Information on the Sugihara Database #general


Eran Gindes
 

Dear all, and Shalom from ישראל

When looking for information on my grandmother's family, who were brutally shot to death during the holocaust, in the JewishGen site, I stumbled upon the Sugihara Database. I had heard before about the heroic act of the Japanese Consul in Kaunas, Mr. Sugihara, who issued visas to Jews and thus saved many lives. I heard that story spoken mainly about the survival of most of the Mir Yeshiva rabbis and studets. I was very surprised though, when the name Rubinsteinas Moze, a Lithuanian citizen, given in 13th Aug popped up. My grandmother's name at birth was Ona Rubinsteinate. She was in British - mandated Palenstine during the war, and thus survived!
I have little faith that this man, which according to the records survived the war, was indeed my grandmother's little brother, but at least, I believe, it is worth finding out.
In the JewishGen web page, there's a fax number of a non-profit organization, which is called Visas for Life Foundation from July 2013, in which one could send inquiries. I found such an organization in Japan, but not in the States. Could someone please tell me if this fax is still a valid number, or is there a website or a phone number or an email address, where I can find more information on the matter?
Thanks and Kol Tuv
Eran Gindes


Mark Halpern
 

 
Dear Eran:

I have been studying Sugihara and the refugees who transited Japan from the early days of the War in Europe up to the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor for about six years. I do not consider myself a historian or expert, but I do know something about the refugees and the process of survival. Sugihara started writing Japanese transit visas to Jewish refugees in mid July 1940 and the mass processing on July 24. On August 6, 1940, the Soviet Union annexed Lithuania and all citizens of Lithuania became subject of the Soviet Union. Why was this date important to Moze Rubinsteinas? When his Japanese transit visa was issued on August 13, he and all subjects of the Soviet Union were not permitted to leave, while Polish subjects could leave the Soviet Union with the proper documents, which included a exit visa and a travel permit issued by the Soviet authorities. The Mir Yeshiva students and staff were Polish.

If you look through the list of transit visas issued by Sugihara, almost 95% are Polish and maybe 1 to 2% were Lithuanian. Those Lithuanian citizens with Sugihara visas that did not leave the Soviet Union by August 6 or soon thereafter could not leave unless they had forged documents. I think this is the reason that we do not find more Lithuanians on Sugihara's list. 

Most of the Sugihara Visa recipients who did escape can be found on lists of the American Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) providing financial and emigration support. These lists are online and searchable through the JDC Archive names search function. There is no "RUBINSTEINAS" in the database and no Moze RUBINSTEIN. 

George Bluman, the son of Sugihara visa recipients, who lives in Canada has done research on as many of the Sugihara visa recipients as he could trace. In his database, he lists Moze as "likely perished." Or, maybe a better listing for Moze is "has not been found on any list of Jews in Japan, Shanghai, or passenger lists out of Japan or Shanghai during WWII."

You mentioned Visas for Life Foundation. I think this website https://www.holocaustrescue.org/visas-for-life/ is the same. This organization is run by Eric Saul. On this website is this contact information: You can contact us at VisasForLife@...

Best regards,
Mark Halpern
Conshohocken, PA, USA

On 2022-05-03 12:29 pm, eran.gindes@... wrote:

Dear all, and Shalom from ישראל

When looking for information on my grandmother's family, who were brutally shot to death during the holocaust, in the JewishGen site, I stumbled upon the Sugihara Database. I had heard before about the heroic act of the Japanese Consul in Kaunas, Mr. Sugihara, who issued visas to Jews and thus saved many lives. I heard that story spoken mainly about the survival of most of the Mir Yeshiva rabbis and studets. I was very surprised though, when the name Rubinsteinas Moze, a Lithuanian citizen, given in 13th Aug popped up. My grandmother's name at birth was Ona Rubinsteinate. She was in British - mandated Palenstine during the war, and thus survived!
I have little faith that this man, which according to the records survived the war, was indeed my grandmother's little brother, but at least, I believe, it is worth finding out.
In the JewishGen web page, there's a fax number of a non-profit organization, which is called Visas for Life Foundation from July 2013, in which one could send inquiries. I found such an organization in Japan, but not in the States. Could someone please tell me if this fax is still a valid number, or is there a website or a phone number or an email address, where I can find more information on the matter?
Thanks and Kol Tuv
Eran Gindes


