Kaunas

Sightseeing

Sugihara House (Sugiharos Namai)

Chiune Sugihara (1900-1986) was the Japanese Vice Consul to Lithuania in Kaunas for a brief period between 1939 and 1940. Together with the acting Dutch Consul Jan Zwartendijk (1896-1976) he saved thousands of Jews over a short three-week period in 1940 by issuing visas against orders from Tokyo to get them out of Soviet-occupied Lithuania and away to safety and a new life. Many of the saved Jews later settled in Israel and the United States and have since championed both Sugihara and Zwartendijk's cause. This small museum in the house where the Japanese consulate was located is where Sugihara lived with his family. Inside are a recreation of Sugihara’s office and several displays relating to the extraordinary events that took place. With the German invasion of the Soviet Union soon after Sugihara's departure and the terrible events of the Holocaust that came with it, both Sugihara and Zwartendijk have quite rightly been honoured as a Righteous Among the Nations. Near the beginning of Michael Chabon’s extraordinary Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, protagonist Josef Kavalier escapes to New York from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia via Lithuania hidden in a coffin containing the Golem of Prague. Arriving in Vilnius on a train from Warsaw, Kavalier uses the services of Sugihara and Zwartendijk to get him out of the country.

Map

Website

Email

sugiharahouse@yahoo.com

Open

Open 10:00 - 17:00. Sat, Sun 11:00 - 16:00 (May 1 - October 31).
Open 11:00 - 15:00. Sat, Sun by appointment only (November 1 - April 30).

Price/Additional Info

Admission €3/1.50.

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30.06.2015
Ralph.meyen@gmail.com
Australia
Thousands of Sugihara jews as they were subsequently called ended up in Vladivostok where they sought transport to other countries in the end Australia reluctantly agreed to accept the fleet of transport ships with over 30k Jewish migrants landing in Melbourne and establishing a new life on a new open continent where acceptance and hard work were all that was required for a "fair go mate". The book Sherazade is a testament to the courage of the last great Shogun master Sugihara long may his spirit dwell in the cosmos!
14.11.2011
David
,
A very interesting house and an amazing character known as the Japanese Schindler by some. Sugihara was partly descended from the samurai was a Christian and deliberately flunked his medical exams which his father required him to sit as he really wanted to be a teacher.Most of the people he saved were not Lithuanian but Polish Jews who had fled to Kaunas and having already uprooted themselves once were more ready to flee further. In common with some other parts of occupied Europe during WW2 many of the local Jews did not take the opportunity to flee believing that the situation would settle down.
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