a diplomat in Harbin
Sugihara's talent for diplomacy was unveiled in Harbin. It was the place where step-by-step he has escalated in ranks of diplomacy. At that time, Adolf Hitler has gained power and eventually took control over Germany. That was the time when Nazi tyranny has raised itŐs head and the life of the Jews became impossible.
In the picture: Sugihara at his office in Manchiugwo.
consul in Lithuania
Sugihara was sent to Kaunas, Lithuania to set up and take charge of the office of a Japanese consul.
One of his missions was to collect intelligence on Russian movements in the area. As the war in Europe became more and more intense, and more and more Jews were trying to flee Europe, he found the job he was sent to do more and more difficult to accomplish.
In the picture: Sugihara standing near a sign reading "No Entry For Jews". (1939)
1940 came the time for decision for Sugihara. Polish Jews, fleeing the Nazi
horrors arrived at the gate of the consulate in Kaunas pleading for passage
visas through Japan. This site, the memorial and everything else we use
to commemorate Mr. Sugihara with, came because he made the right decision.
In the picture: Jewish refugees waiting outside the gates of the consulate in Kaunas. (1940)