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Individuals and groups assisting Jews during the Holocaust

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Title: Individuals and groups assisting Jews during the Holocaust  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Righteous Among the Nations, List of Righteous Among the Nations by country, Irena Sendler, Lists of people by occupation, Carl Lutz
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Individuals and groups assisting Jews during the Holocaust

This is a partial list of rescuers who helped Jewish people and others to escape from the Yad Vashem and headed by an Israeli Supreme Court justice, has been charged with the duty of awarding people who rescued Jews the honorary title of Righteous Among the Nations.


  • Most prominent examples 1
    • Netherlands 1.1
    • Poland 1.2
    • Greece 1.3
    • France 1.4
    • Belgium 1.5
    • Denmark 1.6
    • Bulgaria 1.7
    • Portugal 1.8
    • Spain 1.9
    • Lithuania 1.10
    • Albania 1.11
    • Finland 1.12
    • Italy 1.13
    • Vatican City State 1.14
    • Norway 1.15
    • China 1.16
    • Bolivia 1.17
  • Leaders and diplomats 2
  • Religious figures 3
    • Catholic officials 3.1
    • Others 3.2
  • Prominent individuals 4
  • Villages helping Jews 5
  • Others 6
  • See also 7
  • Footnotes 8
  • Citations 9
  • External links 10
  • Further reading 11

Most prominent examples

Holocaust rescuers came from many different countries in the world.



Irena Sendler, member of Żegota, saved 2,500 Jewish children

Poland had a large Jewish population, and, according to Norman Davies, more Jews were both killed and rescued in Poland than in any other nation: the rescue figure usually being put at between 100,000-150,000.[2] The memorial at Bełżec extermination camp commemorates 600,000 murdered Jews and 1,500 Poles who tried to save Jews.[3] Thousands in Poland have been honoured as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem, constituting the largest national contingent.[4] Martin Gilbert wrote that many Poles betrayed Jews to the Germans, and that "Poles who risked their own lives to save the Jews were indeed the exception. But they could be found throughout Poland, in every town and village."[5]

Until the end of Communist domination much of German-occupied Poland's Holocaust history was hidden behind the veil of the Iron Curtain. During the World War II Nazi occupation, Poland was the only country where any help provided to a person of Jewish faith or origin was punishable by death. Yet 6,532 men and women (more than from any other country in the world) have been recognized as rescuers by Yad Vashem in Israel.[6][7]

Poland during the Holocaust of World War II was under total enemy control: half of Poland was occupied by the Germans, as the resistance movement in Auschwitz from 1940, and Jan Karski tried to spread word of the Holocaust.


  • Fogelman, Edith (1994). Conscience and Courage: Rescuers of Jews During the Holocaust. Doubleday.  

Further reading

  • The Heart Has Reasons: Holocaust Rescuers and Their Stories of Courage
  • Stories of Honor and Courage During the Holocaust
  • Heroes and Heroines of the Holocaust
  • Holocaust Rescuers Bibliography
  • Anna Poray, Saving Jews: Polish Righteous at the Wayback Machine (archived January 10, 2008)
  • Holocaust Memorial Budapest, testimony from the family Jakobovics in 1947
  • Witness: "Karoly Szabo played a determining role among Wallenberg’s supporters"
  • The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous: Stories of Moral Courage

