Sugihara Chiune in Israel: a delayed reception

Rotem Kowner


This article focuses on the reception in Israel of Sugihara Chiune, a Japanese diplomat who served in Kaunas in 1939-40 and granted transit visa to several thousands of refugees, mostly Jews. The article explains the mechanisms that influenced the recognition of Sugihara in Yad Vashem during a 16-year hiatus since his name first reached this institution. It also argues that the key for the reception of Sugihara in Israel was his recognition by Yad Vashem as a Righteous Among the Nations. Once this recognition was made, it allowed further tokens of recognition that affected his status overseas too.


Sugihara Chiune; World War II; Holocaust; Visa granting; Jewish refugees; Yad Vashem

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ISSN 1392-0588 (Print)

ISSN 2335-8769 (Online)