Invisible Threads: Life Saving Sugihara Visas and the Journey to Vancouver

April 10 - July 1 in the TK Gallery

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Vancouver and Yokohama's sister city relationship, the Vancouver Maritime Museum is proud to present Invisible Threads: Life Saving Sugihara Visas and the Journey to Vancouver.

This exhibition tells the story of the thousands of Jewish refugees who fled from occupied Europe during World War II and traveled to Japan using transit visas issued by Chiune Sugihara, Japanese Vice-Consul in Lithuania. Sugihara issued approximately 4,500 transit visas against the direct orders of his government, permitting the refugees to enter Japan. From the ports of Kobe and Yokohama, many Jewish refugees boarded NYK cruise ships crossing the Pacific Ocean and arrived safely in Seattle and Vancouver. A vast network of Sugihara visa recipients and their descendants now spreads across the world, connecting thousands of individuals.

Vancouver is an important part of this network as many of the survivors have passed through our city and some have even made it their home. This exhibition features reproduced photographs and archival documents from Yokohama, NYK shipping lines and families saved by Sugihara, some of whom still live in Vancouver. Because of his compassion and selfless actions, Chiune Sugihara is forever linked, through invisible threads, to the lives of those he saved and the generations of their descendants.

With thanks to the Bluman family for providing us with the images shown here.

This exhibit will be subject to selective closures, so please call in advance of your visit: 604.257.8300

This may be due to school programs and special events that are critical to the working of the Museum as a cultural centre for learning and a not-for-profit society.