External links

  1. ^
  2. ^ Norman Davies; Rising '44: the Battle for Warsaw; Viking; 2003; p.200
  3. ^ Martin Gilbert; The Righteous – The Unsung Heroes of the Holocaust; Doubleday; 2002; ISBN 038560100X; p.88
  4. ^ Norman Davies; Rising '44: the Battle for Warsaw; Vikiing; 2003; p594
  5. ^ Martin Gilbert; The Righteous – The Unsung Heroes of the Holocaust; Doubleday; 2002; ISBN 038560100X; p.88 & 109
  6. ^ "Statistics – The Righteous Among The Nations – Yad Vashem". 
  7. ^ "Yad Vashem – The Righteous Among Nations". 
  8. ^ "List of Poles Killed Helping Jews During the Holocaust". 
  9. ^ Norman Davies; Rising '44: the Battle for Warsaw; Vikiing; 2003; p.200
  10. ^ Martin Gilbert; The Righteous – The Unsung Heroes of the Holocaust; Doubleday; 2002; ISBN 038560100X; pp.120-121
  11. ^ Norman Davies; Rising '44: the Battle for Warsaw; Vikiing; 2003; p.566 & 568
  12. ^ The Foundation for the Advancement of Sephardic Studies and Culture, p.2
  13. ^ "Η Απίστευτη Ιστορία των Εβραίων της Ζακύνθου – Μνήμη Ολοκαυτώματος - ΙΣΡΑΗΛ: ΘΥΜΑ ΤΡΟΜΟΚΡΑΤΩΝ ΚΑΙ ΜΜΕ". ΙΣΡΑΗΛ: ΘΥΜΑ ΤΡΟΜΟΚΡΑΤΩΝ ΚΑΙ ΜΜΕ. 
  14. ^ Zakynthos: The Holocaust in Greece, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, URL accessed April 15, 2006.
  15. ^ Glenny, p.508
  16. ^ "State of Israel awards three Greeks who helped Jews during WWII – Community –". 
  17. ^ Annette Herskovits, The mosque that saved Jews
  18. ^ The Great Mosque of Paris that saved Jews during the Holocaust, Offer Aderet, HAARTZ
  19. ^ Norman H Gershman, Stories of WWII, the missing pages
  20. ^ "Muslims Who Helped Save French Jews". The Forward. 10 January 2012. 
  21. ^ Official portrait, Council of Europe Art Collection, Author: Ivan Minekov.
  22. ^ Persecution of Jews in Bulgaria United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, DC.
  23. ^
  24. ^ "The Holocaust in Macedonia: Deportation of Monastir Jewry". 
  25. ^ The Official Web Site of KIS, the Central Jewish Council of Greece
  26. ^ The Official Web Site of KIS, the Central Jewish Council of Greece
  27. ^ The Official Web Site of KIS, the Central Jewish Council of Greece
  28. ^ The Official Web Site of KIS, the Central Jewish Council of Greece
  29. ^ The Official Web Site of KIS, the Central Jewish Council of Greece
  30. ^ Dr Michael Bar-Zohar, Beyond Hitler's Grasp: The Heroic Rescue of Bulgaria's Jews. OCLC 716882036.
  31. ^ Lochery, Neill - "Lisbon: War in the Shadows of the City of Light, 1939–45", PublicAffairs; 1 edition (November 1, 2011), ISBN 1-58648-879-1
  32. ^ Leite, Joaquim da Costa. "Neutrality by Agreement: Portugal and the British Alliance in World War II." American University, Available online at
  33. ^ a b Milgram, Avraham. "Portugal, Salazar, and the Jews", Publication Date: March 20, 2012 ISBN 978-9653083875
  34. ^ "Spared Lives: The Actions of Three Portuguese Diplomats During World War II". The Newark Public Library. August 24, 2000. Retrieved 2009-07-28. 
  35. ^ Caught up in the exodus, two British volunteers in the French Ambulance Corps, Dennis Freeman and Douglas Cooper (art historian), captured the drama and agony of this civilian nightmare in “The Road to Bordeaux.”[49] London: Harper, 1941
  36. ^ Milgram, Avraham. "Portugal, the Consuls, and the Jewish Refugees, 1938–1941". Source: Yad Vashem Studies, vol. XXVII, Jerusalem, 1999, pp. 123-56.
  37. ^ Documents from Arquivo Digital Ministerio das Financas ACMF/Arquivo/DGCP/07/005/003
  38. ^
  39. ^ Several other sources also mention the monthly allowance that Sousa Mendes received until his death in 1954: A letter that Sousa Mendes wrote to the Portuguese Bar Association, Ordem dos Advogados – Secretaria do Conselho Geral, Lisboa, Cota – Processo nº 10/1931 Date 1946.04.29 where he says that he is receiving a monthly salary of 1,593 Portuguese Escudos. Other source: Wheeler, Douglas L., "And Who Is My Neighbor? A World War II Hero of Conscience for Portugal," Luso-Brazilian Review 26:1 (Summer, 1989): 119-39.
  40. ^ Testimonial from Professor Baltasar Rebelo de Sousa in OLIVEIRA, Jaime da Costa. «Fotobiografia de Francisco de Paula Leite Pinto». No centenário do nascimento de Francisco de Paula Leite Pinto, Memória 2, Lisboa, Sociedade de Geografia de Lisboa, 2003 –
  41. ^ Testimonial from famous Portuguese historian, Jose Hermano Saraiva – Interview to “Sol” newspaper-
  42. ^ «Salazar visto pelos seus próximos», Testemunho de Francisco de Paula Leite Pinto, Organização de Jaime Nogueira Pinto.ISBN 972-25-0567-X, 1993 Bertrand Editora S.A.
  43. ^ David G. Goodman, Masanori Miyazawa (2000). Jews in the Japanese mind: the history and uses of a cultural stereotype. Lexington Books. p. 112.   The last diplomat to leave Kaunas, Sugihara continued stamping visas from the open window of his departing train.
  44. ^ "Albanians saved Jews from deportation in WWII".  
  45. ^ Esposito, John L. (2004). The Islamic World: Abbasid-Historian.  
  46. ^ Green, David B. (2 April 2013). "Jewish Albanians Gain a Foothold".  
  48. ^ "The Forward – News that Matters to American Jews". The Forward. 
  49. ^ Martin Gilbert; The Righteous – The Unsung Heroes of the Holocaust; Doubleday; 2002; ISBN 038560100X; p.307-8
  50. ^ Martin Gilbert; The Holocaust: The Jewish Tragedy; Collins; London; 1986; p.466
  51. ^ Martin Gilbert; The Righteous – The Unsung Heroes of the Holocaust; Doubleday; 2002; ISBN 038560100X; p.308 & 311
  52. ^ Martin Gilbert; The Righteous – The Unsung Heroes of the Holocaust; Doubleday; 2002; ISBN 038560100X; p.314
  53. ^ " » Niece astonished as Cause of Sister Katherine advances". 
  54. ^ Taylor, Jerome (2 June 2010). The Independent (London) 
  55. ^ Martin Gilbert; The Righteous – The Unsung Heroes of the Holocaust; Doubleday; 2002; ISBN 038560100X; p323
  56. ^ a b A litany of World War Two saints; Jerusalem Post; 11 April 2008.
  57. ^ "Father Arrigo Beccari and Dr. Giuseppe Moreali – The Righteous Among The Nations – Yad Vashem". 
  58. ^ "Don Gaetano Tantalo – The Righteous Among The Nations – Yad Vashem". 
  59. ^ "Italy. Historical Background – The Righteous Among The Nations – Yad Vashem". 
  60. ^ Paul O'Shea; A Cross Too Heavy; Rosenberg Publishing; p. 230 ISBN 978-1-877058-71-4
  61. ^ Anton Gill; An Honourable Defeat; A History of the German Resistance to Hitler; Heinemann; London; 1994; p.58
  62. ^ William L. Shirer; The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich; Secker & Warburg; London; 1960; p234-5
  63. ^ "Pius XII – Early life and career". Retrieved 2013-11-06. 
  64. ^ Pius XI (1937-03-14). "Pius XI, Mit Brennender Sorge (14/03/1937)". Retrieved 2013-08-18. 
  65. ^ Martin Gilbert; Kristallnacht – Prelude to Disaster; HarperPress; 2006; p.143
  66. ^ a b The Auschwitz Album
  67. ^ Martin Gilbert; Kristallnacht – Prelude to Disaster; HarperPress; 2006; p.172
  68. ^ Reflections on the HolocaustEncyclopedia Britannica :
  69. ^ ; 48; October 1939Summi PontificatusPius XII, .
  70. ^ Martin Gilbert; The Righteous – The Unsung Heroes of the Holocaust; Doubleday; 2002; ISBN 038560100X; p.308
  71. ^
  72. ^ a b Martin Gilbert; The Righteous – The Unsung Heroes of the Holocaust; Doubleday; 2002; ISBN 038560100X; p.311
  73. ^ a b Martin Gilbert; The Holocaust: The Jewish Tragedy; Collins; London; 1986; pp.622-623
  74. ^ a b c Hitler's Pope?; Martin Gilbert; The American Spectator; 18/8/06
  75. ^
  76. ^ " » Ten Catholic heroes of the Holocaust". 
  77. ^ "'Righteous Among the Nations'".  
  78. ^ "How King Boris Kept Ahead Of Adolf Hitler". Catholic Herald Archive. Retrieved 2013-11-06. 
  79. ^ "The papers of Apostolic Visitor, Giuseppe Ramiro Marcone reveal the Holy See's commitment to helping Jews persecuted by Nazis".  
  80. ^ a b Michael Phayer; The Catholic Church and the Holocaust: 1930–1965; Indiana University Press; 2000; p85
  81. ^ a b c Michael Phayer; The Catholic Church and the Holocaust 1930–1965; Indiana University Press; 2000; p.83
  82. ^ a b The Churches and the Deportation and Persecution of Jews in Slovakia; by Livia Rothkirchen; Vad Yashem.
  83. ^ a b Martin Gilbert; The Righteous – The Unsung Heroes of the Holocaust; Doubleday; 2002; ISBN 038560100X; p.335
  84. ^ Martin Gilbert; The Righteous – The Unsung Heroes of the Holocaust; Doubleday; 2002; ISBN 038560100X; p.337
  85. ^ Mary Gaffney. "Profile of Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty". Terrace Talk. Retrieved 14 November 2008. 
  86. ^ David G. Goodman, Masanori Miyazawa (2000). Jews in the Japanese mind: the history and uses of a cultural stereotype. Lexington Books. p. 111.  
  87. ^ a b David G. Goodman, Masanori Miyazawa (2000). Jews in the Japanese mind: the history and uses of a cultural stereotype. Lexington Books. p. 113.  
  88. ^ "Refuge in Latin America". United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. 
  89. ^ a b c Tainos Webdesign. "Sosúa-News". 
  90. ^
  91. ^ "Sosúa Virtual Museum". 
  92. ^ "Sugihara not the only Japanese to save Jewish lives".  
  93. ^ a b David G. Goodman, Masanori Miyazawa (2000). Jews in the Japanese mind: the history and uses of a cultural stereotype. Lexington Books. p. 111.  
  94. ^ Johnson's aid to Leinsdorf is mentioned in  
  95. ^ The Israeli Government's Official Website, by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  96. ^ "The Righteous Among Us", Yad Vashem Magazine
  97. ^ Rafael Angel Alfaro Pineda. "El Salvador and Schindler's List: A valid comparison", originally in La Prensa Gráfica (Spanish) April 19, 1994, reproduced in English by the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation.
  98. ^ El Salvador's Holocaust Hero
  99. ^ a b "From Zbaszyn to Manila, by Bonnie Harris, 2005". 
  100. ^ Western People: Roundfort cabaret honours legendary Delia Murphy
  101. ^ Diplomáticos que salvaron judíos durante el Holocausto | Especiales | Israel en Tiempo de Noticias. Judaismo y Pueblo Judio a diario. El
  102. ^ Mexican Schindler' honored"'". latimes. 
  103. ^ Interview with Fariborz MokhtariVoices on Antisemitism from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
  104. ^ "Israel News – Haaretz Israeli News source". 
  105. ^ "Winton's Children – Index Page". 
  106. ^ Vatican's 'Scarlet Pimpernel' honoured; Majella O'Sullivan Irish Independent; 12 November 2012
  107. ^ Phayer, The Catholic Church and the Holocaust, 1930–1965, p. 88
  108. ^ Michael Phayer; The Catholic Church and the Holocaust: 1930–1965; Indiana University Press; 2000; p86
  109. ^ Martin Gilbert; The Righteous – The Unsung Heroes of the Holocaust; Doubleday; 2002; ISBN 0-385-60100-X; p. 206–207
  110. ^ Martin Gilbert; The Righteous – The Unsung Heroes of the Holocaust; Doubleday; 2002; ISBN 0-385-60100-X; p.207
  111. ^ Martin Gilbert; The Holocaust: The Jewish Tragedy; Collins; London; 1986; p.451
  112. ^ a b Martin Gilbert; The Righteous – The Unsung Heroes of the Holocaust; Doubleday; 2002; ISBN 0-385-60100-X; p.203
  113. ^ "Bishop Pavel Gojdic – The Righteous Among The Nations – Yad Vashem". 
  114. ^ a b "Raoul Wallenberg – Diplomats". 
  115. ^ Hitler's Pope?; by Sir Martin Gilbert, The American Spectator.
  116. ^ Martin Gilbert; The Righteous – The Unsung Heroes of the Holocaust; Doubleday; 2002; ISBN 038560100X; p.230
  117. ^ Martin Gilbert; The Righteous – The Unsung Heroes of the Holocaust; Doubleday; 2002; ISBN 038560100X; p.114
  118. ^ Michael Phayer; The Catholic Church and the Holocaust, 1930–1965; Indiana University Press; p.117-
  119. ^ a b "Wallenberg Emblekbizottsag". Retrieved 2013-08-18. 
  120. ^ The Holocaust in Greece
  121. ^ Ковч Омелян
  122. ^ "First Arab Nominated for Holocaust Honor".  
  123. ^ *Dietrich Bonhoeffer – a German Lutheran pastor who joined the Abwehr (a German military intelligence organization) which was also the center of the anti-Hitler resistance, was involved in operations to help German Jews escape to Switzerland. "Tisíc pět set zachráněných životů – Schindler nebyl sám" (in Czech). Denní Telegraf Praha. 1995-06-27. p. 5. 
  124. ^ ЯРУГА: СЕЛО-ПРАВЕДНИК. Борис ХАНДРОС | История | Человек
  125. ^ (Polish) Instytut Pamięci Narodowej, Wystawa „Sprawiedliwi wśród Narodów Świata”– 15 czerwca 2004 r., Rzeszów. „Polacy pomagali Żydom podczas wojny, choć groziła za to kara śmierci – o tym wie większość z nas.” (Exhibition "Righteous among the Nations." Rzeszów, June 15, 2004. Subtitled: "The Poles were helping Jews during the war – most of us already know that.") Last actualization November 8, 2008.
  126. ^ (Polish) Jolanta Chodorska, ed., "Godni synowie naszej Ojczyzny: Świadectwa," Warsaw, Wydawnictwo Sióstr Loretanek, 2002, Part Two, pp.161–62. ISBN 83-7257-103-1
  127. ^ Kalmen Wawryk, To Sobibor and Back: An Eyewitness Account (Montreal: The Concordia University Chair in Canadian Jewish Studies, and The Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies, 1999), pp.66–68, 71.
  128. ^ Ryszard Walczak (1997). Those Who Helped: Polish Rescuers of Jews During the Holocaust. Warsaw: GKBZpNP–IPN. p. 51.  
  129. ^  
  130. ^ Peggy Curran, "Decent people: Polish couple honored for saving Jews from Nazis," Montreal Gazette, December 10, 1994; Janice Arnold, "Polish widow made Righteous Gentile," The Canadian Jewish News (Montreal edition), January 26, 1995; Irene Tomaszewski and Tecia Werbowski, Żegota: The Council for Aid to Jews in Occupied Poland, 1942–1945, Montreal: Price-Patterson, 1999, pp.131–32.
  131. ^ (Polish) "Odznaczenia dla Sprawiedliwych," Magazyn Internetowy Forum 26,09,2007.
  132. ^ Milgram, Avraham. "Portugal, Salazar, and the Jews", Publication Date: March 20, 2012 ISBN 978-9653083875 pp 116
  133. ^ Ben-Zwi Kalischer – On The Way to the Land of Israel tr. from the German by Shalom Kramer (Hebrew) (Tel Aviv: Am Oved, 1945) pp 174-182
  134. ^ Portugal-Europe's Crossroads –
  135. ^ "Jewish Labor and the Holocaust". 


