboration of the Soviet Union, thousands of refugees ended up trapped in the still-free Baltic states, one of them was Lithuania.

    Here is a travel document issued to a Jewish family at Kaunas, 1940 September 3rd. By this time the only way to avoid capture and escape war torn Europe was to escape east. No one wanted to issue visas or no one could at this time in Eastern Europe. The Japanese consul in Kaunas issued, on his own behalf over 2000 transit visa to Japan, thus saving thousands of lives. He did so in the short period of 2 months only: July & August.


    Here is a passport issued with the rare Righteous Among the Nations Chiune Sugihara, visa #2095 dating August 31. The visa was for going to Palestine and not the usual route via Siberia to Japan.

    The family exited Lithuania at Sumskas - Railway station on September 22, staying in Moscow, destination was the sea port city of Odessa, exiting on October 5. From there direct sailing to Turkey.



    Chiune Sugihara - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    No words can express the gratitude that we all have for this courageous diplomat...

    Neil
    A truly rare and historic document...congratulations on this addition to your collection and thank you for sharing it here

    Some background to the Sugihara story which may be little known

    Polish intelligence officers assisted Chiune Sugihara, the Japanese diplomat based in Lithuania, who provided between 6,000 to 10,000 Polish Jewish refugees with visas to travel across the Soviet Union to Vladivostok and then by boat to Kobe, Japan. Thus saving them from the Nazi and Lithuanian collaborationist execution squads.

    Wilno, which before WWII was Polish, but was granted back to Lithuania (who knew the city as Vilnius) by Stalin rather than being annexed to the Soviet Union when the Russians invaded Eastern Poland. In exchange for having their old capital back the Lithuanians agreed that Russian troops could be stationed in the country. The Japanese signed a neutrality pact with Stalin in summer 1940 which was why the Japanese had consular officials in Lithuania.

    At the time Wilno (Vilinius) was predominantly a Polish, Jewish and Byelorussian city rather than Lithuanian so Polish contact with neutral Japanese diplomats was pretty simple. The Poles also got use of the Japanese diplomatic bags for mail and the Polish Air Force colour flag was also smuggled out in one these diplomatic bags.

    Polish-Japanese Secret Cooperation During World War II: Sugihara Chiune and Polish Intelligence

    Asiatic Society of Japan, March 1995 lecture
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  8. #7

    Default Re: 1940 escaping Europe passport - Sugihara issued visa

    He served in Berlin and Romanian consulates up to 1944, ending up in Soviet captivity then returning back to Japan and being dismissed out of the foreign service there, most likely because of the visa issuing back in 1940...

    Here are several good links on him:

    Chiune Sugihara - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Chiune and Yukiko Sugihara

    Chiune Sugihara: Visas for Life Foundation, solely authorized by the family of Chiune Sugihara


    Rgrds,
    Neil

  9. #8

    Default Re: 1940 escaping Europe passport - Sugihara issued visa

    Thanks for the extra amazing information!
    Did not know about the Polish connections!

  10. #9

    Default Re: 1940 escaping Europe passport - Sugihara issued visa

    Quote by huddyhuddy View Post
    He served in Berlin and Romanian consulates up to 1944, ending up in Soviet captivity then returning back to Japan and being dismissed out of the foreign service there, most likely because of the visa issuing back in 1940...

    Here are several good links on him:

    Chiune Sugihara - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Chiune and Yukiko Sugihara

    Chiune Sugihara: Visas for Life Foundation, solely authorized by the family of Chiune Sugihara


    Rgrds,
    Neil
    A brave and honored man indeed.
    Its thanks to the humanity of Mr Sugihara, Aristides Sousa Mendes and many others, that many familys survived this ordeal and lived to tell the story.

    Cheers
    Nuno

  11. #10

    Default Re: 1940 escaping Europe passport - Sugihara issued visa

    Quote by huddyhuddy View Post
    Thanks for the extra amazing information!
    Did not know about the Polish connections!
    A pleasure. For some reason most sources omit the Polish connection with the Sugihara story?

    The Polish Jewish refugees some 2,185 in number arrived in Japan from August 1940 to June 1941. Tadeusz Romer, the Polish ambassador in Tokyo, had managed to get transit visas in Japan, asylum visas to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Burma, immigration certificates to Palestine, and immigrant visas to the United States and some Latin American countries. Finally, Tadeusz Romer arrived in Shanghai on November 1, 1941, to continue the action for Jewish refugees. Among those saved in the Shanghai Ghetto were leaders and students of Mir yeshiva, the only yeshiva in occupied Europe to survive the Holocaust.

    Source: Shanghai Ghetto - Wikipedia
    Last edited by StefanM; 03-02-2013 at 02:44 PM.
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

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