When Chiune Sugihara was growing up in Japan, he had never even met a Jewish person. There was no way Chiune could know that he would one day save the lives of thousands of Jews - and become a great hero to the Jewish people. Chiune Sugihara was a diplomat who left Japan to work in Lithuania, a small country in Eastern Europe. Part of his job there was to give people permission to leave the country. At the time, Lithuanian Jews were suffering under Nazi rule, and many hoped to escape before they could be taken to concentration camps. Chiune knew he had to help. Going against the wishes of his boss, Chiune allowed nearly 6,000 Jews to leave Lithuania and escape the Nazis.
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