The story is virtually unknown and there has been no or only little recognition for the man who reached deep inside himself during horrendous times and helped so many fellow humans escape the tyranny of the Germans during the early days of the German occupation of Kaunas.
Mr. Philips Radio was the name whispered those days. A dutch guy working for Philips who was asked to replace the consul in Kaukas just before the Germans would occupy that city and claim it as their rightful town. Knowing full well the imminent threat, he nevertheless went to this city and was confronted with a horrible situation. Tens of thousands of Polish Jews had run away from the Germans towards Lithuania.
At that same time, the Russians had invaded the country, which meant that these people were trapped between two forces of evil. Most countries declared to be neutral, but Mr. Philips Radio didn’t play along. He was able -with some kindred spirits- to offer the empathy needed to so many (Jewish) people running from their unchosen destiny. Offering a small ray of light in dark times.
Together with the consul of Japan, Mr. Sugihara, they actively devised a scheme whereby Jewish people were given visa to travel through Russia to Japan, with final destination the Caribbean island of Curacao, which at that time was part of the Netherlands. Mr. Zwartendijk -the official name of Mr. Philips Radio- even went so far as to have a stamp made to be able to work more quickly in issuing the much wanted and needed visa. When Mr. Sugihara was forced to leave the country, he left the embassy, bowed to the people still standing in line and apologised for not being able to write any quicker……
Thousands of Jewish people were given these visa and thereby survived the atrocities of the war. This story of just a few human beings, who set aside their fears and found deep inside themselves the bravery to help their fellow human to escape the atrocities of other human beings is a story without an end date.
Even today this story entails so much the world needs now. That’s why we want to re-tell this story but in a truly contemporary way. Bringing back the universal human values that lie deep within these brave human beings, done in a interesting contemporary visual concept..