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A Ray of Light in the Depths of Darkness: Chiune Sempo Sugihara and His Legacy

Sprott Shaw College will be hosting a webinar by George Bluman, about the Japanese diplomat, Chiune Sugihara, who risked his life and the lives of his family by providing travel visas to Jewish people fleeing German-occupied cities during World War 2. This webinar details Bluman’s own parents’ experience gaining visa’s from Sugihara and the impact that Sugihara’s actions have had on thousands of Jewish people to this day. The webinar will be held on Monday, October 23rd, 12:30-1:30pm. Register by clicking the button below.

About the Webinar

After the start of World War II, George Bluman’s parents, Nathan and Susan Bluman, escaped from Warsaw to Lithuania. In August 1940, they were given life-saving visas by the Japanese vice-consul in Lithuania, Chiune Sempo Sugihara, eventually reaching Japan in February 1941. In July 1941, they arrived in Vancouver with a temporary permit to stay in Canada for the duration of the war. For the past 40 years, Bluman’s family has had many contacts with the Sugihara family. George’s sister Barbara Bluman wrote a book, I Have My Mother’s Eyes, published by Ronsdale Press in 2009, that primarily tells the story of George’s parent’s escape to Canada. During this presentation, Bluman will focus on the remarkable story of Chiune Sugihara and his connections to the Bluman family. Sugihara saved about 2100 people, mostly Polish Jews, who otherwise would have certainly perished. Likely over 40,000 people in the world today owe their lives to his heroics.

About George Bluman

George Bluman is Professor Emeritus and former Head of Mathematics at the University of British Columbia. He has co-authored over 75 research papers and five books. Three of his books have also been published in China. His field of research is symmetries and differential equations. In recent years he has given lectures on his mathematical research in many countries, including Spain, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Finland, Norway, Cyprus, Israel, South Africa, Australia and Turkey. George is a past vice-president of the Canadian Mathematical Society and was honoured as one of its 49 Inaugural Fellows in 2018. His parents were saved by the heroic Japanese diplomat, Chiune Sugihara. George’s family has had a long association with the Sugihara family and George has given many public talks about Sugihara in Canada and Japan. George was an invited speaker in 2019 at the opening of the Chiune Sugihara Sempo Museum in Tokyo. For many years George chaired the Vancouver Kristallnacht Commemorative Lecture Committee. On the website https://personal.math.ubc.ca/~bluman/ChiuneSugiharaLists.html George continually updates information on his list of all Sugihara visa recipients.

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