  1. ^ In 1943, the Nazis asked Albanian authorities for a list of the country's Jews. They refused to comply. "Jews were then taken from the cities and hidden in the countryside", Goldfarb explained. "Non-Jewish Albanians would steal identity cards from police stations [for Jews to use]. The underground resistance even warned that anyone who turned in a Jew would be executed." ... "There were actually more Jews in the country after the war than before—thanks to the Albanian traditions of religious tolerance and hospitality."[48]
  2. ^ The situation in Italy was somewhat peculiar in that, notwithstanding Mussolini's proclamation against Jews, most Italians had no personal hatred against them. Liliana Picciotto, the historian of the archive of Fondazione Centro di Documentazione Ebraica Contemporanea (Foundation Center for the Contemporary Jewish Documentation) writes that of the 32,300 Jews living in Italy under German occupation, only 8,000 were arrested, whereas 23,500 escaped unharmed. She speculates that the overall percentage of Jews who survived in Italy owed this to the solidarity the persecuted found among the local population.
  3. ^ It was written partly in response to the Nuremberg Laws, and condemned racial theories and the mistreatment of people based on race.[62][63][64] Pius XI condemned the 1938 Kristallnacht, sparking mass demonstrations against Catholics and Jews in Munich, where the Bavarian Gauleiter Adolf Wagner declared: "Every utterance the Pope makes in Rome is an incitement of the Jews throughout the world to agitate against Germany".[65] The Vatican took steps to find refuge for Jews.[66] Pius XI rejected the Nazi claim of racial superiority, and insisted instead that there was only a single human race.[67]


See also


  • Tršice, Czech Republic, many people from this village helped hide a Jewish family, six of them were given the honorific of Righteous Among the Nations.
  • Nieuwlande, The Netherlands – during the war this small village contained 117 inhabitants. They unanimously decided in 1942 and 1943 that every household would give shelter to one Jewish household or individual during the war, thus making it impossible that anyone in the small village would betray their neighbours. Dozens of Jews were thus saved. All inhabitants have been honored by Yad Vashem.
  • Moissac, France There was a Jewish boarding home and orphanage in this town. When the mayor was told that the Nazis were coming the older students would go camping for several days, the younger students were boarded with families in the area and told to treat as members of their immediate family and the oldest students hid in the house. When it became too dangerous for the students to stay there any longer they made sure that every student had a safe place to go to. If the students again had to move the counsellors from the boarding house arranged for a new place and even escorted them to the new housing.
  • The Portuguese cities of Figueira da Foz, Porto, Coimbra, Curia, Ericeira and Caldas da Rainha were assigned to house refuges, they were pleasant resorts with many available hotels.[132] The refugees led totally ordinary lives.[33] They were allowed to circulate freely within town limits, practice their religions, and enroll their children in local schools. "Here we were given freedom of movement; we were allowed to go on outing and live as we wished", said Ben-Zwi Kalischer.[133] Those times were captured on films that can be found at the Steven Spielberg Film and Video Archive.[134]

Villages helping Jews

Count Kazamery Deak Lajos & Deak Elizabeth .... Hungary / Magyaregregy ...6 people...4 children and they parents, saved, and sent over to New York City after 7 months of hiding in the basement.

