Rescue in the Holocaust by Diplomats

Israeli postage stamp honoring diplomatic rescuers (left to right) Giorgio Perlasca, Dr. Aristides de Sousa Mendes, Carl Lutz, Chiune Sugihara and Selahattin Ülkumen.

Israeli postage stamp honoring diplomatic rescuers (left to right) Giorgio Perlasca, Dr. Aristides de Sousa Mendes, Carl Lutz, Chiune Sugihara and Selahattin Ülkumen.

 

Click Here for
Diplomatic Rescue by Country

 

See Below for List of
Diplomats Who Rescued Jews

 

History of Diplomatic Rescue 1933-1945

The Nazis depended on the support of millions in order to murder millions.  Of the few Jews who survived the Holocaust, some did so largely on their own, while others were helped by good people--friends, neighbors and total strangers.

Many people turned a blind eye and did nothing, or worse they made it harder for the innocent to survive.  Diplomats, consuls and foreign officials were in a unique position to extend significant help to Jewish refugees.  For persecuted Jews desperately seeking visas to escape the Nazis, the actions of these diplomats could mean the difference between life and death.  Many diplomats used every nuance in their regulations in order to keep Jews from entering their countries.  Yet a few defied their countries to save Jews.

Chiune Sugihara, the Japanese Consul who saved Jews in Kovno, Lithuania, said:  “Those people told me the kind of horror they would have to face if they didn’t get away from the Nazis and I believe them.  There was no place else for them to go....If I had waited any longer, even if permission came, it might have been too late.”

Taken all together, these few diplomats rescued many tens of thousands of Jewish lives and were responsible for saving the largest numbers of Jews during the Holocaust.  Yet they remained modest. When asked why he did it, Italian-born Giorgio Perlasca who became the Spanish chargé d’affaires in Budapest said simply:  “Because I could not bear the sight of people branded as animals.  Because I couldn’t bear to see children killed.  I think it was this.  I don’t think I was a hero.”

As official representatives of their governments, the diplomats were obligated to uphold the immigration laws and policies of their countries.  By issuing visas to Jewish refugees, some were acting contrary to the explicit orders of their governments and superiors.  Doing this put them at direct risk to their careers and, in some cases, even their lives.  After issuing thousands of visas to Jewish and other refugees in Bordeaux, France, in June 1940, Portuguese Consul General Aristides de Sousa Mendes explained:  “My government has denied all applications for visas to any refugee.  But I cannot allow these people to die....I am going to issue [a visa] to anyone who asks for it...Even if I am discharged I can only act as a Christian, as my conscience tells me.”

Soon after issuing visas, de Sousa Mendes was dismissed from the Portuguese Foreign Ministry and was stripped of his rank and his pension.  He was forced to sell his home, was ostracized by his friends, and suffered two strokes that left him partially paralyzed.  De Sousa Mendes had no regrets:  “If so many Jews can suffer because of one person [Hitler], then one Christian can suffer for Jews.”  In 1954, de Sousa Mendes died in poverty.

After more than 60 years, some diplomats honored in the exhibit have yet to be recognized or rehabilitated in their own countries.  In the years after the war, many diplomats and their families suffered retribution and economic hardship for their courageous actions.  The families of these diplomats have sought to have the respective governments restore the name and the honor of their fathers.

We can now publicly recognize these altruistic people and tell the story of their great deeds.

 

Hiram "Harry" Bingham, IV, Diplomatic Rescuer

The Visas for Life Project has been studying, in depth, the diplomatic rescue of Jews in France, 1940-44.  There were a number of prominent diplomats who were operating in Southern France, particularly in Marseilles.  One of these important diplomats was Hiram “Harry” Bingham, IV.  Bingham was a Vice Consul stationed at the American consular office in Marseilles, France, 1937-1941.  He was in charge of the visa section of the consulate.  Bingham issued visas and affidavits, and provided other documents that enabled refugees to successfully leave Marseilles for neutral countries like Spain and Portugal.  No other consular officer in France was as helpful to endangered refugees.  Bingham aided the Emergency Rescue Committee (ERC) in their activities to help artists, writers, and other intellectuals to escape France.  Bingham and the ERC, which was led by Varian Fry, were involved in an intricate network of rescue operations in and around Marseilles.  They were working particularly with other American groups, like the American Friends’ Service Committee (AFSC; Quakers), the American Federation of Labor (AFofL), and the Unitarian Service Committee (USC).  These groups were active in an underground rescue umbrella group called the Nîmes Committee, which was headquartered in the nearby city of Nîmes, France.  In addition, Bingham was working with a number of other international diplomats to aid Jews in southern France.  This was one of the largest rescue networks operating in Europe.  Hundreds of individuals and dozens of organizations were working courageously to prevent Jews and others from being arrested, deported and murdered.  Bingham was acting on his own authority, without the approval or permission of either his superiors at the consular office or officials at the State Department in Washington, DC.  Specifically, the U.S. Consul General in Marseilles and the State Department disapproved of Varian Fry’s rescue activity.  We have presented here a compilation document on the rescue of Jews by Consul Bingham, which includes the activities and histories of many of these organizations.  Bingham was at the center of many of these activities, so through him, we can get an overview of rescue in Marseilles.  Included with it is a rescue timeline of Bingham and his work in Southern France.  Also included are testimonies by individuals who worked with Bingham and Fry.  Please also visit our document, Rescue in France, which will give a detailed list of organizations and individuals who were rescuing Jews throughout France.
Harry Bingham received a posthumous Constructive Dissent award from the U.S. State Department in 2002.  He was commended by Yad Vashem for his rescue activities in France in 2004.  The United States Post Office issued a commemorative stamp in his honor in 2006.

The Institute for the Study of Rescue and Altruism in the Holocaust and Visas for Life: The Righteous and Honorable Diplomats Project have submitted all of this material to the Department of the Righteous at Yad Vashem: The World Holocaust Remembrance Center.  This includes the testimony of survivors who were aided by Bingham personally.  It is our goal to have Harry Bingham honored as Righteous Among the Nations by the State of Israel.

Click here to visit the Bingham historic compilation.

 

Diplomats Who Rescued Jews

 

The following is an alphabetical list of diplomats who were active in aiding and saving Jews and other refugees from the Holocaust, 1933-1945.  This list includes a brief description of the individual, his or her position, the country represented, and where the diplomat was posted while aiding Jews and other refugees.  We have included bibliographic information and references on these individuals.

We have listed 347 diplomats.  We believe this to the be largest, most comprehensive database of diplomats who aided Jews and other refugees during the Holocaust.

This list is a work in progress.  We will be adding new names and additional information as we continue to work on this comprehensive list.

 

A-B                    C-J                    K-R                  S-Z

 

* Recognized by the State of Israel as Righteous among the Nations, Yad Vashem: The World Holocaust Remembrance Center.
** Recognized by the State of Israel with Letter of Commendation.

 

Aarts** (Dutchman), Office Néerlandis (Netherlands Office)


Aarts represented the Dutch government-in-exile.  Worked in rescue networks.  (De Jong, Het Koninkrijk; Ford, 1999; Gutman, 1990, 2004; Moore, 2010)


Ildebrando Pompeo Accioly, Brazilian Ambassador to the Holy See, 1942?

Ildebrando Pompeo Accioly, the Brazilian Ambassador to the Holy See, approached Pope Pius XII to try to persuade him to condemn publicly the Nazi atrocities that were perpetrated in German occupied zones.  Accioly, along with a number of other ambassadors, on a number of occasions continued to encourage the Pope to speak out publicly.  Accioly also submitted joint démarches with other Vatican representatives.

[Tittmann, Harold H., Jr., Harold H. Tittman III (Ed.). Inside the Vatican of Pius XII: The Memoir of an American Diplomat During World War II. (New York: Image Books Doubleday, 2004), p. 101, 117-118.]


