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During the Nazi holocaust in Europe there was a Japanese Schindler, and his name was Sempo Sugihara. I heard about him through my friend Ben Manski, who is alive today because of this man and his wife Yukiko.
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Genre:
Acoustic - Folk
Songs by artist:
264 songs
Upload date
July 10, 2010
Meta data
MP3 5.3 MB
160 kbps bitrate
4:35 minutes
Words/music
david rovics © david rovics all rights reserved 2010
Story behind the song
There are persistent myths about Japan being a basically homogeneous society made up of obedient drones. It's not, and never has been a€“ in fact a serious reading of Japanese history is full of dissent of all kinds, going back many centuries. During the Nazi holocaust in Europe there was a Japanese Schindler, and his name was Sempo Sugihara. I heard about him through my friend Ben Manski, who is alive today because of this man and his wife Yukiko. Ben and his grandfather, Samuil, are what some call Sugihara Survivors.
Lyrics
Sugihara He was raised in Gifu on the islands of Japan He was sent off to Manchuria, that's how this tale began For his next assignment in the diplomatic corps Was far-off Lithuania and the European war My grandfather was from Krakow a€“ the Nazis came, he fled He took his family to Vilnius so they might not end up dead But the Panzers were advancing and he knew they had to go But he had to have a visa and all the embassies said no There was only one final possibility The last consulate left open, the Third Reich's Asian ally There in Lithuania there was no time to lose They came asking for a visa, thousands of Polish Jews The diplomat called Tokyo, a€œcan I grant them this reprieve?a€쳌 Three times he got his answer, a€œtell them all to leavea€쳌 He looked into their eyes, talked to his family He and his wife decided we must set these people free Although I never met him, when all is said and done I am Sugihara's son Disobeying orders that they knew to be wrong Sempo and Yukiko started writing all day long A month's worth of visas in every twenty-hour day Sempo and Yukiko could turn no refugee away Word came from the empire, it's time to turn it in You're closing down your consulate and moving to Berlin They knew they did the right thing, of this they had no doubt They threw visas through the window as their train pulled out (Chorus) My grandfather crossed Siberia for five times the normal cost Fearing for the future with every minute lost He got the ferry to Kobe then to Occupied Shanghai There he spent the war years while back home his people died Sugihara-san did not seek any praise from anyone When he died the paper said his neighbors knew not what he'd done But there are forty thousand people living lives today Without Sempo Sugihara I would not be here now to say (Chorus)