Holocaust Remembrance Event (5/1)

April 24, 2008 at 9:47 pm Leave a comment


As Japan’s consul to Lithuania during World War II, Chiune Sugihara risked everything, defying his government by writing visas to Japan for more than 6,000 Jewish refugees desperate to escape the Nazis. The story of this remarkable man and those he saved will be remembered with a talk by “Sugihara survivor” Masha Leon at the Holocaust Memorial program at the Central Queens YM & YWHA in Forest Hills. This year’s commemoration takes place on Thursday, May 1, at 1:30 p.m., at 67-09 108 Street in Forest Hills.

Fleeing occupied Warsaw during World War II with her mother, Masha Leon was among the lucky 2,129 Sugihara visa recipients. She and her mother were able to leave Vilna on the last train out before the Germans moved in. Leon will talk about her experiences before leaving and about their time in Japan. She will also discuss Sugihara’s story and the question of why the Japanese eventually permitted Jewish refugees, once arrived, to seek refuge in Japan. Masha Leon’s father was a noted journalist and political activist in pre-war Poland who was arrested by the NKVD and in 1940-41 shared a prison cell with Menachem Begin. He spent the war years in Siberia. Masha Leon has been a weekly columnist in the English and Yiddish newspaper, The Forward, since 1979. Several books, in English and in Japanese, have highlighted her experiences as part of the Sugihara story.

Open to the general public, with a $4 donation requested. For more information, call 718-268-5011, ext. 151, or email pkurtz@cqyjcc.org.


Entry filed under: Forest Hills.

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