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Jan-Zwartendijk

Acting Consul at the Dutch Consulate in Kovno, Lithuania, issued approximately 2300 visas to the Dutch colonies of Curaçao and Surinam between July 23 to August 3, 1940, when the Soviets forced the closure of all foreign legations. These “Curaçao visas” enabled Jews in Lithuania to obtain transit visas from Chiune Sugihara, the Japanese Consul. Thus, thousands of Jews were able to escape from Lithuania via the Soviet Union and Japan; and some who made it to the East sent the visas back to Lithuania to be reused. Zwartendijk never spoke of his actions and died not knowing if any of those he tried to help had survived. He was recognized as Righteous Among the Nations on October 6, 1997.