Sugihara & Zwartendijk life-saving visas - Our Passports
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Sugihara & Zwartendijk life-saving visas

1938 Czech passport used to travel to the Far East.

 

Much has been written and told about the courageous and extra ordinary Japanese individual Chiune Sempo Sugihara, when acting as Japanese consul to Lithuania in the years 1939-1940, issued close to 2,400 lifesaving visas; visas that aided the users, mostly Polish Jewish refugees, to survive the war.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiune_Sugihara

 

Emil Jakubovic obtained his passport on August 17th 1938, in the city of Berehove: Situated close to the border with Hungary & Ukraine, at the end of 1938 it came under Hungarian control, lasting until 1944 (as a result of the Munich Agreement of 1938, sections of Czechoslovakia were ceded to its neighbors). He used it for brief visits to Romania the same year and then after extending it in Prague in November, he ended up in Krakow, early 1939. There, after the passport was once again extended, he travelled to Vilnius, still under Polish control. This changed towards the end of the year and after the outbreak of the Second World War.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Munich_Agreement

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Vienna_Award

 

Vilnius came under Lithuanian control in 1939, after it signed a mutual assistance treaty with the USSR: The Ribbentrop-Molotov pact enabled both Germany and Russia to invade Poland in September (The first on the 1st and the latter on the 17th). The Red Army withdrew its troops from the city, when it over run it on September 19th, handing it over to the Lithuanian government on the 28th of October. This can explain the Lithuanian official markings and visa inside the passport, page 10, from that city. The next page is interesting and important as well, because it begins to illustrate to us the lifesaving visas that he obtained. Emil arrived at the city of Kaunas in November, with the police registration stamp inside marked for the 18th. He was now safe. Away from both German and Soviet control. But safety was a relative thing during those months.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vilnius

 

As things got worse, he began to feel that staying too long in Lithuania would not be the best thing to do, so he then began to look for a way out. He managed to obtain the transit visa issued by the Dutch diplomat Jan Zwartendijk on 31st of July, this followed by the transit visa issued by Chiune Sugihara on August 22nd, visa #1964 (also added sections in hand writing).

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Zwartendijk

 

The Soviet exit permit was later obtained, which was good for use from 24.2.41 to 27.3.41, and was used to exit occupied Lithuania into the Soviet Union; extended on March 27th (good up to the 15th of April) by the authorities at Promoskaya, opposite northern Japan.

 

On April 2nd Emil entered Japan at Fukui Prefecture (福井县), traveling to Hyōgo Prefecture (兵库县) on April 17th and permitted to stay until June 15th. We can assume that close to Pearl Harbor he was transferred to Shanghai along with the Polish embassy staff as well: On October 6th 1941 the Japanese broke off ties with the Polish Government in exile, and thus ordered the embassy to close down, deporting all its staff, along with a large number of Jewish refugees (about 1,000), who arrived in Japan via Siberia, to the Chinese port city of Shanghai. This assumption is based also on the fact that the passport was extended in China on November 1946, at the city of Nanjing.

 

The passport was found in Israel, most likely were the holder arrived later on.

 

 

Thank you for reading “Our Passports”.

 

Neil Kaplan
2 Comments
  • Annemor Schønhaug
    Reply

    Thanks for keeping up.

    October 9, 2015 at 9:38 am

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