A documentary about Chiune Sempo Sugihara — who saved thousands of Jews while he was vice consul for the Japanese Empire in Lithuania during World War II — screened at the Skirball Cultural Center on June 23 to raise funds for Japan’s earthquake victims.
“Conspiracy of Kindness” follows Sugihara’s efforts to issue transit visas to Jews from Poland and Lithuania, enabling them to travel to Japan. Having saved more than 60,000 Jewish refugees, he received Israel’s Righteous Among the Nations award.
The film, by Robert Kirk and Diane Estelle Vicari, aired on PBS in 2005; Vicari organized the fundraiser.
The event raised approximately $4,000, plus an additional anonymous donation of $2,000, Vicari said. Proceeds will benefit the Japan Earthquake Relief Fund, which has raised more than $9 million so far.
Approximately 300 people attended the fundraiser, including Academy Award-nominated actor Theodore Bikel. Speakers included Israel Consul General Jacob Dayan; Hirotaka Kakita, consul general of Japan; and Carl Hartill, consul general of Canada.