Eran Gindes
 

Dear Mark

Thank you very much for the detailed information. It all makes so much sense now, and there's an even greater chance that Moze Rubinsteinas was indeed my mother's uncle. My Great grandfather visited  my grandma in Tel Aviv in Nov 1939, and while visiting, he applied for visas for the entire family to the British authorities, which obviously, they denied. It, therefore, makes so much more sense that they would do everything to save at least one of the family members. I wonder how many visas were actually issued. After the war, my grandma went back to Europe to find out what happened to them, and when she returned, she informed everyone that no one had survived and that she cannot shed any more tears ever again, which she did not! It is so heart-breaking and inconceivable! 

I will try to contact the organization that you've mentioned, and I hope to find out more. When I do, I'll let you know.

Thank you again and all the best
Eran Gindes
Petah Tikva
ISRAEL





בתאריך יום ג׳, 3 במאי 2022, 21:01, מאת Mark Halpern ‏<mark@...>:

 
Dear Eran:

I have been studying Sugihara and the refugees who transited Japan from the early days of the War in Europe up to the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor for about six years. I do not consider myself a historian or expert, but I do know something about the refugees and the process of survival. Sugihara started writing Japanese transit visas to Jewish refugees in mid July 1940 and the mass processing on July 24. On August 6, 1940, the Soviet Union annexed Lithuania and all citizens of Lithuania became subject of the Soviet Union. Why was this date important to Moze Rubinsteinas? When his Japanese transit visa was issued on August 13, he and all subjects of the Soviet Union were not permitted to leave, while Polish subjects could leave the Soviet Union with the proper documents, which included a exit visa and a travel permit issued by the Soviet authorities. The Mir Yeshiva students and staff were Polish.

If you look through the list of transit visas issued by Sugihara, almost 95% are Polish and maybe 1 to 2% were Lithuanian. Those Lithuanian citizens with Sugihara visas that did not leave the Soviet Union by August 6 or soon thereafter could not leave unless they had forged documents. I think this is the reason that we do not find more Lithuanians on Sugihara's list. 

Most of the Sugihara Visa recipients who did escape can be found on lists of the American Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) providing financial and emigration support. These lists are online and searchable through the JDC Archive names search function. There is no "RUBINSTEINAS" in the database and no Moze RUBINSTEIN. 

George Bluman, the son of Sugihara visa recipients, who lives in Canada has done research on as many of the Sugihara visa recipients as he could trace. In his database, he lists Moze as "likely perished." Or, maybe a better listing for Moze is "has not been found on any list of Jews in Japan, Shanghai, or passenger lists out of Japan or Shanghai during WWII."

You mentioned Visas for Life Foundation. I think this website https://www.holocaustrescue.org/visas-for-life/ is the same. This organization is run by Eric Saul. On this website is this contact information: You can contact us at VisasForLife@...

Best regards,
Mark Halpern
Conshohocken, PA, USA

On 2022-05-03 12:29 pm, eran.gindes@... wrote:

Dear all, and Shalom from ישראל

When looking for information on my grandmother's family, who were brutally shot to death during the holocaust, in the JewishGen site, I stumbled upon the Sugihara Database. I had heard before about the heroic act of the Japanese Consul in Kaunas, Mr. Sugihara, who issued visas to Jews and thus saved many lives. I heard that story spoken mainly about the survival of most of the Mir Yeshiva rabbis and studets. I was very surprised though, when the name Rubinsteinas Moze, a Lithuanian citizen, given in 13th Aug popped up. My grandmother's name at birth was Ona Rubinsteinate. She was in British - mandated Palenstine during the war, and thus survived!
I have little faith that this man, which according to the records survived the war, was indeed my grandmother's little brother, but at least, I believe, it is worth finding out.
In the JewishGen web page, there's a fax number of a non-profit organization, which is called Visas for Life Foundation from July 2013, in which one could send inquiries. I found such an organization in Japan, but not in the States. Could someone please tell me if this fax is still a valid number, or is there a website or a phone number or an email address, where I can find more information on the matter?
Thanks and Kol Tuv
Eran Gindes