Remembering a True Hero - Chiune Sugihara

I suppose I just have not been paying attention, but I had never heard of Chiune Sugihara until last week, when I read his story on the Mental Floss blog. If his name is also unfamiliar to you, please take a few minutes to learn more about him, as his actions are credited with saving 6,000 Lithuanian Jews from the Holocaust of World War II. Those actions resulted in significant personal grief for him and his family, but, like all true heroes, he counted the cost and found he was willing to pay it on behalf of human beings with whom he had nothing apparent in common.

I find no small comfort in believing that for every Fort Hood mass murderer (I refuse to type his name), there's at least one Chiune Sugihara.

6 Comments

That is an inspiring story and one I'd never heard before.

Eric, I first learned Sugihara's story several years ago, while researching an article related to Simon Wiesenthal's book, "Murderers Among Us." At that time, I was introduced to the Jewish tradition of the Tzadikim Nistarim, the 36 humble, righteous men - not necesarily Jews - without whom the world would end. A co-researcher of mine recommented Sugihara as an example. Sadly, I have not heard his story from others ... until your post today.

Yes, definitely worth your time.

I am pre-disposed to thinking poorly of Japanese conduct during WWII because my uncle spent two+ years in a Japanese POW camp, where all but a few died. (Google Palawan Massacre for details).

One of the things I remember from my uncle's story was of one Japanese guard who shared his rations with the prisoners. While on work details away from the camp and away from his supervisors, this Japanese guard held regular, lengthy "rest" periods.

His simple kindnesses gave some of the prisoners a will to survive that a 1000 calories a day could not instill.

Now that is a true Nobel Prize Winner for Peace.

However, after taking into consideration the recent path of the Prize Committtee, I would think that the Nobel would be a step down in recognition. God is the ultimate augmentor of one's courage and heart.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Eric published on November 9, 2009 3:13 PM.

Abbye: In Loving Memory was the previous entry in this blog.

"The Color of Sin" is the next entry in this blog.

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