György (George) Adam, “Third Secretary,” Vatican Embassy, Budapest, Hungary, 1944-1945

György Adam was a Jewish refugee who sought refuge in the Vatican embassy in Budapest.  The Papal Nuncio, Angelo Rotta, agreed to let Adam represent the Vatican office.  While there, Adam volunteered to go on missions to the Obuda brickyards to release Jews from custody.  In doing so, he was able to prevent Jews from being deported to the death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau.  Armed with Vatican protective documents, Adam was able to release hundreds of Jews from the Obuda brickyards transit camp.  He worked with Father Gennaro Verolino, the assistant to Angelo Rotta, in rescuing Jews from death marches to the Austrian border.  On one occasion, he prevented the arrest of Admiral Horthy, the Regent of Hungary, and his family, by Nazi occupying forces.  At that time, he announced that he was the Second Secretary to the Nunciatura.  This title stuck with him throughout the war.  Adam provided testimony to Yad Vashem on behalf of Father Gennaro Verolino that enabled Father Verolino to be recognized as Righteous Among the Nations.

[György Adam oral history testimony.  Braham, Randolph L. The Politics of Genocide: The Holocaust in Hungary. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1981).  Lévai, Jenö. Black Book on the Martyrdom of Hungarian Jewry. (Central European Times Publishing, 1948).]


Francisco Aguilar, Mexican Consul General in France, 1940-1941?

Francisco Aguilar was the Mexican Consul General in France, 1940-1941.  He worked with Gilberto Bosques in aiding Jews to escape France.

[Rodríguez, Luis I. Misión de Luis I. Rodríguez en Francia: La protección de los refugiados españoles, Julio a diciembre de 1940. (México: El Colegio de México, Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores, Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología, 2000), pp. 561, 569-570, 573.]


Irfan Sabit Akça, Turkey, Consul General in Prague, 1939-1943

[Shaw, Stanford J. Turkey and the Holocaust: Turkey’s Role in Rescuing Turkish and European Jewry from Nazi Persecution, 1933-1945. (New York: New York University Press, 1993).]


Fuat Aktan, Turkey, Consul General in Constanza, 1937-1942

[Shaw, Stanford J. Turkey and the Holocaust: Turkey’s Role in Rescuing Turkish and European Jewry from Nazi Persecution, 1933-1945. (New York: New York University Press, 1993).]


Dino Alfieri, Italian Ambassador in Berlin, 1940-1942

Dino Alfieri was the Italian Ambassador in Berlin in 1940-1942.  In 1940, Alfieri sent a proposal to the Italian foreign ministry to protect the rights of Italian Jewish citizens residing in France.  The ministry approved Alfieri’s request to protect citizenship and property rights of French Jews.  On September 2, 1942, Ambassador Alfieri was successful in his formal request that the German Foreign Office delay the application of anti-Semitic racial laws in North Africa.  Further, he persuaded the German high command in Tunisia not to take measures against Jews of Italian nationality without the consent of the Italian Consul General there.  Over 5,000 Italian Jews in Tunisia were thus left unharmed. 

[Alfieri, Dino. Deux dictateurs face à face: Rome-Berlin, 1939-1943. (Paris, 1948). Carpi, Daniel. Between Mussolini and Hitler: The Jews and the Italian Authorities in France and Tunisia. (Hanover, NH: Brandeis University Press, 1994), pp. 25-26, 106-107, 117, 225, 256-257, 284n.13. Carpi, Daniel. "The Rescue of Jews in the Italian Zone of Occupied Croatia." In Rescue Attempts During the Holocaust. Proceedings of the Second Yad Vashem International Historical Conference, edited by Y. Gutman & E. Zuroff. (Jerusalem, 1977), pp. 473-476, 486-487, 491. Michaelis, Meir. Mussolini and the Jews: German-Italian Relations and the Jewish Question in Italy, 1922-1945. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1978), pp. 108, 116, 131, 161, 177-178, 185, 229, 279, 289-290, 296, 301-302, 316, 333, 337, 417.]


Richard Allen, American Red Cross, Marseilles, 1940

Richard Allen, of the American Red Cross, stationed in Marseilles, France, helped many Jews escape to Spain and Portugal.  Allen helped Fry and the Emergency Rescue Committee, and other relief agencies, in their efforts to help Jews escape.  Allen also coordinated with Czech diplomat Vladimir Vochoc to obtain precious Czechoslovakian visas used to escape.

[Favez, Jean-Claude.  Edited and translated by John and Beryl Fletcher. The Red Cross and the Holocaust. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999). Fry, Varian. Surrender on Demand. (New York: Random House, 1945). Marino, Andy. A Quiet American: The Secret War of Varian Fry. (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1999), p. 119.  Ryan, Donna F. The Holocaust and the Jews of Marseille: The Enforcement of Anti-Semitic Policies in Vichy France. (Urbana, IL: The University of Illinois Press, 1996).  Marrus, Michael, R., and Robert O. Paxton. Vichy France and the Jews. (New York: Basic Books, 1981).]


António Alves, Portuguese Consul General in Paris, 1942

António Alves was the Portuguese Consul General in Paris after the German occupation of France.  A report generated by Alves demonstrated his intentions and actions to help save the Jews from persecution and deportation.  He coordinated his activities to save Jews with the Portuguese ambassador in Vichy, Caeiro da Mata.  Alves successfully was able to have Portuguese and other Jews released from detention.  These Jewish refugees had been rounded up in November 1942 and taken to the internment camp in Drancy.  He also managed to have Portuguese Jews released from concentration camps in the occupied French zones. Portuguese dictator Antonio Salazar and the Portuguese Foreign Ministry eventually approved the Consul’s protection of Jews who held Portuguese nationality.

[Milgram, Avraham. “The Bounds of Neutrality: Portugal and the Repatriation of its Jewish Nationals.” Yad Vashem Studies, 31 (2003), pp. 201-244.  Report from António Alves to Foreign Ministry, AHD, 2o P. A. 50, M. 40.  Report from Consul General in Paris, António Alves to Foreign Ministry, “The Question of the Portuguese Levantine Jews in France,” January 1943, AHD, 2o P. A. 50, M. 40, pp. 5, 14.]


Per Anger,* Secretary of the Swedish Legation in Budapest, Hungary, 1944-45

Per Anger was the Secretary of the Swedish Legation in Budapest, Hungary in 1944-1945.  Anger, along with Minister Carl Ivan Danielsson, kept the Swedish legation open in Hungary and worked closely with their diplomats and volunteers.  Anger designed and distributed an early form of Swedish protective paper.  Anger also personally intervened on behalf of Jews who were being deported to the Nazi death camps.  On other occasions, Anger rescued Jews from Nazi death marches leaving Budapest.  Consul Anger is credited with saving thousands of Jews from the spring of 1944 until the end of the war in May 1945. Per Anger was awarded the Righteous Among the Nations title by the State of Israel in 1980.  He became an honorary citizen of Israel in 2001.  For more than 50 years, Per Anger worked tirelessly on behalf of the memory of Raoul Wallenberg.  Anger died in 2002.

[Anger, Per. With Raoul Wallenberg in Budapest: Memories of the War Years in Hungary. (Washington, DC: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 1996). Skoglund, Elizabeth R. A Quiet Courage: Per Anger, Wallenberg’s Co-Liberator of Hungarian Jews. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1997).  Braham, Randolph L. The Politics of Genocide: The Holocaust in Hungary. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1981), pp. 899, 1088. Asaf, Uri. Christian support for Jews during the Holocaust in Hungary. In Braham, Randolph L. (Ed.) Studies on the Holocaust in Hungary, pp. 65-112. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1990), p. 68. Lévai, Jenö. Black Book on the Martyrdom of Hungarian Jewry. (Central European Times Publishing, 1948), p. 227. Levine, Paul A. From Indifference to Activism: Swedish Diplomacy and the Holocaust: 1938-1944. (Uppsala, Sweden: 1998), pp. 255, 236-277.  Koblik, Steven. The Stones Cry Out: Sweden’s Response to the Persecution of the Jews, 1933-1945. (New York: Holocaust Library, 1988), pp. 68, 75, 107, 162, 249. Lévai, Jenö, translated by Frank Vajda. Raoul Wallenberg: His Remarkable Life, Heroic Battles and the Secret of his Mysterious Disappearance. (Melbourne, 1988, originally published in Hungarian in 1948).]


Bedii Arbel, Turkey, Consul General in Paris, 1940-1943

[Shaw, Stanford J. Turkey and the Holocaust: Turkey’s Role in Rescuing Turkish and European Jewry from Nazi Persecution, 1933-1945. (New York: New York University Press, 1993), pp. 79-80, 85-86, 95, 101-102, 135, 137, 140-141, 332.]


José Luis Archer, Portuguese Consul General in Paris, 1940-41

In the first two years of the Nazi occupation of Paris, Portuguese Consul General José Luis Archer frequently protested the Foreign Ministry’s lack of concern for the welfare of Portuguese Jews in Paris.  For Archer’s actions to help Jews, the Portuguese dictator Antonio Salazar sought to have him replaced.

[Milgram, Avraham. “The Bounds of Neutrality: Portugal and the Repatriation of its Jewish Nationals.” Yad Vashem Studies, 31 (2003), pp. 201-244.  Melo, António. “O processo dos portugueses levantinos.” Publico, (November 10, 1998), p. 28.]


Saffet Arikan, Turkey, Ambassador to Berlin, 1942-1944

[Shaw, Stanford J. Turkey and the Holocaust: Turkey’s Role in Rescuing Turkish and European Jewry from Nazi Persecution, 1933-1945. (New York: New York University Press, 1993).]


Juan Manuel de Arístegui, Spanish Ambassador to Belgium

Worked throughout the occupation of Belgium to get Belgian Jews out of Belgium to Spain by claiming they were Spanish nationals. Arístegui stopped a deportation train bound for a concentration camp.


Ragip Rauf Arman, Turkey, Consul General in Constanza, 1942-1945

[Shaw, Stanford J. Turkey and the Holocaust: Turkey’s Role in Rescuing Turkish and European Jewry from Nazi Persecution, 1933-1945. (New York: New York University Press, 1993).]


Luciano Arrighi, Italian Consul in Nice

[Carpi, Daniel. Between Mussolini and Hitler: The Jews and the Italian Authorities in France and Tunisia. (Hanover, NH: Brandeis University Press, 1994), pp. 301n.20.]


Boyan Atanassov, Bulgarian Diplomat in Paris, France, 1940

Boyan Atanassov was serving as a consul at the Bulgarian embassy in Paris in 1940.  He saved scores of Jewish people, many of whom were Bulgarian Jews trapped in France after the Nazi occupation.  He issued Bulgarian passports and visas and arranged transport for these people through Germany to a safe refuge in Bulgaria.  He did this without authorization from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Sofia. 

[Shaw, Stanford J. Turkey and the Holocaust: Turkey’s Role in Rescuing Turkish and European Jewry from Nazi Persecution, 1933-1945. (New York: New York University Press, 1993), pp. 136, 141-142, 150.]


Eric Bache, Swedish Consul in Norway, 1943-44?

[Yahil, L. “Scandinavian Countries to the Rescue of Concentration Camp Prisoners.” Yad Vashem Studies, 6 (1967), p. 190.]


Alberto Bafico, Argentine Consul in Budapest, 1939, and Copenhagen, 1943

Consul Alberto Bafico reported on the anti-Semitic persecution of Jews from his post in Budapest, Hungary.  Later, Bafico reported on the German invasion and occupation of Denmark.  He reported on the persecutions and danger to Danish Jews.

[Feierstein, Daniel and Miguel Galante. “Argentina and the Holocaust: The conceptions and policies of Argentine diplomacy, 1933-1945.” Yad Vashem Studies, 27 (1999), 182-183.]


Domingo de las Barcenas, Spanish Ambassador to Rome, 1942-1943

Domingo de las Barcenas, the Spanish Ambassador to Rome, was warned of the impending deportation of Jews in Rome in December 1942.  Barcenas tried to find safe houses for Jews in Rome that were maintained by Catholic religious orders.  These safe houses were later raided and Jews deported.  Barcenas then went to the Vatican and met with Vatican Secretary of State Montini protesting the deportations.  Together, they went to the German embassy and again protested deportations.  Eichmann protested the Spanish Embassy’s “interference” in Rome to officials in Madrid. 

[Alexy, Trudy. The Mezuzah in the Madonna’s Foot, pp. 166-167. (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993).]


Narciso Bassols, Mexican Consul General in France, 1940-1941?

Narciso Bassols was the Mexican Consul General in France, 1940-1941.  He worked with Gilberto Bosques in aiding Jews to escape France.

[Rodríguez, Luis I. Misión de Luis I. Rodríguez en Francia: La protección de los refugiados españoles, Julio a diciembre de 1940. (Mexico: El Colegio de México, Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores, Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología, 2000), pp. 59, 299, 301, 361.]


Giuseppe Bastianini, Italy, Governor of Dalmatia, 1941-43, and Undersecretary, Italian Foreign Ministry, 1943-45

In the spring of 1941, Giuseppe Bastianini was appointed Italian Governor of Dalmatia.  He was directly involved in protecting Jewish refugees in the Italian zone of occupation from deportation and murder.  As Undersecretary of the Italian Foreign Ministry (appointed February 1943), Bastiannini submitted an important memorandum for the signature of Mussolini to protect Jews in the Italian zones of occupation.  He convinced Mussolini that the Italian Army and diplomatic corps must not collaborate in the killing of Jews.  On two separate occasions, he told Mussolini that if he signed an order for deportation of Jews, the responsibility for their deaths would be his.  Mussolini agreed not to cooperate with German deportation orders on both of these occasions.  Further, Bastiannini encouraged diplomats under his supervision to protect Jews. 

[Bastianini, Giuseppe. Uomini, cose, fatti: Memorie di un ambasciator. (Milan, 1959). Carpi, Daniel. Between Mussolini and Hitler: The Jews and the Italian Authorities in France and Tunisia. (Hanover, NH: Brandeis University Press, 1994), p. 109, 113, 117, 129-135, 150-151, 175, 269n.12, 284-285n.23, 289nn.65, 67, 292n.92.  Carpi, Daniel. "The Rescue of Jews in the Italian Zone of Occupied Croatia." In Rescue Attempts During the Holocaust. Proceedings of the Second Yad Vashem International Historical Conference, edited by Y. Gutman & E. Zuroff. (Jerusalem, 1977), pp. 470-477, 494. Verax [Roberto Ducci]. “Italiani ed ebrei in Jugoslavia,” Politica Estera, I. (Rome, 1944), pp. 21-29. Caracciolo, 1986, pp. 96-98. Carpi, 1990, p. 730. Herzer, 1989, pp. 214, 238-239, 241. Michaelis, 1978, pp. 44, 301, 308, 331. Poliakov & Sabille, 1955, pp. 34, 70-72 [document 8]. Steinberg, 1990, pp. 3, 92-93, 116, 124-128, 134-135. Zuccotti, 1987, pp. 121-123, 128-130. Gutman, Yisrael (Ed.). Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, 4 vols. (New York: Macmillan, 1990), p. 730.  Rochlitz, Joseph. “Excerpts from the Salonika Diary of Lucillo Merci (February-August 1943).” Yad Vashem Studies, 18 (1987), pp. 293-323.]


Jean de Bavier, Swiss International Red Cross, Budapest

Jean de Bavier was a Swiss member of the International Red Cross in Hungary.  He supported the activities of the Jewish Welfare Bureau (Pártfogó Iroda).  He was replaced by Friedrich Born.

