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(cover: Susan Erony)

In Search of Sugihara: The Elusive Japanese Diplomat Who Risked His Life to Rescue 10,000 Jews from the Holocaust by Hillel Levine (130,000 words, 19 illustrations)

Chiune Sugihara, the Japanese consul in Kovno, Lithuania, honored in 1984 by Yad Vashem as a “Righteous Among the Nations,” issued transit visas to thousands of Jews in 1940, saving them from almost certain death in Nazi-occupied Europe.

From extensive archival research and interviews — of survivors, fellow students in Harbin, China, diplomats who knew Sugihara and family members —, Hillel Levine reconstructs the fascinating story of this diplomat, spy and Russia expert who singlehandedly built a “conspiracy of goodness.”


“Mr. Levine dug deep into wartime archives and traveled all over the world in search of Sugihara’s friends and relatives, and surviving eyewitnesses of his extraordinary acts ... [researched] Japanese culture, folklore, diplomacy, imperialism and attitudes toward Jews and the West ...
In Search of Sugihara finally inspires you to believe that in a time of great evil a good man threw caution to the winds and acted out of simple humanity.” — Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times

“This remarkable biography is, in the author’s words, a study of the ‘banality of good.’ Honored in Israel and Japan, yet still largely unknown in the West, Japanese diplomat and spy Chiune Sugihara, with this book, joins the ranks of Raoul Wallenberg, Oskar Schindler and other rescuers of Jews escaping Nazi persecution ... In Levine’s compelling analysis, Sugihara’s rescue effort was motivated by love of life and a strong sense of justice, not by any special relationship to Jews or driving obsession — an ordinary man turned extraordinary hero.” —
Publishers Weekly

“On the basis of considerable research, including interviews with survivors, friends, and relatives, official records, and Sugihara’s scant memoirs, Levine presents the available facts ... Sugihara’s story is ultimately a fascinating addition to Holocaust literature and a valuable historical footnote.” —
Kirkus Reviews

“One of a handful of landmark books in our desperately needed process of just beginning to explore the strange mystery of human goodness.” —
M. Scott Peck, author of The Road Less Traveled

“Sugihara is unique because he demonstrated that every individual is empowered to resist tyranny and that one can act in accordance to the dictates of a higher moral authority that advocates justice, humanity, and compassion to all mankind. Hillel Levine is to be commended for bringing attention to this unsung hero of the Holocaust and for telling us, with historical depth and literary eloquence, of the unknown dimensions of this incredible story.” —
Tom Lantos, US Congress

“This is history as it was, and history as it might have been. Hillel Levine has relentlessly uncovered one of the most thrilling and unknown stories of World War II and the Holocaust. He has shown what one courageous diplomat in one small country did to make a real difference in those darkest of times. He has also given us the account of an improbable but genuine hero whose name should be inscribed with the other great figures of the resistance.” —
Harvey Cox, Thomas Professor of Divinity, Harvard University