Find Chiune “Sempo” Sugihara and take a seat. Find your friend and snap a quick selfie to let us know you’re together and then get ready for one helluva story…
While Schindler had his list, there was another quiet revolt happening a little further north led by Mr. Chiune Sugihara a Japanese government official who served as vice consul for the Japanese Empire in Lithuania. During WWII he helped approximately 6,000 Jews flee Nazi occupied Europe by issuing travel visas - risking both his and his family’s lives.
When asked why he did it, he responded:
“You want to know about my motivation, don’t you? Well. It is the kind of sentiments anyone would have when he actually sees refugees face to face, begging with tears in their eyes. He just cannot help but sympathize with them.
People in Tokyo were not united. I felt silly to deal with them so I made up my mind not to wait for their reply. I knew that somebody would surely complain about me in the future. But, I myself thought this would be the right thing to do.”
It’s reported that there are an estimate of 40,000 descendants that are alive today because of his actions.
Right now you are sitting at his memorial built in 2002. Look under the memorial and see what you can find.
Japanese Cranes - A Symbol of Healing
In Japanese lore, the crane - a type of large, migratory bird - was thought to live for 1,000 years and are held in the highest regard.
Origami cranes have become a symbol of hope and healing during challenging times - something that we could all use a little bit of right now.
Here are some instructions on how to fold origami cranes, origami paper, and a pen. Write a simple message of hope on the back of the paper and then work with your partner to fold it into a crane.
Feel free to make as many of these as you want!
Snap a photo of your creations and tag #LASnowball and @thesnowballparty!