Fugu Plan: The Untold Story of the Japanese and the Jews during World War II

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Overview

In 1968 Tokayer moved from Brooklyn to Tokyo to take up the position of rabbi of the Jewish community of Japan. There he began recording the stories of his congregants who had been refugees in Shanghai and China during World War II. Eventually he was shown a bound set of pre-war Foreign Ministry documents that led to a little-known tale: As Nazi Germany's allies, the Japanese—believing the Jews had access to enormous resources and influence—came up with a plan to create a semi- autonomous Jewish state in ...
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The Fugu Plan: The Untold Story of the Japanese and the Jews During World War II

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Overview

In 1968 Tokayer moved from Brooklyn to Tokyo to take up the position of rabbi of the Jewish community of Japan. There he began recording the stories of his congregants who had been refugees in Shanghai and China during World War II. Eventually he was shown a bound set of pre-war Foreign Ministry documents that led to a little-known tale: As Nazi Germany's allies, the Japanese—believing the Jews had access to enormous resources and influence—came up with a plan to create a semi- autonomous Jewish state in Manchuria, and encouraged thousands of Jewish refugees to enter Shanghai and Kobe. Tokayer's narrative, originally published in 1979, follows the journey of a Jewish group across Stalin's Russia to their Asian refuge. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
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Editorial Reviews

The Jewish Agency
"It's quite incredible the safe haven Japan was prepared to offer the Jews in the 1930s when they needed it most. Tokayer - as rabbi of Tokyo's Jewish community - was involved in the Fugu Plan, hence he has a lot of direct understanding about its variables. Unfortunately, the Japanese didn't quite understand the Jews so well or the "importance of Jews, as economic factors and policy shapers in the Western world." Tokayer points to some of the possible reasons why the Fugu Plan never materialized. The Japanese wanted to save the Jews from Hitler and in return build their own world empire. It was the Jews who they felt were best equipped to help them achieve domination of world trade. The Fugu Plan intended to bring these Jews to the sparse land they had conquered but couldn't bring their own people to so they could have experts in various fields including industry, manufacturing, factories, international trade, etc. But the Fugu Plan was destroyed by the militarists.The objective of this book is to describe the elements contained in the Japanese-Jewish Fugu Plan.The book has been out of print for a long time and this untold story makes a fascinating and important contribution to world Jewish history."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789652293299
  • Publisher: Gefen Publishing House
  • Publication date: 5/31/2004
  • Pages: 296
  • Sales rank: 803,088
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments VII
Introduction IX
Introduction to the Current Edition XIV
Introduction XVII
Chronology 14
Part 1 From Europe to the Orient 1939-41: The Birth of the fugu Plan 19
Part 2 Japan 1941: Security in an Alien Land 121
Part 3 Shanghai 1941-1945: The Challenge to Survival 190
Epilogue 271
Glossary 277
Index 279
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2007

    A reviewer

    When the Nazis over ran Poland, thousands of Jews escaped to the Baltic states. The Japanese counsel, Senpo Sugihara, issued travel permits to Japan to the desperate, paperless Jews. The Jews were supposed to be on their way to a Dutch colony in the Western Hemisphere. The Dutch would take any person that had a travel permit, and pass ports weren't needed. By pure accident, some Japanese army and naval officers decided that the Jews should be helped. Some wanted Jews to settle in Manchuria to help develope its resources, while others thought that this would buy Japan good will with American Jews and, possibly, prevent a war with America. For some reason, the USSR (anti-semetic at tha time) allowed the Jews to cross Russia to Vladivostok, where the Jews were able to board Japanese merchant ships that took them to Kobe. The Japanese hoped that wealthy American Jews would pay for the refugee's passage to Curacao. International Jewish organizations sent very little money to the refugees, so the Japanese government helped support them. Some Japanese officials became worried, so they asked the Jews who their leader was, the Jews said, 'God'. Japanese admirals arrainged a meeting of the head rabbis with the head Shinto priests. The Jews remained under the protection of the Japanese military. Most of the Jews were sent to Shanghai, where they were exploited by the Chinese. When the ghetto was bombed, Japanese and Jewish doctors took care of all victims. The ironies are many- most of the military leaders that came up with these uncoordinated plans were anti-semetic. They served with anti-semetic tzarist military officers that fought against the new USSR. Since they believed that Jews controlled the finances and politics of the Western world, that the European Jews could be used as bargaining chips to lift the oil embargo placed on Japan. Other Japanese believed that the Jews had great technilogical expertise that would help Japan in Manchuria, but they ended up with mostly rabbis and their students. Individuals in the army and navy stood up to the Germans and refused to handover any Jew to the Nazis, when Nazis arrived in Japan. Another irony was that the classical Mir Yeshiva, a rabbinical school that had provided rabbis to America, was saved by the Japanese. The Jews in America had to turn to Japan to get spiritual leadership from the very Jews that American Jews had refused to help. The Mir Yeshiva was the only yeshiva in European yeshiva to survive intact. The Yeshiva University in New York City is the direct result of Japan's kindness and support to a people that had no where else to go. Also, some of the Japanese converted to the Jewish faith.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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