[Favez, Jean-Claude.  Edited and translated by John and Beryl Fletcher. The Red Cross and the Holocaust. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), pp. 110, 234-236, 243, 248. Asaf, Uri. Christian support for Jews during the Holocaust in Hungary. In Braham, Randolph L. (Ed.) Studies on the Holocaust in Hungary, pp. 65-112. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1990), p. 74. Ben-Tov, Arieh. Facing the Holocaust in Budapest: The International Committee of the Red Cross and the Jews in Hungary, 1943-1945. (Boston: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1988), pp. 91-137, 139, 141, 167-170, 287, 331, 386-387, 389. Lévai, J. “Grey Book on the Rescuing of Hungarian Jews.” Budapest: Officina, 1946.]


Lazaro Benveniste, Spanish Consul in Cavalla, 1942-43?

Lazaro Benveniste represented himself as a former Vice Consul of Spain in Cavalla.  At the time of his rescue activity, he was working out of Lausanne.  Benveniste also worked with Saly Maier of the Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.  They also worked with Solomon Ezrati. 

[Avni, Haim. “Spanish Nationals in Greece and their Fate during the Holocaust.” Yad Vashem Studies, 8 (1970), p. 65.]


Lars Berg,* Swedish Consul in Budapest, Hungary, 1944-45

Lars Berg was part of the diplomatic mission to Budapest, Hungary.  Along with his Swedish diplomatic colleagues, he was responsible for saving Jews from Nazi and Arrow Cross deportations and murder.  Berg authored a book on the Swedish legation’s mission entitled, What Happened in Budapest (Stockholm: Forsners Förlag, 1949).  He was honored by Yad Vashem with the title Righteous Among the Nations in 1982 for his actions. 

[Berg, Lars G. What Happened in Budapest. (Stockholm: Forsners Förlag, 1949). Braham, Randolph L. The Politics of Genocide: The Holocaust in Hungary. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1981), p. 1088. Asaf, Uri. Christian support for Jews during the Holocaust in Hungary. In Braham, Randolph L. (Ed.) Studies on the Holocaust in Hungary, pp. 65-112. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1990), p. 71. Skoglund, Elizabeth R. A Quiet Courage: Per Anger, Wallenberg’s Co-Liberator of Hungarian Jews. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1997), pp. 19-21, 36-38, 46, 60, 99-100, 116, 139-141, 166. Lévai, Jenö, translated by Frank Vajda. Raoul Wallenberg: His Remarkable Life, Heroic Battles and the Secret of his Mysterious Disappearance. (Melbourne, 1988, originally published in Hungarian in 1948).]


Adolph A. Berle, Jr., Assistant US Secretary of State, Washington, DC, 1940-1945

On February 16 and 23, 1940, the Assistant Secretary of State Berle tried to persuade Secretary of State Cordell Hull to help Jews based on reports of deportations of Jews to concentration camps.  He also tried to persuade the State Department to condemn Nazi persecution of Jews.  Later, Berle helped liberalize State Department policy toward issuing visas.  In late 1943, Berle approved a license for a transfer of funds to save Jewish rabbis in Czechoslovakia.  Berle stated that the “no ransom” policy was no longer pertinent.

[Friedman, Saul S. No Haven for the Oppressed. (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1973), pp. 128, 134. Wyman, David S. The Abandonment of the Jews: America and the Holocaust, 1941-1945. (New York: Pantheon, 1984), pp. 74, 80, 111, 145, 190-191.  NA/SDDF, 840.48 Refugees / 5136, January 29, 1944, Berle memorandum to Rabbi Riegelmann.  Feingold, Henry. The Politics of Rescue: The Roosevelt Administration and the Holocaust, 1938-1944. (New Brunswick, NJ: (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1970), pp. 101, 142, 217, 227.]


Count Folke Bernadotte, Swedish Red Cross, Germany, 1945

Count Folke Bernadotte (1895-1948) was Vice President of the Swedish Red Cross in Germany in 1945.  He was nephew to King Gustav V of Sweden.  In the Spring of 1945, Bernadotte negotiated with SS commander Heinrich Himmler for the release of thousands of people held in Nazi concentration camps.  These included over 400 Danish Jews imprisoned in Theresienstadt.  Later, he negotiated and arranged for the release of 10,0000 women from the Ravensbrück and Bergen Belsen concentration camps.  He arranged for special busses, converted to ambulances, known as the “white busses,” to take them from the camps.  They were eventually transported safely to Sweden.  Bernadotte wrote about his wartime activities in a book entitled, The Curtain Falls.  In 1948, he was appointed to the position of Mediator for the Security Council of the United Nations in Palestine.  Bernadotte negotiated a temporary truce between Arab and Jewish armies.  He was assassinated by the Jewish underground on September 17, 1948, while serving in this position.  After the war, the Israeli government apologized to his family.

[Bernadotte, Folke, Count. The Fall of the Curtain: Last Days of the Third Reich. (London: Cassell, 1945). Levine, Paul A. From Indifference to Activism: Swedish Diplomacy and the Holocaust: 1938-1944. (Uppsala, Sweden, 1998). Marton, Kati. A Death in Jerusalem. (New York: Pantheon Books, 1996). Favez, Jean-Claude.  Edited and translated by John and Beryl Fletcher. The Red Cross and the Holocaust. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), pp. 238, 262, 265, 278. Gutman, Yisrael (Ed.). Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, 4 vols. (New York: Macmillan, 1990), pp. 205-206, 1233, 1439-1440. Yahil, L. “Scandinavian Countries to the Rescue of Concentration Camp Prisoners.” Yad Vashem Studies, 6 (1967), pp. 182, 195, 198-219.  Marton, Kati. A Death in Jerusalem. (New York: Pantheon Books, 1996). Koblik, Steven. The Stones Cry Out: Sweden’s Response to the Persecution of the Jews, 1933-1945. (New York: Holocaust Library, 1988), pp. 39, 76-78, 121-135, 137, 139, 162-164, 277-280, 283-290. Penkower, Monty Noam. The Jews Were Expendable: Free World diplomacy and the Holocaust.  (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1983), pp. 238, 269-280. Zariz, Ruth. “Officially Approved Emigration from Germany after 1941: A Case Study.” Yad Vashem Studies, 18 (1987), pp. 280-281. Levin, Nora. The Holocaust: The Destruction of European Jewry, 1933-1945. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1968), pp. 702-703, 706-708, 744. Hindley, Meredith. “Negotiating the boundary of unconditional surrender: The War Refugee Board in Sweden and Nazi proposals to ransom Jews, 1944-1945.” Holocaust and Genocide Studies, 10 (1996), 52-77. Yahil, L. “The historiography of the refugee problem and of rescue efforts in the neutral countries.”  In Yisrael Gutman and Gideon Greif (Eds.). The Historiography of the Holocaust Period: Proceedings of the Fifth Yad Vashem International Historical Conference, Jerusalem, March 1983, pp. 513-533.  Yahil, Leni. The Rescue of Danish Jewry: Test of a Democracy.(Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1969), pp. 315, 316, 371.]


Monsignor Philippe Bernardini, Papal Nuncio and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, Bern, Switzerland, 1942-45

Monsignor Philippe Bernardini, Papal Nuncio in Bern, Switzerland, repeatedly intervened on behalf of Jewish refugees who were stranded in Switzerland after fleeing Germany and Nazi occupied countries.  This prevented them from being deported from Switzerland during the war.  Bernardini placed couriers of the Vatican diplomatic service at the disposal of Jewish relief agencies.  They were thus able to issue visas through Ambassador Lados and Dr. Julius Kuhl in countries that had severed diplomatic relations with Poland.  Bernardini personally intervened on behalf of the Jews of Slovakia.  In addition, Bernardini helped Jewish relief agencies to save Jews by acquiring and distributing fictitious South American passports.  Bernardini also worked with the Red Cross to obtain recognition of these documents by South American governments. 