  • Adolfo Kaminsky also spelled Adolophe Kaminsky, specialized in document forgery that assisted Jews escape Nazi Germany
  • Khaled Abdul-Wahab administrator of Mahdia, Tunisia, under German occupation; first Arab nominated for "Righteous Among the Nations" [122]
  • Maria Leenderts and Petrus Johannes Jacobus Kleiss, Dutch merchants in her "Selecta Schoenenwinkel" (located at 248 Dierenselaan in Den Haag) with the cooperation of personnel of the "Quick Steps" soccer club (located on the corner of the Hardewijkstraat and the Nijkerklaan in Den Haag) and the pastor of the "Sint Thersia Van Het Kind Jesus Kerk" (located across the street from the Selecta shoe store and on the corner of the Apeldoornselaan and the Dierenselaan) accommodated many Jewish families throughout the war.
  • Gustav SchröderGerman Captain of the Ocean liner SS St. Louis who, in 1939 attempted to find asylum for over 900 Jewish passengers rather than return them to Germany.
  • Albert Battel – a German Wehrmacht officer.
  • Albert Bedane – of Jersey, provided shelter to a Jewish woman, as well as others sought by the German occupiers of the Channel Islands.
  • Victor Bodson helped Jews escape from Germany through an underground escape route in Luxembourg.
  • Corrie ten Boom, rescued many Jews in the Netherlands by sheltering them at her home. - was sent to Ravensbrück
  • Stefania Podgorska Burzminski and Helena Podgorska at age 16 and 7 (Helena was her sister), they smuggled out of the ghettos and saved thirteen Jews from the liquidation of the ghettos.
  • Sgt.-Major Charles Coward was an English POW who smuggled over 400 Jews out of Monowitz labour camp.
  • Johannes Frömming, horse trainer and driver, employed three Jewish horsemen and hid them on his farm outside Berlin.
  • Miep Gies, Jan Gies, Bep Voskuijl, Victor Kugler, and Johannes Kleiman hid Anne Frank and seven others in Amsterdam, Netherlands for two years.
  • Alexandre Glasberg, Ukrainian-French priest who helped hundreds of French Jews escape deportation.
  • Otto Hahn, Chemistry-Professor in Berlin, helped Jewish scientists to escape and prevent them from deportation, assisted by his wife Edith Hahn, who had for years collected food for Jews hiding in Berlin.
  • Friedrich Kellner, justice inspector, who helped Julius and Lucie Abt, and their infant son, John Peter, escape from Laubach.
  • Stanislaw Kielar – two girls from Reisenbach family
  • Janis Lipke from Latvia, protected and hid around 40 Jews from the Nazis in Riga.
  • Heralda Luxin, young woman who sheltered Jewish children in her cellar.
  • Józef and Stefania Macugowscy, hid six members of the Radza family, and several others, in Nowy Korczyn, Poland.
  • Shyqyri Myrto, Albanian rescuer of Jozef Jakoel and his sister Keti.
  • Dorothea Neff, Austrian stage actress, who hid her Jewish friend Lilli Schiff.
  • Algoth Niska, Finnish gentleman rogue and alcohol smuggler; smuggled Jews via the Baltic.
  • Irene Gut Opdyke, Polish, hid twelve Jews in a German Major's basement.
  • Jaap PenraatDutch architect who forged identity cards for Jews and helped many escape to Spain.
  • Irena Sendler, Polish social worker who saved about 2500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto.
  • Suzanne Spaak, wealthy socialite who saved Jewish children in France.
  • Marie Taquet-Martens and Major Emile Taquet hid some seventy-five Jewish children in a home for disabled children they were running in Jamoigne-sur-Semois, Belgium.
  • Ilse (Davidsohn Intrator) Stanley, herself a German Jew living in Germany until 1939, made many trips to German concentration camps and secured the release of 412 people. After Kristallnacht when she could no longer make those trips, she continued helping German Jews leave the country legally, until her own departure in 1939.
  • Hetty Voute, part of the Utrechtse Kindercomite in the Netherlands that rescued hundreds of Jews. Her oral history is found in the book The Heart Has Reasons: Holocaust Rescuers and Their Stories of Courage by Mark Klempner
  • Gabrielle Weidner and Johan Hendrik Weidner, escape network rescued 800 Jews.
  • Bertha Marx and Eugen Marx assisted in saving Jews through the Resistance forces.
  • JUDr Rudolf Štursa, a lawyer, and Jan Martin Vochoč, an Old Catholic priest, in Prague baptized Jews on demand and issued over 1,500 baptism certificates.[123]

Prominent individuals

The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the Friends Service Council and to the American Friends Service Committee. Also individual Friends did rescue work.



  • Pope Pius XII, preached against racism in encyclicals like Summi Pontificatus. Used Vatican Radio to denounced race murders and anti-Semitism.[72] Directly lobbied Axis officials to stop Jewish deportations.[83] Opened the sanctuaries of the Vatican to Rome's Jews during the Nazi roundup.[73]
  • Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty CBEIrish Catholic priest who saved more than 6,500 Allied soldiers and Jews;[106] known as the "Scarlet Pimpernel of the Vatican". Retold in the film The Scarlet and the Black.
  • Fillipo Bernardini, papal nuncio to Switzerland.[81]
  • Giuseppe Burzio, the Vatican Chargé d'Affaires in Slovakia.[81] Protested the anti-Semitism and totalitarianism of the Tiso regime.[82] Burzio advised Rome of the deteriorating situation for Jews in the Nazi puppet state, sparking Vatican protests on behalf of Jews.[107]
  • Angelo Roncalli, the nuncio to Turkey saved a number of Croatian, Bulgarian and Hungarian Jews by assisting their migration to Palestine. Roncalli succeeded Pius XII as Pope John XXIII, and always said that he had been acting on the orders of Pius XII in his actions to rescue Jews.[108]
  • Andrea Cassulo, papal nuncio in Romania.[109] Appealed directly to Marshall Antonescu to limit the deportations of Jews to Nazi concentration camps planned for the summer of 1942.[110]
  • Cardinal Gerlier of France refused to hand over Jewish children being sheltered in Catholic homes. In September 1942, Eight Jesuits were arrested for sheltering hundreds of children on Jesuit properties, and Pius XII's Secretary of State, Cardinal Maglione protested to the Vichy Ambassador.[111]
  • Giuseppe Marcone, apostolic visitor to Croatia, lobbied Croat regime, saved 1000 Jewish partners in mixed marriages.[112]
  • Archbishop Aloysius Stepinac of Zagreb, condemned Croat atrocities against both Serbs and Jews, and himself saved a group of Jews.[112] He declared publicly in the Spring of 1942 that it was "forbidden to exterminate Gypsies and Jews because they are said to belong to an inferior race".[80]
  • Bishop Pavel Gojdic protested the persecution of Slovak Jews. Gojdic was beatified by the Church and recognised as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem.[113]
  • Angelo Rotta, papal nuncio to Hungary. Actively protested Hungary's mistreatment of the Jews, and helped persuade Pope Pius XII to lobby the Hungarian leader Admiral Horthy to stop their deportation.[114] He issued protective passports for Jews and 15,000 safe conduct passes – the nunciature sheltered some 3000 Jews in safe houses.[114] An "International Ghetto" was established, including more than 40 safe houses marked by the Vatican and other national emblems. 25,000 Jews found refuge in these safe houses. Elsewhere in the city, Catholic institutions hid several thousand more Jewish people.[115]
  • Archbishop Johannes de Jong, later Cardinal, of Utrecht, Netherlands, who drew up together with Titus Brandsma O.Carm. († Dachau, 1942) a letter in which he called for all Catholics to assist persecuted Jews, and in which he openly condemned the Nazi German "deportation of our Jewish fellow citizens" (From: Herderlijk Schrijven, read from all pulpits on Sunday 26 January 1942).
  • Archbishop Jules-Géraud Saliège of Toulouse – lead a number of French bishops (including Monseigneur Théas, Bishop of Montauban, Monseigneur Delay, Bishop of Marseilles, Cardinal Gerlier, Archbishop of Lyon, Monseigneur Vansteenberghe of Bayonne and Monseigneur Moussaron, Archbishop of Albi – in denouncing roundups and mistreatment of Jews in France, spurring greater resistance.[116]
  • Père Marie-Benoît, Capuchin monk who saved many Jews in Marseille and later in Rome where he became known among the Jewish community as "father of the Jews".[56]
  • Mother Matylda Getter's Franciscan Sisters of the Family of Mary sheltered Jewish children escaping the Warsaw Ghetto.[117] Getter's convent rescued more than 750.[118]
  • Munich; also involved with the Kreisau Circle. Executed February 2, 1945 in Berlin.
  • Rufino Niccacci, a Franciscan friar and priest who sheltered Jewish refugees in Assisi, Italy, from September 1943 through June 1944.
  • Maximilian KolbePolish Conventual Franciscan friar. During the Second World War, in the friary, Kolbe provided shelter to people from Greater Poland, including 2,000 Jews. He was also active as a radio amateur, vilifying Nazi activities through his reports.
  • Bernhard LichtenbergGerman Catholic priest at Berlin's Cathedral. Sent to Dachau because he prayed for Jews at Evening Prayer.
  • Sára Salkaházi – a Hungarian Roman Catholic nun who sheltered approximately 100 Jews in Budapest.
  • Margit Slachta, of the Hungarian Social Service Sisterhood, went to Rome to encourage papal action against the Jewish persecutions.[119] In Hungary, she had sheltered the persecuted and protested forced labour and antisemitism.[119] In 1944 Pius appealed directly to the Hungarian government to halt the deportation of the Jews of Hungary. The Sisters of Social Service, nuns who saved thousands of Hungarian Jews; included Sister Sara Salkahazi, recognized by Yad Vashem as well as beatified.

Catholic officials

Religious figures

  • Kindertransport which sent 669 children (most of them Jewish) to foster parents ln England and Sweden from Czechoslovakia and Austria after Kristallnacht. Sir Nicholas has been nominated for the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize.[104][105]
  • Namik Kemal Yolga -A Vice-Consul at the Turkish Embassy in Paris who saved numerous Turkish Jews from deportation.
  • Guelfo ZamboniConsul General at Thessaloniki who gave false papers to save the lives of over 300 Jews residing there.
  • Rabbi Chaim Michael Dov Weissmandl led the Bratislava Working Group, one of the most important rescue groups, in partnership with Gisi Fleischmann. They successfully negotiated with the Nazis in early 1942 to stop the transports from Slovakia and a few months later, via the Europa plan, to try to stop transports from other parts of Europe. They demanded bombing of the rail lines to Auschwitz and authored/distributed the famous Auschwitz Report in 1944 (also called the Wetzler-Vrba Report).
  • Chiune SugiharaJapanese consul to Lithuania, 2,140 (mostly Polish) Jews and an unknown number of additional family members were saved by passports, many unauthorized, provided by him in 1940.
  • Hideki TōjōGeneral and Prime Minister of Japan who received Jewish refugees in Manchuria and rejected German protest.[87]
  • Selâhattin ÜlkümenTurkish diplomat who saved the lives of some 42 Jewish Turkish families, more than 200 persons, among a Jewish community of some 2000 after the Germans occupied the island of Rhodes in 1944.
  • Raoul WallenbergSwedish diplomat. Wallenberg saved the lives of tens of thousands of Jews condemned to certain death by the Nazis during World War II. He disappeared in January 1945 after being imprisoned by the Soviet troops who took control of Budapest.
  • Recha Sternbuch rescued large numbers of Jews with the help of her husband Yitzchak by smuggling them into Switzerland from Austria, by distributing protection papers, by negotiating with Himmler with help of Jean-Marie Musy to save Jews in the concentration camps as the Germans were retreating and by rescuing the Jews who arrived to Bergen-Belsen by train from Hungary.
  • Rabbi Solomon Schonfeld set up a UK based rescue committee and rescued many thousands of Jews.
  • Giovanni PalatucciItalian police official who saved several thousand.
  • Italian. When Ángel Sanz Briz was ordered to leave Hungary, he falsely claimed to be his substitute and saved some thousands more Jews.
  • Dimitar Peshev – Deputy Speaker of the Bulgarian Parliament, played a major role in rescuing Bulgaria's 48 000 Jews, the entire Jewish population in Bulgaria at the time.
  • Frits Philips – Dutch industrialist who saved 382 Jews by insisting to the Nazis that they were indispensable employees of Philips.
  • Armia Krajowa sent the first reports on the camp atrocities to the Polish Government in Exile, from where they were passed to the rest of the Western Allies.
  • Karl Plagge – a major in the Wehrmacht who issued work permits in order to save almost 1,000 Jews (see The Search for Major Plagge: The Nazi Who Saved Jews, by Michael Good)
  • Enver Hoxha- Led the Resistance against the German and Italians in Albania, Hoxha refused that the Germans or collaborationists deport a single Jew, therefore Albania was the only country in Europe to have an increased Jewish population after the war.
  • Mehmet Shehu- a resistance fighter in Albania who allowed Jews to enter Albania, and Refused to hand the Jews over to The Germans, during the occupation
  • Eduardo Propper de Callejón – First Secretary in the Spanish embassy in Paris who stamped and signed passports almost non-stop for four days in 1940 to let Jewish refugees escape to Spain and Portugal.
  • Traian PopoviciRomanian mayor of Cernăuţi (Chernivtsi) who saved 20,000 Jews of Bukovina.
  • Manuel L. Quezon – President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, 1935–1941, assisted in resettling Jewish refugees on the island of Mindanao.[99]
  • Florencio Rivas – Consul General of Uruguay in Germany, who allegedly hid one hundred and fifty Jews during Kristallnacht and later provided them with passports.[101]
  • Gilberto Bosques Saldívar – General Consul of Mexico in Marseilles, France. For two years, he issued Mexican visas to around 40,000 Jews, Spaniards and political refugees, allowing them to escape to Mexico and other countries. He was imprisoned by the Nazis in 1943 and released to Mexico in 1944.[102]
  • Giorgio Perlasca, he saved more than 5,000 Jews in Budapest by issuing Spanish passports to them.
  • Abdol-Hossein Sardari – Head of Consular affairs at the Iranian Embassy in Paris. He saved many Iranian Jews and gave 500 blank Iranian passports to an acquaintance of his to be used by non-Iranian Jews in France.[103]
  • Oskar SchindlerGerman businessman whose efforts to save his 1,200 Jewish workers were recounted in the book Schindler's Ark and the film Schindler's List.
  • Jean-Marie Musy toward end of the war negotiated with Himmler on behalf of Recha Sternbuch – to rescue large numbers of Jews in the concentration camps
  • Luis Martins de Souza Dantas – Brazilian in charge of the Brazilian diplomatic mission in France. He granted Brazilian visas to several Jews and other minorities persecuted by the Nazis. He was proclaimed as Righteous among the Nations in 2003.[96]
  • El Salvador's honorary consul for Hungary, Romania, and Czechoslovakia – provided Salvadoran protection papers for thousands of Jews. He spearheaded an unprecedented Swiss grassroots protests and press campaign. It led to Roosevelt, Churchill and other world leaders threatening Hungary's ruler, regent Miklos Horthy with post-war retribution if the transports don't stop. That ended the deportation of Jews from Hungary to Auschwitz.[97][98]
  • Boris III of Bulgaria- King of Bulgaria from 1918–1943 Resisted demands from Hitler to deport the Jews resulting in all 50,000 being spared, Boris died in 1943 after meeting with Hitler.
  • Paul V. McNutt – United States High Commissioner of the Philippines, 1937–1939, who facilitated the entry of Jewish refugees into the Philippines.[99]
  • Helmuth James Graf von Moltke – adviser to the Third Reich on international law; active in Kreisau Circle resistance group, sent Jews to safe haven countries.
  • Delia Murphy – wife of Dr. Thomas J. Kiernan, Irish minister in Rome 1941–1946, who worked with Hugh O'Flaherty and was part of the network that saved the lives of POWs and Jews in the hands of the Gestapo.[100]
  • Hillel Kook (aka Peter Bergson) established a US based rescue group, which had considerable support in the Congress and Senate. The group's activism was the major factor forcing President Roosevelt to establish the War Refugee Board in January 1944. One of the WRB's important actions was initiation and sponsoring of the Wallenberg mission to Budapest.
  • Gisi Fleischmann led the Bratislava Working Group, one of the most important rescue groups, in partnership with Rabbi Chaim Michael Dov Weissmandl. They successfully negotiated with the Nazis in early 1942 to stop the transports from Slovakia and a few months later, via the Europa plan, to try to stop transports from other parts of Europe. They demanded bombing of the rail lines to Auschwitz and authored/distributed he famous Auschwitz Report in 1944 (also called the Wetzler-Vrba Report).
  • Per AngerSwedish diplomat in Budapest who originated the idea of issuing provisional passports to Hungarian Jews to protect them from arrest and deportation to camps. Anger collaborated with Raoul Wallenberg to save the lives of thousands of Jews.
  • Władysław BartoszewskiPolish Żegota activist.
  • The Most Illustrious duke Roberto de Castro Brandão – Brazilian diplomat and nobleman who issued diplomatic visas and passports to Jews in Marseilles, France. He was later deported, along with his daughter Maria-Theresa marchioness Siciliano di Rende and later Lady Pretyman, née de Castro Brandão, and his son, Brazilian Ambassador, current duke Guy Marie de Castro Brandão, as a diplomatic prisoner in the Rheinhotel Dreesen in Bad Godesberg where Hitler used to go regularly. He stayed there until the end of the war and was exchanged with German soldiers imprisoned by the Allies.
  • Count Swedish diplomat, who negotiated the release of 27,000 people (a significant number of which were Jews) to hospitals in Sweden.
  • Jacob (Jack) Benardout – British diplomat to Dominican Republic before and during World War II. Issued numerous Dominican Republic visas to Jews in Germany. Only 16 Jewish families arrived in the Dominican Republic (the other Jews dispersed to countries along the way, e.g. Britain, America) and so created the Jewish community of the Dominican Republic. [this citation is unsupported by evidence from any other source and should be treated as dubious until further evidence is provided]
  • Hiram Bingham IV – American Vice Consul in Marseilles, France 1940–1941.
  • Central European Jews from Nazi persecution by providing them with false papers of Salvadoran nationality.
  • Hans Hedtoft about the imminent German plans deport to Denmark's Jewish community, thus enabling the following rescue of the Danish Jews.
Chinese Consul Ho Feng-Shan in Vienna who freely issued thousands of visas to Jews.
Aristides de Sousa Mendes, between June 16 and 23, 1940, frantically issued Portuguese visas, free of charge, to over 30,000 refugees seeking to escape the Nazi terror.
Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg and his colleagues saved as many as 100,000 Hungarian Jews by providing them with diplomatic passes.

Leaders and diplomats

Between 1938 and 1941, around 20,000 Jews were given visas for Bolivia under an agricultural visa program. Although most moved on to the neighboring countries of Argentina, Uruguay and Chile, some stayed and created a Jewish Community in Bolivia. [88]


Between 1933 and 1941, the Chinese city of Shanghai accepted unconditionally over 18,000 Jewish refugees escaping the Holocaust in Europe, a number greater than those taken in by Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and British India combined during World War II. Japanese government ensured Jewish safety in China, Japan and Manchuria.[86] Japanese Army General Hideki Tōjō received Jewish refugees in accordance with Japanese national policy and rejected German protest.[87] After 1941, the occupying Nazi-aligned Japanese ghettoised the Jewish refugees in Shanghai into an area known as the Shanghai ghetto. Many of the Jewish refugees in Shanghai migrated to the United States and Israel after 1948 due to the Chinese Civil War (1946–1950).



In Rome, some 4,000 Italian Jews and escaped prisoners of war avoided deportation, many of them hidden in safe houses or evacuated from Italy by a resistance group organized by the Irish-born priest, and Vatican official Hugh O'Flaherty. Msgr. O'Flaherty used his political connections to help secure sanctuary for dispossessed Jews.[85] The wife of the Irish ambassador, Delia Murphy, assisted him.

Pius directly protested the deportations of Slovakian Jews to the Bratislava government from 1942.[82] He made a direct intervention in Hungary to lobby for an end to Jewish deportations in 1944, and on July 4, the Hungarian leader, Admiral Horthy, told Berlin that deportations of Jews must cease, citing protests by the Vatican, the King of Sweden and the Red Cross.[83] The pro-Nazi, anti-Semitic Arrow Cross seized power in October, and a campaign of murder of the Jews commenced. The neutral powers led a major rescue effort and Pius' representative, Angelo Rotta, took the lead in establishing an "international Ghetto", marked by the emblems of the Swiss, Swedish, Portuguese, Spanish and Vatican legations, and providing shelter for some 25,000 Jews.[84]

Pius' diplomatic representatives lobbied on behalf of Jews across Europe, including in [77][78][79][80] Many papal nuncios played important roles in the rescue of Jews, among them Giuseppe Burzio, the Vatican Chargé d'Affaires in Slovakia, Fillipo Bernardini, Nuncio to Switzerland and Angelo Roncalli, the Nuncio to Turkey.[81] Angelo Rotta, the wartime Nuncio to Budapest and Andrea Cassulo, the Nuncio to Bucharest have been recognised as Righteous Among the Nations.

