Chiune Sugihara, 1900-1986.
Yad Vashem Photo Archives, courtesy of USHMM Photo Archives (Photo #77563)
Assigned to the Japanese consulate in Kovno, Lithuania in 1939, Chiune Sugihara ignored the orders of his own government and issued visas to Polish-Jewish refugees, allowing them to escape Lithuania. It is estimated that Sugihara saved over two thousand refugees before his office was closed by Soviet authorities. For his efforts, Sugihara was honored as a “Righteous Among the Nations” by Yad Vashem in 1984.