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Chiune-Sugihara

Consul at the Japanese Consulate in Kovno, Lithuania, issued thousands of transit visas for Japan, which allowed Jews holding the so-called “Curaçao visas” to escape from Lithuania via the USSR and then Japan. As the USSR had ordered all foreign diplomats out of the country by August 1940, Sugihara had little time to wait for permission, so he chose the most humanitarian course of action. Permission was eventually denied, yet he continued to issue visas even as he left Kovno. Because of his actions, Sugihara was asked to resign from the diplomatic service upon his return to Japan in 1947. He was recognized as Righteous Among the Nations on October 4, 1984.