2015 marks the 75th anniversary of ‘Visas for Life’. From 1939 to 1940 in Japanese consulate worked Vice-consul Chiune Sugihara with Honorary Consul of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Jan Zwartendijk. In year 1940 they issued transit visas for Jew refugees to Japan and saved thousands of lifes. Even after closing of Japanese consulate, from 28th of August till 4th of September Chiune Sugihara continued issuing ’Visas for Life’ in Hotel ‘Metropolis’. When leaving Lithuania on the 4th of September, he still issued ‘Visas for Life’ till he left Kaunas train station. On the 4th of September Japanese embassy in Lithuania with Kaunas government and Sugihara House museum were organizing events to commemorate this anniversary.
Near hotel ‘Metropolis’ and in Kaunas train station the memorial plaques with pictures of Chiune Sugihara were unveiled. Also, on this occasion contemporary dancer Kyrie Oda with dance troupe ‘Aura’ gave the people a dance performance. Festive stamp and envelope were presented to mark ‘Visas for Life’ anniversary. Also, in the train station 3 documentaries were shown to the public and exhibition of Chiune Sugihara‘s and Jan Zwartendijk‘s life and work will be opened till 24th of September.
One of the most important events, which happened that day was meeting with the saved ones by Chiune Sugihara: Nina Admoni (Wertans) from Israel and Marcel Weyland from Australia. Over hundreds of guests were participating in the events, one of them was vice minister of Foreign Affairs Mantvydas Bekešius, vice minister of culture Romas Jarockis and Professor Vytautas Landsbergis.
Photos from the events: