On a cold evening in Moscow in 1941, Rischel Friedmann was risking her life to reach the Japanese Embassy, knowing it might be her last chance to survive. She was desperate, alone and only 17.

Her salvation came in the form of a Japanese transit visa, an act of kindness from an ambassador who defied his own Foreign Ministry to give it to her and hundreds of others who were fleeing Nazi persecution and the horrors of the Holocaust.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.