JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: Chiune Sugihara visa lists #general

Mark Halpern

Marcel rightfully points out that Chiune Sugihara could not have saved the lives
of many Jewish refugees by himself and he wants you to know the whole story.

I have been studying the Jewish refugees who traveled east through
Russia and Japan to safe harbor along with their saviors for three years
now. I have been persuaded that three other Dutch citizens (two are Jewish) were
the catalysts for both Jan Zwartendijk and Chiune Sugihara
to issue their life saving visas. The story at
(MODERATOR: ) introduces you to Zwartendijk's boss, L.
P.J de Dekker, the Dutch Ambassador to the Baltic states with the embassy in Riga,
as well as Peppy Sternheim Lewin, a Jew born in Netherlands. This story, written by
Peppy's granddaughter, rings true to me.

The third Dutch citizen was the person who disseminated the value of the
Zwartendijk Curasao visa into every corner of the Jewish refugee
community in Lithuania. He was a Dutch student named Nathan Gutwirth,
who was attending a Yeshiva in Lithuania at the time.

So, what is the whole story? There are many "facts" about Sugihara and
the visas he wrote depending upon who is offering those facts. If you
read enough, you will be able to come to your own conclusion, but take
your's and everyone else's conclusion with a grain of salt. Even members
of the Sugihara family do not agree on the "facts."

What we know is that some 2,500 to 6,000 European Jews, mostly >from
Poland, survived the Holocaust because Sugihara, Zwartendijk, de Dekker,
and many others did the right thing and helped the Jews escape Lithunaia
to Japan and onward. One fact we do know is that nobody with the "Curacao visa"
ever landed in Curacao or any Dutch territory in the the Dutch West Indies.

Mark Halpern
Conshohocken, PA, USA

Marcel Apsel marcap@... wrote:

Several times people mentioned Chiune Sugihara as savior of Jews staying in
or around Kovno (Kaunas)...The whole story was triggered of by the Dutch consul of
Kovno (Kaunas) Jan Zwartendijk, who was approached by some Dutch Jews staying in
and around Kaunas. They asked the consul if he could issue visa for the Dutch
Indies in order to be able to get out of Europe...

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