Other noted rescuers assisted by Pius were [74]

When the Nazis came to Rome in search of Jews, the Pope had already days earlier ordered the sanctuaries of the Vatican City be opened to all "non-Aryans" in need of refuge and according to [74]

Following the capitulation of Italy, Nazi deportations of Jews to death camps began. Pius XII protested at diplomatic levels, while several thousand Jews found refuge in Catholic networks. On 27 June 1943, Vatican Radio broadcast a papal injunction: "He who makes a distinction between Jews and other men is being unfaithful to God and is in conflict with God's commands".[72]

Pope Pius XII succeeded Pius XI on the eve of war in 1939. He used diplomacy to aid the victims of the Holocaust, and directed the Church to provide discreet aid.[68] His encylicals such as Summi Pontificatus and Mystici corporis preached against racism —with specific reference to Jews: "there is neither Gentile nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision".[69] His 1942 Christmas radio address denounced the murder of "hundreds of thousands" of "faultless" people because of their "nationality or race". The Nazis were furious and The Reich Security Main Office, responsible for the deportation of Jews, called him the "mouthpiece of the Jewish war criminals".[70] He intervened to attempt to block Nazi deportations of Jews in various countries.[71]

Pius XII

In the 1930s, Pope German: "With burning concern") encyclical, in which he asserted the inviolability of human rights.[61][note 3]

The Papal Palace of Castel Gandolfo, the Pope's summer residence, was thrown open to Jews fleeing the Nazi roundups in Northern Italy. In Rome, Pope Pius XII had ordered the city's Catholic institutions to open themselves to the Jews, and 4715 of the 5715 people listed for deportation by the Nazis were sheltered in 150 institutions – 477 in the Vatican itself.

Vatican City State

Other Righteous Catholic rescuers in Italy included Elisabeth Hesselblad.[53] She and two British women, Mother Riccarda Beauchamp Hambrough and Sister Katherine Flanagan have been beatified for reviving the Swedish Bridgettine Order of nuns and hiding scores of Jewish families in their convent.[54] The churches, monasteries and convents of Assisi formed the Assisi Network and served as a safe haven for Jews. Gilbert credits the network established by Bishop Giuseppe Placido Nicolini and Abbott Rufino Niccaci of the Franciscan Monastery, with saving 300 people.[55] Other Italian clerics honoured by Yad Vashem include the theology professor Fr Giuseppe Girotti of Dominican Seminary of Turin, who saved many Jews before being arrested and sent to Dachau where he died in 1945; Fr Arrigo Beccari who protected around 100 Jewish children in his seminary and among local farmers in the village of Nonantola in Central Italy; and Don Gaetano Tantalo, a parish priest who sheltered a large Jewish family.[56][57][58] Of Italy's 44,500 Jews, some 7,680 were murdered in the Nazi Holocaust.[59]

Martin Gilbert wrote that, in October 1943, with the SS occupying Rome and determined to deport the city's 5000 Jews, the Vatican clergy had opened the sanctuaries of the Vatican to all "non-Aryans" in need of rescue in an attempt to forestall the deportation. "Catholic clergy in the city acted with alacrity", wrote Gilbert. "At the Capuchin convent on the Via Siciliano, Father Benoit saved a large numbers of Jews by providing them with false identification papers [...] by the morning of October 16, a total of 4,238 Jews had been given sanctuary in the many monasteries and convents of Rome. A further 477 Jews had been given shelter in the Vatican and its enclaves." Gilbert credited the rapid rescue efforts of the Church with saving over four fifths of Roman Jews.[52]

Budapest, was able to put under his protection thousands of Jews and non-Jews destined to concentration camps.

On 19 July 1944 the Gestapo rounded up the nearly 2000 Jewish inhabitants of the island of Rhodes, which had been governed by Italy since 1912. Of the approximately 2,000 Rhodesli Jews who were deported to Auschwitz and elsewhere, only 104 survived.

In Fiume, issuing them false papers and providing them with funds. Palatucci then sent the refugees to a large internment camp in southern Italy protected by his uncle, Giuseppe Maria Palatucci, the Catholic Bishop of Campagna. Following the 1943 capitulation of Italy, Fiume was occupied by Nazis. Palatucci remained as head of the police administration without real powers. He continued to clandestinely help Jews and maintain contact with the Resistance, until his activities were discovered by the Gestapo. The Swiss Consul to Trieste, a close friend of his, offered him a safe pass to Switzerland, but Giovanni Palatucci sent his young Jewish fiancée instead. Palatucci was arrested on September 13, 1944. He was condemned to death, but the sentence was later commuted to deportation to Dachau, where he died.

Despite Benito Mussolini's close alliance with Hitler, Italy did not adopt Nazism's genocidal ideology towards the Jews. The Nazis were frustrated by the Italian forces' refusal to co-operate in the roundups of Jews, and no Jews were deported from Italy prior to the Nazi occupation of the country following the Italian capitulation in 1943.[49] In Italian-occupied Croatia, the Nazi envoy Siegfried Kasche advised Berlin that Italian forces had "apparently been influenced" by Vatican opposition to German anti-Semitism.[50] As anti-Axis feeling grew in Italy, the use of Vatican Radio to broadcast papal disapproval of race murder and anti-Semitism angered the Nazis.[51] Mussolini was overthrown in July 1943, and the Nazis moved to occupy Italy, commencing a round-up of Jews. Though thousands were caught, the great majority of Italy's Jews were saved. As in other nations, Catholic networks were heavily engaged in rescue efforts.[note 2]


The government of Finland generally refused to deport Finnish Jews to Germany. It has been said that Finnish government officials told German envoys that "Finland has no Jewish Problem". However, the Secret Police ValPo secretly slated more than 50 Jews, mostly refugees from Germany and Austria for deportation. After public protests the deportations were officially cancelled but 8 Jews were nevertheless deported in 1942. Moreover, it seems highly likely that Finland deported Soviet POWs, among them a number of Jews. The majority of Finnish Jews however, were protected by the government's co-belligerence with Germany. Their men joined the Finnish army and fought on the front.


During World War II and the Holocaust about 2,000 Jews sought refuge in Albania during the war,[44] during which five Jews were killed in the country.[45] Far more were killed in the Albanian occupied-territories of Kosovo and Macedonia, where an estimated 600 Jews were captured and killed throughout the war.[46] In 1997, Albanian Muslim Shyqyri Myrto was honored for rescuing Jews, with the Anti-Defamation League's Courage to Care Award presented to his son, Arian Myrto.[47] In 2006, a plaque honoring the compassion and courage of Albania during the Holocaust was dedicated in Holocaust Memorial Park in Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn, New York, with the Albanian ambassador to the United Nations in attendance.[note 1]


Ho Feng Shan, and others also saved tens of thousands of Jews with fake diplomatic passes.

Chiune Sugihara, the Japanese Consul-General in Kaunas, issued thousands of visas to Jews fleeing Nazi occupied Poland in defiance with Japanese foreign policy.[43]


In Franco's Spain, several diplomats contributed very actively to rescue Jews during the Holocaust. The two most prominent ones were Ángel Sanz Briz (the Angel of Budapest), who saved around five thousand Hungarian Jews by providing them Spanish passports, and Eduardo Propper de Callejón, who helped thousands of Jews to escape from France to Spain. Other diplomats with a relevant role were Bernardo Rolland de Miota (consul of Spain at Paris), José Rojas Moreno (Ambassador at Bucharest), Miguel Ángel de Muguiro (diplomat at the Embassy in Budapest), Sebastián Romero Radigales (Consul at Athens), Julio Palencia Tubau, (diplomat at the Embassy in Sofía), Juan Schwartz Díaz-Flores (Consul at Vienna) and José Ruiz Santaella (diplomat at the Embassy in Berlin).


[42][41][40] Portuguese Prime Minister [32] Portugal remained neutral within the overall objectives of the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance; and that astute policy under precarious conditions, made it possible for Portugal to contribute to the rescue of a large number of refugees.[31] Historians have estimated that up to one million refugees fled from the Nazis through Portugal during World War II. An impressive number considering the size of the country’s population at that time (circa 6 million).


