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Holocaust exhibition commemorating Anne Frank, Chiune Sugihara to be shown in Tokyo


To mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Soka University will premiere a new exhibition specially created for Japanese audiences: The Courage To Remember: The Holocaust 1939-1945. The Bravery of Anne Frank and Chiune Sugihara, to be shown from October 8-13, 2015, at the Tokyo Metropolitan Theater in Ikebukuro.

The exhibition is based on "The Courage to Remember," the Simon Wiesenthal Center's powerful educational exhibit about the Holocaust, with a focus on the life of Anne Frank and an additional section on Chiune Sugihara. It provides a compelling historical account of the Nazis' murderous campaign in which 6 million Jews and other victims of the Nazis were targeted and killed between 1939 and 1945.

Chiune Sugihara (1900-1986) was a Japanese diplomat who served as vice-consul in Lithuania during the early years of World War II. In 1940, he helped Jewish refugees desperately trying to flee persecution by the Nazis by issuing as many as 6,000 transit visas so that they could travel to Japan though most had entry visas for no third country.

Soka University, the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Exhibition Steering Committee are coordinating the October presentation of this exhibition, with support from key embassies in Tokyo, the U.N. Information Centre and the NPO Chiune Sugihara Visas For Life. Following the initial showing in Tokyo, it is hoped that it will be shown in further locations throughout Japan from 2016.

At a Feb 3 meeting in Tokyo to launch preparation for the exhibition, Soka University President Yoshihisa Baba stated that the exhibition provides an important opportunity for human rights education, saying, "I feel today's youth can learn crucial lessons from the tragic history of the Nazi Holocaust. Now is the time to promote tolerance education in Japan and throughout the Asia Pacific region."

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, thanked embassy representatives for their support and emphasized that the recent 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz has brought the need to remember the horrors of the Holocaust back to public attention.

A previous version of the exhibition focusing on the Holocaust and the life of Anne Frank was shown from 1994 to 2007 throughout Japan and seen by more than two million people.

© Japan Today

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There is a statue of Sugihara-san in Little Tokyo, Downtown Los Angeles, CA. The statue sits on a park bench and depicts Sugihara-san giving out Japanese passports. People sit next to the statue to take selfies. I don't know how many people "get" the story behind the nattily-dressed Japanese gentleman cast in bronze. I certainly do. His memory is a blessing, and no matter what you think about the conduct of the militarist Japanese government, his own personal actions were laudable.

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If there was an exhibition showing Japan's conduct in the Pacific war, how many visitors would come to that? It's all very well for Japan to hold a holocaust exhibition but just as important it recognise its own wrongdoing in Nanking and so on

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I see that there is no mention that he had to resign in 1947 after being a POW by the Soviets.

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