Visa Found Showing Japanese Consul Helped Jewish Refugees

A visa has recently come to light that was issued by Saburo Nei, who was acting Japanese consul-general in the Soviet Union. The visa was issued to Simon Korentajer, a Jewish refugee who fled to Vladivostock ahead of the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939. Korentajer’s granddaughter, Kim Hydorn, has kept the document. It was issued by Nei in Vladivostock in 1941. The visa allowed Korentajer, his wife, and their daughter to escape to Japan, violating the policy held by that country’s Foreign Ministry. The Korentajer family spent about six years in Shanghai (which at the time was controlled by Japan) before they emigrated to San Francisco in 1947. This is the first visa issued by Nei to Jewish refugees to be recovered, although some records of them have been found. The number “21” was written on the document, indicating that Nei may have issued as many as 20 or more such visas.

"It is true that the police have exercised a degree of discipline in handling the demonstrators. In this sense they have conducted themselves rather "nonviolently" in public. But for what purpose? To preserve the evil system of segregation. Over the past few years I have consistently preached that nonviolence demands that the means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek. I have tried to make clear that it is wrong to use immoral means to attain moral ends. But now I must affirm that it is just as wrong, or perhaps even more so, to use moral means to preserve immoral ends. Perhaps Mr. Connor and his policemen have been rather nonviolent in public, as was Chief Pritchett in Albany, Georgia, but they have used the moral means of nonviolence to maintain the immoral end of racial injustice. As T. S. Eliot has said: "The last temptation is the greatest treason: To do the right deed for the wrong reason.""

Martin Luther King Jr.

Oldest Known Parasite Found in Chinese Fossils

Parasitism is, at heart, just a relationship between two organisms. Albeit a relationship in which one organism, the parasite, increases its own success by exploiting and harming another organism, the host. Exquisitely preserved 515-million-year-old fossils from southern China belonging to organisms called brachiopods show evidence of a relationship between the brachiopods' tubes and potentially parasitic worms. Specifically, the hardened tubes encrusting the surface of fossil brachiopod shells were once occupied by worms that took food that the brachiopod sucked into the tube. But how can fossils show that the relationship was harmful for the host? The new research showed that there was a clear negative effect, as brachiopods without the worms grew larger than those with the worms. Thus, the worms were parasites.

The English word “bank” comes from the Italian word “banco.” In late medieval Italy banks were family businesses consisting of a single large room with a counter, or “banco,” in the middle to separate customers from clerks and bookkeepers.

A new study has detected a large, rectangular platform made of earth in southern Mexico with the use of lidar technology. (Lidar employs lasers to generate 3-D models of vegetation-covered terrain.) The structure, thought to have been built by the Maya between 1000 and 800 BCE, measures more than 4,500 feet long by 1,300 feet wide and up to 50 feet tall. Because it is so wide, the structure seems like a natural part of the landscape to people on the ground. It was only from the air that the rectangular shape made it clear that this was, once upon a time, a structure. The remote-sensing survey also found nine causeways and reservoirs linked to the new find.

Bulgaria's Plovdiv is Europe's oldest city. It was first founded around 8,000 years ago, and has been continuously inhabited since at least 5,000 years ago. The modern city sits atop 39 feet (12 meters) of cultural remains.

This Giraffe is at least 6,000 Years Old

Recorded in 1987 by French archaeologist Christian Dupuy, two remarkable life-size depictions of giraffes were engraved on the weathered surface of a sandstone outcrop in north-eastern Niger. The animals cannot be seen from ground level; they are only visible by climbing onto the boulder. They are thought to date from between 6,000 and 8,000 years ago, to a period known as the Neolithic Subpluvial, when environmental conditions were much wetter and the Sahara was a vast savannah capable of sustaining large mammals such as giraffe. And, of course, humans. The engravings reveal a sophisticated artist who utilized multiple techniques including scraping, smoothing and deep engraving of the outlines. This was not the first fumblings of an amateur, but someone who had been taught techniques, and was part of a larger artistic tradition. A systematic study of the area has identified 828 further engravings, including 704 animal forms, 61 human forms, and 17 inscriptions of Tifinâgh script.

In 2005, a public health award was given to an innovative condom-selling pilot project: condoms in the colors of the Aboriginal flag. They were designed by young Aboriginal people, and distributed by 40 Indigenous peer sellers trained in sexual health messages. The award was awarded thanks to the initiative's success in improving safe sex practices among young Indigenous people.

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    By Lillian Audette

    This blog is a collection of the interesting, the weird, and sometimes the need-to-know about history, culled from around the internet. It has pictures, it has quotes, it occasionally has my own opinions on things. If you want to know more about anything posted, follow the link at the "source" on the bottom of each post. And if you really like my work, buy me a coffee or become a patron!

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