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Visas for Life Project
recipients: Toshimi Abe-Janiga, Riviera Beach Preparatory and Achievement Academy, Riviera Beach, Florida
date: Spring 2016
Toshimi Abe-Janiga developed this project to introduce students and teachers in the United States, Lithuania, and Japan to Chiune Sugihara. Participants learned about Sugihara’s efforts as the Japanese consul-general in Kovno, Lithuania, where he issued 2,139 transit visas to Jewish refugees trying desperately to get out of Europe in 1940. Participants crafted visa tags for each of the survivors whose names appear on the Sugihara List in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and formed an art object out of the tags. The final product will be displayed in the Sugihara House in Kaunus or in participating Lithuanian schools.
Students from Riviera Beach and Lantana, Florida; Kaunas, Lithuania; and Kariya and Nagoya, Japan, participated in the project, together with approximately 100 teachers from three counties in Florida. The project, implemented as a part of the Florida Atlantic University Center for Holocaust and Human Rights Education Teachers Workshops, has now reached more than 600 people.