VfLF - Sugihara Survivors

what's new at VfLF

about Chiune Sugihara

Sugihara survivors

making connections

about VfLF


activities and rresources

we welcome your help

circle of friends

Passport newsletter



Visas for Life Foundation is working to identify and document the stories of the 6,000 Sugihara survivors and their 100,000+ descendants. We want to illustrate the dramatic degree to which one man can make a difference.

If you are, or may be, a Sugihara survivor or descendant, please let us hear from you. Visit our new Making Connections page to learn how you can help.

Some families may not realize that they are living legacies of Chiune Sugihara's humanitarianism.

Any refugee who left Poland via Lithuania, through Russia (Siberia) to Vladivostok, and across the Japan Sea to Kobe, Japan, or Shanghai is virtually certain to have received a Sugihara visa.

A complete list of the 2,139 Sugihara visa recipients is available for $16.00. Please see our Publications page to order.


Germany's military forces were occupying Poland in World War II, pressing eastward. The Soviet Union's military was advancing to the west. Many in Poland's Jewish community fled to the neighboring country of Lithuania, virtually the only possible escape route, in hope of avoiding certain incarceration and probable death.

It is under these circumstances that the Jewish refugees sought out Consul Chiune Sugihara. With many other Lithuanian consular offices closing, the Jewish refugees descended on the Japanese Consulate.

Kaunas photo

Their goal was to obtain a precious transit visa to travel through the Soviet Union and Japan to the safety of Curacao, a Dutch territory in the Caribbean and South America. Although most of the world closed its doors to the refugees, the Dutch Consul of Lithuania conspired to offer entrance visas to Dutch colonies. In order to travel there, however, Polish Jews needed the Japanese transit visas.

It was at this point in 1940 that Chiune Sugihara made his fateful decision and cemented the connection between one Japanese family and generations of Jews.

Anne Akabori, Chair · 1349 Gagle Way, Sacramento, CA 95831
916-428-7409 · fax 916-428-8884 · email

what's new | about Sugihara | survivors | making connections | about VfLF | publications
activities & resources | we welcome your help | circle of friends | newsletter | home

Copyright © 2005-2013 Visas for Life Foundation