Dimitar Peshev was the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Bulgaria and Minister of Justice during World War II. He rebelled against the pro-Nazi cabinet and prevented the deportation of Bulgaria’s 48 000 Jews. When it came to its own Jewish citizens, the government faced strong opposition from Peshev and the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. Although Peshev had been involved in various anti-Semitic legislation that was passed in Bulgaria during the early years of the War, the government decision to deport Bulgaria’s 48 000 Jews on March 8, 1943 was too much for Peshev. After being informed of the deportation, Peshev tried several times to see Prime Minister Bogdan Filov but the prime minister refused. Next, he went to see Interior Minister Petar Gabrovski insisting that he cancel the deportations. After much persuasion, Gabrovski finally called the governor of Kyustendil and instructed him to stop preparations for the Jewish deportations. By 5:30 p.m. on March 9, the order was cancelled. After the war, Peshev was charged with anti-Semitism and anti-Communism by the Soviet courts, and sentenced to death. However, after outcry from the Jewish community, his sentence was commuted to 15 years imprisonment, though released after just one year. His deeds went unrecognized after the war, as he lived in poverty in Bulgaria. It was not until 1973 when he was awarded the title of Righteous Among the Nations. He died the same year.

Bulgaria joined the Axis powers in March 1941 and took part in the invasion of Yugoslavia and Greece.[22] The Nazi-allied government of Bulgaria, led by Bogdan Filov, fully and actively assisted in the Holocaust in occupied areas. On Passover 1943 Bulgaria rounded up the great majority of Jews in Greece and Yugoslavia, transported them through Bulgaria, and handed them off to German transport to Treblinka, where almost all were killed. It did not deport its own 50,000 Jewish citizens, after yielding to pressure from the parliament deputy speaker Dimitar Peshev and the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. The Nazi-allied government of Bulgaria deported a higher percentage of Jews (from the areas of Greece and the Republic of Macedonia) than did the German occupiers in the region.[23][24] In Bulgarian occupied Greece, the Bulgarian authorities arrested the majority of the Jewish population on Passover 1943.[25][26][27][28][29] The active participation of Bulgaria in the Holocaust however did not extend to its pre-war territory and after various protests by Archbishop Stefan of Sofia and the interference of Dimitar Peshev the planned deportation of the Bulgarian Jews (about 50,000) was stopped. The territories of Greece, Macedonia and other nations occupied by Bulgaria during World War II were not considered Bulgarian – they were only administered by Bulgaria, but Bulgaria had no say as to the affairs of these lands. As to the Jews in the sovereign state of Bulgaria – deportation to the concentration camps was denied. Furthermore, Bulgaria was officially thanked by the government of Israel despite being an ally of Nazi Germany.[30]

Dimitar Peshev from National Assembly prevented the deportation of native Bulgaria's 48,000 Jews.[21]


The Jewish community in Denmark remained relatively unaffected by Germany's Folke Bernadotte ensured their release and transport to Denmark in the final days of the war. Denmark rescued around 7,200 Jews en masse in October 1943.


L'abbe Joseph Andre is another catholic priest who secured safe hiding places with Belgian families, orphanages and other institutions for Jewish children and adults.

In April 1943, members of the Belgian resistance held up the twentieth convoy train to Auschwitz, and freed 231 people. Several local governments did all they could to slow down or block the registration processes for Jews they were obliged to perform by the Nazis. Many people saved children by hiding them away in private houses and boarding schools. Of the approximately 50,000 Jews in Belgium in 1940, about 25,000 were deported—though only about 1,250 survived. Marie and Emile Taquet sheltered Jewish boys in a residential school or home. The Reverend Bruno Reynders was a Catholic Belgian Monk who defied the Nazis (as well as the Vatican, please verify) to work with local orphanages, Nuns and the Jewish and Belgian Underground to forge false identities for Jewish children whose parents willingly gave them up in an attempt to spare their lives faced with deportation to the death camps. Pere Bruno risked his life for his values and to save the lives of an estimated 400 Jewish children and is honored as a Righteous Gentile at Yad Vashem.


Père Marie-Benoît, was a French Capuchin priest helped smuggle approximately 4,000 Jews into safety from Nazi-occupied Southern France and subsequently recognized by Yad Vashem as a Righteous among the Nations in 1966. The French town of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon sheltered several thousand Jews. The Brazilian diplomat Luis Martins de Souza Dantas illegally issued Brazilian diplomatic visas to hundreds of Jews in France during the Vichy Government, saving them from almost certain death. Si Kaddour Benghabrit, the religious head of the Islamic Center of France helped more than a thousand Jews by providing fake IDs to the Jews of Paris during the German occupation of France. He also managed to hide many Jewish families in the rooms of Paris Mosque as well as in the residencies and women's prayer areas.[17][18][19][20]


Danieli was 13 in 1942 when his family—father Joseph, a grain merchant, mother Buena, and nine siblings—fled Veria to escape the increasingly frequent atrocities committed by Nazi forces against the city’s Jews. They ended up in a small nearby village in Sykies, where the family was taken in by Giorgos and Panayiota Lanara, who offered them shelter, food and a hiding place in the woods, helped also by a priest, Nestoras Karamitsopoulos. The Nazis, however, soon stormed Sykies, where around 50 more Jews from Veria had also taken refuge. They questioned the priest about the whereabouts of the Jews, but when Karamitsopoulos refused to answer, they began raiding people’s homes. They found Jews hidden in eight homes, and promptly torched the houses. They also turned their wrath on the priest, torturing him and pulling out his beard, according to Danieli.[16]

A touching testimony of 82-year-old Simon Danieli, who traveled from Israel to his birthplace in Veria to thank the descendants of the people who helped him and his family escape Nazi persecution during World War II.

Princess Alice of Battenberg and Greece, who was the wife of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and the mother of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and mother-in-law of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom stayed in occupied Athens during the Second World War, sheltering Jewish refugees, for which she is recognised as "Righteous Among the Nations" at Yad Vashem. Although the Germans and Bulgarians[15] deported a great number of Greek Jews, others were successfully hidden by their Greek neighbours.

The Jewish community of Volos, one of the most ancient in Greece, has had fewer losses than any other Jewish community in Greece thanks to the timely and dynamic intervention and mobilization of the massive communist-leftist partizan movement of EAM-ELAS (National Liberation Front (Greece)Greek People's Liberation Army) and the successful cooperation of the head of the Greek Christian Orthodox Metropolitan See of Demetrias Joachim and the chief rabbi of Volos Moses Pesach for the evacuation of Volos from the Jewish people, after the events in Thessaloniki (displacement of the city's Jews to concentration camps).

The 275 Jews of the island of [14]

The Foundation for the Advancement of Sephardic Studies and Culture writes "One cannot forget the repeated initiatives of the head of the Greek Christian Orthodox Metropolitan See of [12]


In the 1948-9 Zegota Case, the Stalin-backed regime established in Poland after the war secretly tried and imprisoned the leading survivors of Zegota as part of a campaign to eliminate and besmirch resistance heroes who might threaten the new regime.[11]

[10]. Some of its members had been involved in Polish nationalist movements, which were themselves anti-Jewish, but which became appalled by the barbarity of the Nazi mass murders. In an emotional protest prior to the foundation of the Council, Kossak wrote that Hitler's race murders were a crime of which it was not possible to remain silent. While Polish Catholics might still feel Jews were "enemies of Poland", Kossak wrote that protest was required: "God requires this protest from us... It is required of a Catholic conscience... The blood of the innocent calls for vengeance to the heavens."Wanda Filipowicz and the socialist Zofia Kossak-Szczucka Two women founded the movement, the Catholic writer and activist [9]

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