[Bauer, Yehuda. American Jewry and the Holocaust. (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1981), p. 289.  Friedenson, Joseph, and David Kranzler, forward by Julius Kuhl. Heroine of Rescue: The Incredible Story of Recha Sternbuch Who Saved Thousands from the Holocaust. (Brooklyn, NY: Mesorah Publications, 1984). Vatican (Holy See). Actes et documents du Saint-Siège relatifs à la Seconde Guerre Mondiale. 12 vols. (1966-1981). Morley, John. Vatican Diplomacy and the Jews during the Holocaust, 1939-1943. (New York: Ktav, 1980), pp. 31-32, 35, 40, 60-61, 67-68, 79-80, 84, 117, 135-136, 140-142, 203, 212. Rothkirchen, Livia. “Vatican Policy and the ‘Jewish Problem’ in ‘Independent’ Slovakia (1939-1945).” Yad Vashem Studies, 6 (1967), pp. 40. Kranzler, David. Thy Brother’s Blood: The Orthodox Jewish Response During the Holocaust. (Brooklyn, NY: Mesorah, 1987), pp. 190, 197-199, 202-203. Penkower, Monty Noam. The Jews Were Expendable: Free World diplomacy and the Holocaust.  (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1983), pp. 63, 249, 252, 365n.7. Pawlikowski, John T. The Catholic response to the Holocaust: Institutional perspectives.  In Berenbaum, Michael, and Abraham J. Peck (Eds.). The Holocaust and History: The Known, the Unknown, the Disputed, and the Reexamined, pp. 551-565. (Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1998), p. 557. Conway, John S. “Records and documents of the Holy See relating to the Second World War.” Yad Vashem Studies, 15 (1983), 327-345.  Tittmann, Harold H., Jr., Harold H. Tittman III (Ed.). Inside the Vatican of Pius XII: The Memoir of an American Diplomat During World War II. (New York: Image Books Doubleday, 2004), pp. 36-37.]


Burton Berry, US Consul, Istanbul, Turkey, 1943

US Consul in Istanbul, Burton Berry, sent numerous reports regarding the treatment of Jews in Greece.  Berry made continuous desperate appeals to his superiors in the US State Department to save Greek Jews from deportation and death.  He also suggested that the State Department assist Jews in escaping to Palestine, the Middle East and the mountains of Greece.  Berry sent Washington a report on the arrest and deportation of the Jews in Salonika.

[Matsas, Michael. The Illusion of Safety: The Story of the Greek Jews During World War II. (New York: Pella Publishing Co.1997), p. 21-23, 67, 95, 98, 411.  Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library, Hyde Park, New York.]


Anthony J. Drexel Biddle, Jr., US Ambassador to the European Governments in Exile and US Ambassador to Poland

On August 26, 1942, Ambassador Biddle forwarded an eight-page memorandum prepared by Ernest Frischer, who was a member of the Czechoslovakian State Council in Exile.  This report detailed the wholesale organized murder of Jews by the German government.  Biddle thought this document was so important that he forwarded it directly to President Roosevelt.  Biddle was a personal friend of Roosevelt.  This report had a significant impact on US diplomats in Washington.  As Ambassador to Poland in 1938, Biddle sent a report to US Secretary of State Cordell Hull warning him regarding Nazi Germany and the dangers of a future Holocaust.  He advocated that something be done to protect Jews.

[Braham, Randolph L. The Politics of Genocide: The Holocaust in Hungary. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1981), pp. 698-699.  Morse, Arthur D. While Six Million Died: A Chronicle of American Apathy. (New York: Random House, 1967), pp. 10, 33, 232-233.  Feingold, Henry. The Politics of Rescue: The Roosevelt Administration and the Holocaust, 1938-1944. (New Brunswick, NJ:(New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1970), p. 171.]


Dr. Anna (Anni) Binder*, Czech diplomat in Europe

Dr. Anna (Anni) Binder (later Urbanová), a Czech diplomat, was arrested for helping to hide Jewish property and transfer it overseas.  She was deported to the Auschwitz death camp in March 1942.  While there, she helped assign slave laborers to work that would save their lives.  She provided moral support to Jewish inmates.  For helping Jews, she was sent to do hard labor in Birkenau, where she fell gravely ill.  She survived the war.  Anna Binder was honored on July 18, 1967, as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Memorial Museum in Jersualem, Israel.

“Anna (Anni) Binder (later Urbanová) was born to German parents in Ceske Budejovice.  Knowing foreign languages led to her being accepted for a job with the Czech Foreign Office in Prague in 1936, which allowed her a diplomatic passport. The political changes at the end of 1938 led to Anna’s immediate dismissal.  She thus started giving private lessons in foreign languages to refugees who had found a temporary refuge in the Czech Republic.  Dr. Urbanová’s democratic worldview and her sensitivity to the persecution of others motivated her to assist any refugees who asked her for help.  She helped them to hide their valuables and money and to transfer them to a secure place in Switzerland.  This activity led to the arrest of her and her sister for a short period.  Despite this, after her release, more than once Dr. Urbanová gave her diplomatic passport and her lineage certificate (Ahnenpass) to members of the underground to utilize.  Dr. Urbanová was arrested by the Gestapo in 1941, and she was deported to a concentration camp.  Dr. Urbanová’s incarceration in Ravensbrück came to an end with the transfer of 1000 German women—of which she was one—to Auschwitz, in March 1942, in order to supervise Jewish inmates that the Germans planned to bring to this camp.”

[Gutman, Israel. The Encyclopedia of the Righteous Among the Nations: Rescuers of Jews During the Holocaust, Europe (Part 1) and Other Countries. Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 2007), p. 39-40.]


Károly Binder, Hungarian Consul in Paris, France

Károly Binder was a Hungarian Consul in Paris, France, and helped rescue Hungarian Jews.  He worked with Antal Uhl and they both distributed Christian identification papers to Jewish refugees in Paris.

[Hetényi, Varga K., “Those Who Were Persecuted Because of the Truth.” Ecclesia, Budapest, 1985.  Lévai, J. “Grey Book on the Rescuing of Hungarian Jews.” Budapest: Officina, 1946. Szenes, S., “Unfinished Past.” Budapest: Author, 1984. Asaf, Uri. Christian support for Jews during the Holocaust in Hungary. In Braham, Randolph L. (Ed.) Studies on the Holocaust in Hungary, pp. 65-112. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1990), p. 106. Braham, Randolph L. The Politics of Genocide: The Holocaust in Hungary. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1981), pp. 263-264.]


Hiram Bingham IV, US Vice Consul in Marseilles, France, 1940-1941

Hiram Bingham was the American Vice Consul in charge of visas, stationed in Marseilles, France, in 1940-1941.  Shortly after the fall of France, Bingham, against the orders and policy of his superiors, issued visas, safe passes, and letters of transit to Jewish refugees.  Many visas were falsified in order to protect the refugees from internment.  Bingham helped set up the contacts and issued visas for the Emergency Rescue Committee, headed by Varian Fry.  Bingham also worked with other rescue operations in Marseilles, including the American Friends’ Service Committee (Quakers), the American Red Cross, the Unitarian Service Committee, the Mennonite Committee, and Jewish relief organizations.  Bingham also worked with the Nîmes (Camps) Committee.  He was, in part, responsible for saving several thousand Jews.  Among them were many anti-Nazi activists, labor leaders, and Communists.  He also rescued Jewish artists, intellectuals, writers and scientists, such as Marc Chagall, Max Ernst, André Breton, Heinrich Mann, and Jewish Nobel Prize winners.  Bingham visited the concentration camps and facilitated issuing visas to Jews trapped in the Les Milles French concentration camp.  In May 1941, Bingham helped the Quakers, the Nîmes Committee and the OSE rescue several hundred Jewish children by issuing US visas.  These children left France in June 1941.  In 1942, Bingham was transferred to the US embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  At the end of the war, he reported on the immigration of Nazi war criminals to Buenos Aires.  He wrote numerous reports and encouraged his supervisors to report these activities to the State Department.  His superiors did nothing and he resigned from the Foreign Service in protest.  In 2000, Bingham was presented the American Foreign Service Association Constructive Dissent award by the US Secretary of State.  In 2005, Hiram Bingham was given a letter of commendation from Israel’s Holocaust Museum.  In 2006, a US commemorative postage stamp was issued in his honor.

