Waitangi Day celebrations in Israel – Sugihara to be remembered

February 6, 2010 by Henry Benjamin
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A Waitangi Day celebration in Israel will include tributes to Sempo Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat who saved  thousands of Jews from the Nazis.

Sempo Chiyune Sugihara

Sempo [Chiyine] Sugihara was the Japanese Consul in Kaunas, Lithuania, during WWII who, against government orders, defiantly issued thousands of transit visas to Lithuanian, Polish and German Jews allowing them to make the journey across Russia to Japan where they were issued exit visas.

The New Zealand government issued 50 entry permits.

The Waitangi Day gathering, being held at Yad Lebanim in Ra’nana, will hear a personal account of those days from Bert Schor and view the screening of a  film on Sugihara. The day marks the 110th anniversary of Sugihara’s birth.

The national day for the natives of New Zealand is today [Saturday] but will be celebrated in Israel tomorrow [Sunday] because of Shabbat.

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