live-saving visa by Chiune Sugihara

A passport containing a transit visa issued by Chiune Sugihara (1900-1986), a Japanese diplomat who saved the lives of thousands of Jews persecuted by Nazi Germany by offering visas to them during World War II, may go on display at a museum.

Life-saving visa by Chiune Sugihara returned to Tokyo
A picture of Nathan Bluman is seen in his passport.

The passport, which originally belonged to Nathan Bluman (1914-1986) of Poland and has been kept by his family after his death, will be entrusted to the Sugihara Chiune Sempo museum in Tokyo’s Yaesu district for a year. Bluman fled to Canada by way of Japan in 1941.live-saving visa by Chiune Sugihara

Bluman’s sons George, 75, and Bob, 66, brought the passport from Canada to Japan. The passport will be unveiled before guests at the museum’s opening ceremony, becoming the second document of its kind to be publicly released in this country.

Life-saving visa by Chiune Sugihara returned to Tokyo
A visa issued by Chiune Sugihara is seen in the passport of Nathan Bluman. An official seal of the Japanese consulate in Kaunas, Lithuania, and a stamp upon his entry into Japan are also visible.

To avoid any possible damage to the original copy, a replica of the passport will be displayed at the museum. However, the operators are considering a special showcase of the master copy down the road.

The museum will be run by the nonprofit organization “NPO Chiune Sugihara. Visas For Life,” headed by Sugihara’s grandson Chihiro Sugihara, and other entities.

Another visa issued by Sugihara has been retained by the Yaotsu Municipal Government in Gifu Prefecture, central Japan, since 1993.

I have/had myself three documents with visas issued by Sugihara, one was a Czech passport and two documents where Polish Certificates of Identity (the most common documents with Sugihara visas).

(Japanese original by Hiroyuki Tanaka, Cultural News Department)

live-saving visa by Chiune Sugihara

German Jew fleeing to Domenican Republic 1938