[Fry, Varian. Assignment Rescue. (New York: Scholastic, 1997).  Fry, Varian. Surrender on Demand. (New York: Random House, 1945), pp. 10-12, 14, 17-18, 32-33, 49, 56-57, 69-70, 83, 87-90, 147, 172, 215. Marino, Andy. A Quiet American: The Secret War of Varian Fry. (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1999), pp. 99-100, 196, 107-108, 117, 120, 187, 209, 231, 268, 285, 287. Isenberg, Sheila. A Hero of Our Own: The Story of Varian Fry. (New York: Random House), pp. 75-76, 83, 86, 89, 125, 142, 150, 152-153, 193, 193n. Ryan, Donna F. The Holocaust and the Jews of Marseille: The Enforcement of Anti-Semitic Policies in Vichy France. (Urbana, IL: The University of Illinois Press, 1996), pp. 130, 142, 144. Hockley, Ralph M. Freedom is not Free. (2000). US Holocaust Memorial Museum. Assignment Rescue: The Story of Varian Fry and the Emergency Rescue Committee. [Exhibit catalog.] (Washington, DC: US Holocaust Memorial Museum, 1997), p. 7.  Wyman, David S. Paper Walls: America and the Refugee Crisis, 1939-1941. (New York: Pantheon Books, 1985), pp. 167-168.  Varian Fry Papers, Columbia University.  HICEM records, France, YIVO Archives.  Bauer, Yehuda. American Jewry and the Holocaust. (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1981), p. 171.  American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee Archives, New York City.  Bauer, Yehuda. American Jewry and the Holocaust. (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1981), p. 171.]


Abdülhalat Birden, Turkey, Consul General in Budapest, 1942-1944

[Shaw, Stanford J. Turkey and the Holocaust: Turkey’s Role in Rescuing Turkish and European Jewry from Nazi Persecution, 1933-1945. (New York: New York University Press, 1993).]


Dr. Istvan Biro, Lawyer, Deputy for Transylvania, International Red Cross Volunteer, Budapest, 1944-45.

Dr. Istvan Biro was a lawyer, member of the Hungarian Parliament and a volunteer worker for the International Red Cross in Budapest, Hungary, 1944-45. Biro worked with Sándor Ujváry, who worked with apostolic nuncio Angelo Rotta and his assistant, Father Gennaro Verolino.  They filled out hundreds of blank Vatican safe-conducts and distributed them to Jews at the Hungarian checkpoint in Hegyeshalom. As part of the Ujváry group, Biro faked certificates of baptism and other documents for Jews to rescue them from the Arrow Cross. They also distributed truckloads of medical supplies and food to Jews on deportations.  According to contemporary records, 4,700 Jews were returned to Budapest from deportation.  The Ujváry group was in constant danger from the Arrow Cross.

[Braham, Randolph L. The Politics of Genocide: The Holocaust in Hungary. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1981).]


Franz Bischof, Vice Consul in Charge of Swiss Interests in Budapest, 1937-1945

Franz Bischof was actively involved in rescuing Jews along with Carl Lutz in the Swiss Embassy in Budapest, Hungary, 1944-45.  In addition, Bischof personally hid more than 30 Jews from Nazi deportation and murder.

[Braham, Randolph L. The Politics of Genocide: The Holocaust in Hungary. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1981).  Tschuy, 2000.]


W. von Blücher, German Minister to Finland

The German ambassador in Finland, W. von Blücher, sent reports to the German Foreign Ministry about the reaction of the Finnish people to the persecution of Jews in Denmark.  Apparently he wanted to prevent the German government from taking action against the Jews in Finland.

[Yahil, Leni. The Rescue of Danish Jewry: Test of a Democracy. (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1969), pp. 332, 404-415, 514 Fn 47.]


Erik Boheman, Swedish Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Swedish Envoy to Paris

Erik Boheman, Swedish Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Swedish envoy to Paris

[Swedish Foreign Office, The Swedish Relief Expedition to Germany 1945: Prelude and Negotiations [Stockholm, 1956], White Book, 1956; Swedish Foreign Office Archives [UDA], Stockhom; Favez, 1995, pp. 260-272; Hadenius, 2007; Hewins, 1950; Marton, 1996; Persson, 2009, pp. 76, 140, 230-232, 338, 240, 251-252; Yahil, 1967, pp. 181-220]


Branko Bokum, Yugoslavian diplomat representing the Foreign Office

Branko Bokum was a consul with the Yugoslavian Foreign Office.  In August 1941, he was tasked to represent the Yugoslav Foreign Ministry in an appeal to the Vatican to appeal to Hitler to halt the deportations in Croatia.

[Fein, Helen. Accounting for Genocide. (New York: Free Press, 1979), p. 104.]


Mihai Bologa, Romanian Diplomat

Mihai Bologa was a Romanian diplomat who visited the various counties of Northern Transylvania to acquaint himself with the ghettoization and deportation process.

[Braham, Randolph L. The Politics of Genocide: The Holocaust in Hungary. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1981), p. 919.  Marina, Mihai. “Nu puteam ramine impasibili!” [We could not remain impassive!] Magazin Istoric [Historical Magazine), Bucharest, no. 67, June 1976, pp. 39-41.  See also pp. 37-38.]


Hans Bon, International Committee of the Red Cross Representative in Northern Italy, 1944

Hans Bon was the International Committee of the Red Cross Representative in Northern Italy.  Bon negotiated secretly with SS General Karl Wolff to suspend the deportations of Jews in Italy.

[Gutman, Yisrael (Ed.). Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, Vol. 4, (New York: Macmillan, 1990), p. 1233.]


Monsignor-Archbishop Duca Francesco Borgonicini, Papal Nuncio to the Vatican State

In February 1943, Monsignor Duca Borgonicini interceded with Giuseppe Bastianini, who was Governor of Dalmatia and later Undersecretary of the Italian Foreign Ministry, to save the Jews of Split, Croatia.  In March 1943, he interceded to prevent the Jews in the Italian zone of France from being handed over to the Germans.

[Steinberg, 1990, p. 80.  Carpi, Daniel. Between Mussolini and Hitler: The Jews and the Italian Authorities in France and Tunisia. (Hanover, NH: Brandeis University Press, 1994), pp. 131-132. Morley, John. Vatican Diplomacy and the Jews during the Holocaust, 1939-1943. (New York: Ktav, 1980), pp. 156-157, 168-178, 191, 199, 256-262.]


Friedrich Born,* Chief Delegate of the International Committee of the Red Cross of Switzerland in Budapest, Hungary, 1944-45

Friedrich Born was the Chief Delegate of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) of Switzerland in Budapest, Hungary.  He was sent to Budapest in May 1944.  During the period from May 1944 to January 1945, Born issued thousands of Red Cross letters of protection to Jews of Budapest.  He and his staff, along with numerous Jewish volunteers, are credited with retrieving thousands of Jews from deportation camps and death marches in and around Budapest.  Born provided an additional 4,000 Jews with employment papers, preventing their deportation.  He put over 60 Jewish institutions under Red Cross protection and housed over 7,000 Jewish children and orphans.  He worked closely with the other neutral diplomatic legations, and set up dozens of Red Cross protected houses.  Born’s Red Cross operation is credited with rescuing between 11,000 and 15,000 Jews in Budapest.  After the war, he was criticized for overstepping his authority in his rescue activities.  A postwar report completely vindicated Born’s actions and forced the Red Cross to reassess its wartime policies.  Born died in Switzerland in 1963.  Friedrich Born worked closely with Hans Weyermann.  Friedrich Born was declared Righteous Among the Nations by Israel in 1987.

