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Kaliningrad: Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust and their Saviors

16 November 2012

Dr. Ilya Altman held a lecture on the International Day of Tolerance, which took place at the Museum of History of Arts in Kaliningrad. He introduced new documents and approaches revealing the history of the rescue of Jewish refugees by Tihuna Sugihara, the Japanese consul in Kaunas, and his life regarding the Soviet Union. The consuls of Latvia and Poland in Kaliningrad, the chairpersons of the regional writers' union, Boris Bartfeld, and of the Kaliningrad PEN Center, Vyatcheslav Karpenko, also contributed to the session.

Simonas Davidavicius, director of the Museum in Kaunas, presented an exposition dedicated to the Japanese "Righteous among the Nations" awardee. Visiting the mansion where Sughihara lived from March to November 1941, Dr. Altman expressed his hope of a memorial site being established at this location.

The participants also visited the place where a memorial plaque was installed last year commemorating the Jews from Eastern Prussia who were deported in 1942 to Maly Trostinez (near Minsk) and subsequently murdered. Dr. Altman took the opportunity to talk with the Pro-rector of Kaliningrad University, G. M. Fedrov, about preparing a conference for the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht.

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