“Sugihara didn’t only save my grandfather, he also saved me. Because if not for Sugihara I may very well not be standing here today.” These were the words of Rebbetzen Sarah Feldman of the Gardens Synagogue in Cape Town, speaking on Monday at the opening of the Jewish Refugees in Shanghai exhibition at the South African Jewish Museum. Her grandfather, Rabbi Shimon Goldman, hailed from the city of Shedlitz in Poland.
by MOIRA SCHNEIDER | Feb 02, 2017
When Hitler invaded Poland, signalling the start of the Second World War, Rabbi Goldman, then a teenager, escaped to Lithuania and was fortunate to have been issued a visa by the Japanese consul there, Chiune Sugihara, acting contrary to his government’s express instructions.
“Sugihara was faced with a huge moral dilemma,” Rebbetzen Feldman related.
“His humanity won. Together with his brave wife Yukiko, this righteous couple worked non-stop issuing 300 visas a day – the amount that would usually take a month to issue.” In so doing, the couple saved 6,000 Jewish lives.
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