[Braham, Randolph L. The Politics of Genocide: The Holocaust in Hungary. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1981), pp. 854, 899, 984, 1059, 1062-1063, 1092. Ben-Tov, Arieh. Facing the Holocaust in Budapest: The International Committee of the Red Cross and the Jews in Hungary, 1943-1945. (Boston: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1988). Gutman, Yisrael (Ed.). Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, 4 vols. (New York: Macmillan, 1990), pp. 258, 690, 703, 810, 925, 1232, 1253. Asaf, Uri. Christian support for Jews during the Holocaust in Hungary. In Braham, Randolph L. (Ed.) Studies on the Holocaust in Hungary, pp. 65-112. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1990), p. 72. Lévai, Jenö. Black Book on the Martyrdom of Hungarian Jewry. (Central European Times Publishing, 1948), pp. 386-387, 392. Favez, Jean-Claude.  Edited and translated by John and Beryl Fletcher. The Red Cross and the Holocaust. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), pp. 52, 115, 192, 236-243, 248-250, 281. Penkower, Monty Noam. The Jews Were Expendable: Free World diplomacy and the Holocaust.  (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1983), pp. 228-229. Kramer, T. D. From Emancipation to Catastrophe: The Rise and Holocaust of Hungarian Jewry. (New York: University Press of America), pp. 246-249.]


Dr. Manuel Antonio Muñoz Borrero, Ecuadorian Consul in Stockholm, Sweden

Dr. Manuel Antonio Muñoz Borrero issued hundreds of passports/visas to Jewish refugees in Europe.  Borrero issued the visas at the request of a local rabbi, Abraham Israel Jacobson.  According to a recent report, Borrero came into conflict with the Ecuadorian foreign minister, who had asked him to cease issuing visas.  Despite pressure from Ecuador, Borrero continued to issue visas.  In 1942, Borrero worked in cooperation with a Chilean minister in Ankara, Turkey, and the Polish Consul General in Exile in Ankara, Turkey.  The German government put pressure on the Ecuadorian government to fire Borrero.  Borrero was warned and interrogated several times by the Swedish police and by the Swedish secret service (Säkerhetstjänsten).  Borrero was eventually dismissed from his job as Consul General of Ecuador in Stockholm under pressure from the Nazi regime.  He did not return to Ecuador.  Borrero died in Stockholm after the war.


Gilberto Bosques**, Mexican Consul General in Paris and Marseilles, 1939-42

Gilberto Bosques was a member of the revolutionary movement in Mexico in 1910.  He served in numerous occupations, including that of journalist, educator and politician.  He was appointed Ambassador at Large to France by Mexican President Cardenas.  Bosques served as the Mexican Consul General in Paris and Marseilles in 1939-1942.  During this time, Bosques issued hundreds of visas to refugees, including anti-Franco fighters from the Spanish Civil War.  He also issued visas to thousands of Jews.  Among those he helped save were artists, politicians and other refugees from Germany, Austria, France and Spain.  Bosques supplied visas to Varian Fry and his Emergency Rescue Committee as well as numerous other rescue agencies.  Bosques maintained two estates outside of Marseilles (formerly castles) in which he housed and fed thousands of refugees.  In November 1942, Bosques and other members of the Mexican legation were arrested by French Vichy officials and Nazis.  Bosques and his staff were later released and returned to Mexico.  When Consul General Bosques returned to Mexico City, he was greeted by cheering throngs and a parade was held in his honor.  After the war, Bosques served many years as a career diplomat in the Mexican foreign service.

[Bosques, Gilberto. The National Revolutionary Party of Mexico and the Six-Year Plan. (Mexico: Bureau of Foreign Information of the National Revolutionary Party, 1937).  Fry, Varian. Surrender on Demand. (New York: Random House, 1945), p. 127.  See Visas for Life nomination for Yad Vashem.  See also news clippings. Eck, Nathan. “The Rescue of Jews With the Aid of Passports and Citizenship Papers of Latin American States.” Yad Vashem Studies on the European Jewish Catastrophe and Resistance, 1 (1957), pp. 125-152.  Marrus, Michael, R., and Robert O. Paxton. Vichy France and the Jews. (New York: Basic Books, 1981).  Fittko, Lisa, translated by David Koblick. Escape through the Pyrénées. (Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1991).  Ryan, Donna F. The Holocaust and the Jews of Marseille: The Enforcement of Anti-Semitic Policies in Vichy France. (Urbana, IL: The University of Illinois Press, 1996).  Cline, H. F. The United States and Mexico. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1953).  Schuler, Friedrich E. Mexico Between Hitler and Roosevelt: Mexican Foreign Relations in the Age of Lázaro Cárdens, 1934-1940. (Albequerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press, 1998).  Bosques Saldívar, Gilberto.  Gilberto Bosques Saldívar: H. Congreso del Estado de Puebla. LII Legislatura. (San Andrés Cholula, Puebla: Imagen Pública y Corporativa).  Barros Horcasitas, Beatriz. “Gilberto Bosques Saldívar, adalid del asilo diplomático.” Sólo Historia, 12 (2001), pp. 74-87.  Carrillo Vivas, Gonzalo, “A los 84 años del desembarco de los marines en el Puerto de Veracruz,” Bulevar, 4 (1993), Mexico.  Carrillo Vivas, Gonzalo, “Poeta: Gilberto Bosques Saldívar,” Bulevar, 8 (1994), Mexico.  Garay, Graciela de, coord., Gilberto Bosques, historia oral de la diplomacia mexicana. Mexico, Archivo Histórico Diplomático, 1988.  Romero Flores, Jesús, Don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla.  Mexico, SEP, 1960.  Salado, Minerva, Cuba, revolución en la memoria. Mexico, IPN, 1989.  Serrano Migallón, Fernanco, El asilo politico en Mexico.  Mexico, Porrúa, 1988. Rodriguez, Luis I. Misión de Luis I. Rodriguez en Francia: La protección de los refugiados españoles, Julio a diciembre de 1940. (Mexico: El Colegio de México, Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores, Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología, 2000).  Salzman, Daniela Gleizer. México Frente a la Inmigración de Refugiados Judíos: 1934-1940. (Mexico: Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historía, 2000).  Kloyber, Christian (Ed.). Exilio y Cultura: El Exilio Cultural Austriaco en México. (Mexico: Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores, 2002).  Von Hanffstengel, Renata, Tercero, Cecilia (Eds.). México, El Exilio Bien Temperado. (Mexico City: Instituto de Investigaciones Interculturales Germano-Mexicanas,1995).  Von Hanffstengel, Renata, Vasconcelos, Cecilia T., Nungesser, Michael, & Boullosa, Carmen. Encuentros Gráficos 1938-1948. (Mexico City: Instituto de Investigaciones Interculturales Germano-Mexicanas, 1999).  Alexander, Brigitte. Die Ruckkehr: Erzählunen und Stücke aus dem Exile. (Berlin: Wolfgang Weist, 2005).  Kloyber, Christian. Österreicher in Exil, Mexico 1938-1947: Eine Dokumentation. (Wien: Verlag Deutsche, 2002).]


Raoul Bossy, Romanian Ambassador to Germany in Berlin, 1942-?

Raoul Bossy was the Romanian Ambassador to Germany stationed in Berlin.  He protested the proposed deportation of Romanian Jews to the German Foreign Ministry.  He presented his protest to Germany Deputy Foreign Minister Martin Luther. 

[Browning, Christopher R. The Final Solution and the German Foreign Office: A Study of Referat D III of Abteilung Deutschland 1940-43. (New York: Holmes & Meier Publishers, 1978), pp. 102-104.]


