Gripping new book reveals how dutch man saved thousands in the Shoah
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Gripping new book reveals how dutch man saved thousands in the Shoah

The Just, tells the story of Jan Zwartendijk, the newly appointed Dutch consul in Kaunus, wrote thousands of visas allowing Jews to escape

Dutch author Jan Brokken reveals the remarkable story of how one consul and his allies helped save thousands of Jews from the Holocaust in his gripping book The Just, which is published today. 

Translated by David McKay, the story reveals how in May 1940, Jewish refugees in Kaunas,  the capital of Lithuania, faced annihilation until an ordinary Dutch man became their saviour. 

Over a period of ten feverish days, Jan Zwartendijk, the newly appointed Dutch consul, wrote thousands of visas that would ostensibly allow Jews to travel to the Dutch colony of Curaçao on the other side of the world.

The Just: How Six Unlikely Heroes Saved Thousands of Jews From The Holocaust by Jan Brokken is published by Scribe UK, priced £25 (hardback). Available now.

With the help of Chiune Sugihara, the consul for Japan, while taking great personal and professional risks, Zwartendijk enabled up to 10,000 men, women, and children to escape the country on the Trans-Siberian Express, through Soviet Russia to Japan and then on to China, saving them from the Nazis and the concentration camps.

Most of the Jews whom Zwartendijk helped escape survived the war, and they and their descendants settled in America, Canada, Australia, and other countries. 

Zwartendijk and Sugihara’s heroic actions have remained relatively unknown but now Brokken has wrested this story from oblivion and traces the journeys of a number of the rescued Jews. 

The Just: How Six Unlikely Heroes Saved Thousands of Jews From The Holocaust by Jan Brokken is published by Scribe UK, priced £25 (hardback). Available now.

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