The issuance of visas to war refugees by Chiune Sugihara as reflected in the documents of Russian archives
The article analyses activities of the Japanese Vice-Consul Chiune Sugihara, mainly focusing on his Kaunas period 1939â€“1940, when in the summer of 1940 he issued Japanese transit visas. Research is based on Russian archival sources: starting from Sugiharaâ€™s rejection as a translator in the Embassy of Japan in Moscow, later presenting USSRâ€™s position regarding the transition through its territory via Trans-Siberian railroad. The article explains how decision on the Soviet side was made and what reasons forced Soviets to take such a decision. The role of Intourist, the official state travel agency of the USSR, and the agencyâ€™s sources are analysed, which provide several different interpretations of the transit, for example, it is stated in the agencyâ€™s documents that less children travelled with Sugiharaâ€™s visas than it is usually indicated in historiography. Finally, the issues related to forgeries of Sugiharaâ€™s visas and the number of people rescued by the Japanese Vice-Consul in Lithuania are discussed.
Chiune Sugihara; Refugees; Transit through USSR; Number of issued visas; Intourist; NKVD; Politburo; Josif Stalin; Vladimir Dekanozov
ISSN 1392-0588 (Print)ISSN 2335-8769 (Online)