Bostrom, Swedish Minister to Washington, DC, USA

[Persson, 2009]


Torstan Brandel, Secretary, Swedish Legation, Berlin, Germany

[Swedish Foreign Office Archives [UDA], Stockhom; Persson, 2009, pp. 77, 91, 96, 102, 108, 124, 142, 167, 186, 205, 253, 255]


Carlos de Liz-Texeira Branquinho, Portuguese Chargé d’Affaires in Budapest, 1944-45

Carlos de Liz-Texeira Branquinho was the Portuguese Chargé d’Affaires in Budapest in 1944 and obtained permission from the Portuguese government to issue safe conducts to all persons who had relatives in Portugal, Brazil, or the Portuguese colonies.  Each safe conduct was personally signed by Branquinho.  After the Arrow Cross and Nazis retook the city on October 15, 1944, there was a great demand for these documents.  Branquinho was authorized to issue 500 safe conducts, but in actual fact issued more than 800.  Soon, the Portuguese mission established several safe houses to shelter the 800 protected Jews.  Despite constant raids by the Arrow Cross, the Portuguese houses remained relatively safe throughout the war.  He also established an office of the Portuguese Red Cross at the Portuguese legation to care for Jewish refugees.

[Braham, Randolph L. The Politics of Genocide: The Holocaust in Hungary. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1981), pp. 364, 366-367, 383-384, 795, 847, 887, 889, 1093-1095. Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Spared Lives: The Actions of Three Portuguese Diplomats in World War II. (Portugal: Diplomatic Institute, 2000). Lévai, Jenö. Black Book on the Martyrdom of Hungarian Jewry. (Central European Times Publishing, 1948), pp. 284, 318-319, 354-355, 364, 366, 383-384, 406-410.]


Leopold Breszlauer, Swiss consular official in Budapest, Hungary, 1944

Swiss consular official Leopold Breszlauer, along with Ladislaus Kluger, issued 300 protective papers to Hungarian Jews.  Breszlauer and Kluger produced a report in November 1944 on the death marches from Budapest to Hegyeshalom. 

[Braham, Randolph L. The Politics of Genocide: The Holocaust in Hungary. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1981), p. 841.]


Briscoe, Ireland, World War II

US Diplomat Harry Clinton Reed stated in a report dated May 17, 1949: “during the Hitler regime Briscoe was instrumental in smuggling an undetermined number of Central European Jewish refugees into Ireland.  When confronted by the Government authorities with proof that over 300 of these persons had illegally entered Ireland through his good offices, he staunchly denied it and has never admitted that he was engaged in this traffic.”

[Wyman, David S. (Ed.). The World Reacts to the Holocaust. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), p. 654.]


Tadeusz Brzezinski, Polish Consul General in Prague, 1931-1936

Consul General Tadeusz Brzezinski issued visas to hundreds of Jewish refugees to leave Germany and emigrate overseas.  Later, Brzezinski became the Polish Consul General in Montreal, Canada.  While in Canada, he helped the Jewish community to help Jewish refugees enter the country.  Brzezinski worked with Victor Podoski, the Polish Ambassador to Canada.

[Abella, Irving & Harold Troper. None is Too Many: Canada and the Jews of Europe 1933-1948 (3rd Ed.). (Toronto: Key Porter Books, 2000), pp. 82-83, 99.]


Carl J. Burkhardt, Director of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Geneva, Switzerland

Carl J. Burkhardt, Director of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva, Switzerland, disseminated information on the infamous Führer Order to Murder the Jews of Europe to a number of Jewish sources throughout Europe.  He informed Professor Paul Guggenheim in Switzerland, who in turn gave the information to Gerhardt Riegner.  Burkhardt’s informants were high level Germans, both in the Foreign and War Ministries.

[Braham, Randolph L. The Politics of Genocide: The Holocaust in Hungary. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1981), pp. 699, 1060-1062.]


Monsignor Giuseppe Burzio, Vatican Nuncio in Bratislava, Slovakia, 1940-1945

Monsignor Giuseppe Burzio was the Papal Nuncio in Bratislava, Slovakia, 1940-1945.  Burzio was 39 at the time of his posting.  On October 27, 1941, Burzio sent a report to the Holy See that Jews were being systematically murdered.  He further reported from Pressburg (Bratislava) of the imminent deportation of 20,000 Slovakian Jews.  In March 1942. he sent a new report about the deportation of Slovak Jews to Poland.  In the report, he stated that this deportation meant certain death.  Burzio’s protests of the mistreatment and deportation of Jews were addressed to Slovakian Prime Minister Tuka.  Ironically, Tuka was an ordained Catholic priest.  Burzio sent a copy of the Auschwitz Protocols to the Vatican in Rome in May 1944. 

As a result, in June 1942, Prime Minister Tuka asked Wislicency for information regarding the deportation of Slovakian Jews to the General Government in Poland.  Wislicency denied the actions.

Burzio was responsible for implementing the rescue of a number of Slovakian Jews.  After the war, Burzio served as Nuncio to Bolivia from 1946-1950 and to Cuba from 1950-1954.  He left Vatican diplomatic service.  He became a canon of the Lateran Basilica in Rome.  He died in 1966.

[Vatican (Holy See). Actes et documents du Saint-Siège relatifs à la Seconde Guerre Mondiale. 12 vols. (1966-1981). Morley, John. Vatican Diplomacy and the Jews during the Holocaust, 1939-1943. (New York: Ktav, 1980), pp. 73-91, 94-100, 117, 135, 199, 202, 226-233, 239-246. Braham, Randolph L. The Politics of Genocide: The Holocaust in Hungary. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1981), pp. 710, 714, 937, 1064, 1067. Rothkirchen, Livia. “Vatican Policy and the ‘Jewish Problem’ in ‘Independent’ Slovakia (1939-1945).” Yad Vashem Studies, 6 (1967), pp. 36-52. Pawlikowski, John T. The Catholic response to the Holocaust: Institutional perspectives.  In Berenbaum, Michael, and Abraham J. Peck (Eds.). The Holocaust and History: The Known, the Unknown, the Disputed, and the Reexamined, pp. 551-565. (Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1998), pp. 555-558. Gutman, Yisrael (Ed.). Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, 4 vols. (New York: Macmillan, 1990), pp. 122, 1137, 1183. Rozett, Robert and Shmuel Spector. Encyclopedia of the Holocaust. (Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 2000), p. 357. Conway, John S. “Records and documents of the Holy See relating to the Second World War.” Yad Vashem Studies, 15 (1983), 327-345. Lapide, Pinchas E. Three Popes and the Jews. (New York: Hawthorn Books, 1967), pp. 138-139, 142, 144, 147.]


Gino Buti, Italian Ambassador in Paris, France, 1942

Gino Buti was the Italian Ambassador in Paris, France, in 1942.  Ambassador Buti reported to Rome the arrest and deportation of Jews by German and French forces from the occupied zone to the Drancy deportation camp.  Many of these Jews were of Italian nationality.  Ambassador Buti protested these actions, and later secured the release of some of these Jews.  A diplomatic incident was created over the fate of Jews of Italian nationality residing in France.  Buti’s actions and reports caused the Italian Foreign Ministry to rule in favor of protecting Jews of Italian nationality and foreign Jews in the occupied zones. 

[Carpi, 1990, p. 730. Carpi, Daniel. Between Mussolini and Hitler: The Jews and the Italian Authorities in France and Tunisia. (Hanover, NH: Brandeis University Press, 1994), pp. 35-36, 43-46, 73, 76, 148, 219, 225-226, 260n.49, 262n.7. Gutman, Yisrael (Ed.). Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, 4 vols. (New York: Macmillan, 1990), p. 730.]


 

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* Recognized by the State of Israel as Righteous among the Nations, Yad Vashem: The World Holocaust Remembrance Center.
** Recognized by the State of Israel with Letter of Commendation.