Sugihara & Zwartendijk – two of eighteen righteous diplomats which took enormous personal risks to rescue Jews and others facing persecution and peril. They were true heroes; indeed, they were among the foremost human rights defenders of their day. Due their actions thousands could escape Nazi Holocaust. Since I am collecting passports I was always interested in protection letters/passports and visas saving Jewish lifes.
Thanks to my global network and intensive research I was successful again to trace and secure such significant documents. In the meantime I cover 9 of 18 righteous diplomats. By today I don’t know any museum, foundation or collector which could top that! Over the years I collected 26 different documents issued by these diplomats.
I am missing the following diplomats – please contact me if you have knowledge of such documents! I am willing to pay a $500 reward to anybody guiding me to a successful acquisition!
Perlasca, Duckwitz, de Sousa Mendes, Folke Bernadotte, Frey Varian, Per Anger & Hiram Bingham
This travel document is outstanding as it covers TWO visas of righteous diplomats
CHINUE SUGIHARA & JAN ZWARTENDIJK !!!
Chiune Sugihara (杉原 千畝 Sugihara Chiune, 1 January 1900 – 31 July 1986)
was a Japanese diplomat who served as Vice-Consul for the Empire of Japan in Lithuania. During World War II, he helped several thousand Jews leave the country by issuing transit visas to Jewish refugees so that they could travel to Japan. Most of the Jews who escaped were refugees from German-occupied Poland and residents of Lithuania. Sugihara wrote travel visas that facilitated the escape of more than 6,000 Jewish refugees to Japanese territory, risking his career and his family’s lives. Sugihara had told the refugees to call him “Sempo”, the Sino-Japanese reading of the characters in his first name, discovering it was much easier for Western people to pronounce.In 1985, Israel honored him as Righteous Among the Nations for his actions.
Jan Zwartendijk (29 July 1896 in Rotterdam – 1976)
was a Dutch businessman and diplomat who helped Jews escape Lithuania during World War II. Zwartendijk directed the Philips plants in Lithuania. On June 19, 1940, he was also a part-time an acting consul of the Netherlands – or, to be exact, of the Dutch government-in-exile. His superior was the Dutch ambassador to Latvia, De Decker. When the Soviet Union took over Lithuania in 1940, some Jewish Dutch residents in Lithuania approached Zwartendijk to get a visa to the Dutch Indies. With De Decker’s permission, Zwartendijk agreed to help them. The word spread and Jews who had fled from German-occupied Poland also sought his assistance. In defiance of official diplomatic niceties, Zwartendijk signed a declaration that entering Curaçao in the West Indies did not require a visa, while omitting the second part of the standard notice that the permission of the governor of Curaçao was necessary. (In fact, the first visas of this kind were issued by De Decker himself earlier, and Jews approached Zwartendijk after news of this unusual possibility had spread.)
Then refugees approached Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese consul, who gave them a transit visa through Japan, also against official diplomatic rules. This gave many refugees an opportunity to leave Lithuania for the Far East via the Trans-Siberian railway. In the three weeks after July 26, Zwartendijk wrote up over 2400 de facto visas to Curaçao and some of the Jews copied more. Many who helped only knew him as “Mr Philips Radio”. When the Soviets closed down his Philips office on August 3, he returned to the occupied Netherlands to work in the Philips headquarters in Eindhoven. He did not talk about the matter. Zwartendijk died in 1976. In 1997 Yad Vashem bestowed the title “Righteous Among the Nations” on Zwartendijk.