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Opfermann, Matthias (2013): Sugihara Chiune. Der japanische Diplomat und "Gerechte unter den Völkern" in der Wahrnehmung Japans und der Weltöffentlichkeit. Master of Arts, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
(Munich University Japan Center Graduation Theses)




Ever since Steven Spielberg's award-winning film "Schindler's list" the Sudeten German entrepreneur Oskar Schindler is deemed the most famous "Righteous among the nations"--the honorific title of Non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews from extermination by the Nazis during the Holocaust. Another "Righteous" that hasn't attracted as much attention is the Japanese Sugihara Chiune, who, as vice-consul in Lithuania, saved Jewish refugees by issuing Japanese transit visas. Much has been written about Sugihara's motives, the events that led to the rescue of roughly 6000 Jews and about the reasons for his dismissal from the Japanese Foreign Ministry in 1947. But to the question as to why he--despite his unquestionable achievements--wasn't officially rehabilitated or at least honored in Japan for almost 50 years has been attached little importance. This paper examines this question against the backdrop of political--domestic and foreign--social, and economic aspects.