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ChiuneAndYukikoSugiharaReflecting upon events related to World War II at Abraham Einhorn’s 125th Birthday Celebration, Kaoru Ikeda-Billeci (who performs in Pig Tales) told us about Chiune Sugihara, the Japanese Consul General to Lithuania. After wiring Japan three times for permission to stamp exit visas for Polish Jews desperate to emigrate (and being told “absolutely not”), he and his wife, Yukiko, decided to stamp the exit papers of as many Jews as possible. They worked non-stop, day and night, processing as many visas in one day as were usually processed in one month, helping over 6,000 people to survive. Since their actions were contrary to Japanese policy , he was called back to Japan. He continued to stamp the exit papers even as he sat in the train waiting for its departure, and he gave the stamp to someone who stayed behind as the train pulled out of the station.

BoardingMarineFlasherOn November 17th, there was an intimate gathering to celebrate the 125th birthday of Abraham Einhorn, whose 1937 letter from Poland to my grandmother in Brooklyn, was the impetus for my evening-length solo, Letter from Poland. We watched film and video from Nowy-Sacz, and I showed images from my research subsequent to the performance in April 2011. Now that I know more about what happened to my grandmother’s brother, it will inform my creation of the “missing” section. My thanks to both Andy Gurian and Chris Deatherage whose expertise made the “show and tell” aspect of the party possible—and to Marie Friquegnon for the delicious chocolate cake.