March 12th, 2013
A Round table named “Chiune Sugihara and the USSR: New documents, facts, hypothesis” took place in Moscow on March 12th at the Holocaust Museum in the Memorial synagogue at the RJC on Poklonnaya Gora. Co-chairman of the Russian Holocaust Center Ilya Altman and Professor David Wolf (University of Hokkaido, Japan) presented their works on the life and deeds of one of the most famous Righteous of the Nations, whose significant part of life was directly and indirectly connected with the USSR. It was the second meeting (the first one took place in Helsinki on February 23rd, 2013) of Russian and Japanese historians and archivists within the project of the Russian Holocaust Center and University of Rikkyo (Tokyo). It covered the preparation of the documentary edition about a famous Japanese diplomat and the circumstances of the Jewish refugees’ transit through the USSR in 1940-1941s.
The Historical and diplomatic department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with which assistance unique documents from the Archive of the Russian Foreign Policy were obtained, supported the project. These documents allow us to clarify the dates of Chiune Sugihara’s work in the Japanese Consulate in Petropavlovsk-on-Kamchatka in 1936; the reasons for a denial to obtain the Soviet visa in the beginning of 1937, when Sugihara was appointed to be a member of the Japanese Embassy team in Moscow; dramatic circumstance of the return of the ship with refugees by the Japanese officials and obtainment of visas in Vladivostok in March-April of 1941.