Simonas Strelcovas. Chiune Sugihara ir Janas Zwartendijkas – Pasaulio Tautų Teisuoliai. Istorinės peripetijos tarp sovietinių struktūrų, žydų pabėgėlių ir jų gelbėtojų
Straipsnio tikslas – aptarti ir palyginti dviejų diplomatų, Lietuvoje gelbėjusių žydus – Chiune’s Sugiharos ir Jano Zwartendijko – veiklą bei pamėginti išsiaiškinti ir atsakyti į pagrindinį klausimą – nuo ko šie diplomatai gelbėjo žydų tautybės pabėgėlius. (TĘSINYS ŽURNALE „GENOCIDAS IR REZISTENCIJA“)
Chiune Sugihara and Jan Zwartendijk: the Righteous of the World Nations. Historical Peripeteias among Soviet Structures, Jewish Refugees and Their Redeemers
The article is devoted to representatives of two foreign countries, to the Consul of Japan Chiune Sugihara, and to the Consul of theNetherlands in interim Jan Zwartendijk, their activities in Kaunas, in the summer 1940 and their relations with the Jewish war refugees. Both diplomats became the historical personalities recognized on the world level since due to their activities they rescued several thousands of people of Jewish origin.
On 1 September 1939, after the military actions had been launched, Lithuania was soon flooded with refugees. The war refugees who came to Lithuania comprised of a diverse and multi-layer host much of which was formed of refugees of Jewish origin. The Jews looking for shelter in Lithuania contrasted from other ordinary war refugees in their social status. Majority of more than 10 thousand refugees who had registered in Vilnius by March 1940 were adult men and 75 percent of them accounted for Jews. Such a little unusual symbiosis in the refugees age and gender can be explained that majority of them were yeshivas students. Soviet structures held an unambiguous negative attitude towards Sionizm and Jewish religious schools. Consequently, one may make a presumption that Jews were fleeing the eastern territories occupied by the Soviets namely because of this reason.
The first visas issued by Chiune Sugihara and Jan Zwartendijk were given out in mid July 1940. After this news spread among the Jewish refugees, they became immensely popular. During a considerably short period – visas were being issued for a little more than a month – those Jews willing to emigrate were issued more than 2 thousand visas. This is how about 6 thousand Jews were rescued.
The article also discusses the role of the Soviet structures. The future emigrants having been issued Chiune Sugihara’s and Jan Zwartendijk’s visas had also to get departure visa from the Soviets. With this purpose, every “candidate’s” case were checked by the security services, and only if there were no bigger suspicions, the person would be allowed to leave the country. Therefore, the question of recognizing those two diplomats as the righteous of the World nations is very natural. In any case, the article does not question importance of the work done by Chiune Sugihara and Jan Zwartendijk. This article is only an attempt to say that history, and maybe – its achievements – is more complex than it might seem at first sight.
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