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Tue Jan 27, 2015, 06:07 AM

The Lesser Known "Schindlers": Heroes of the Holocaust

Chiune Sugihara,
the Japanese Consul-General in Kaunas, Lithuania, issued thousands of visas to Jews fleeing Nazi occupied Poland in accordance with Japanese policy. The last diplomat to leave Kaunas, Sugihara continued stamping visas from the open window of his departing train.

Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg and his colleagues saved as many as 100,000 Hungarian Jews by providing them with diplomatic passes.

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.

Dimitar Peshev, 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.

littlewolf

Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus, a Jewish couple from Philadelphia who followed their conscience, traveling to Nazi-controlled Vienna in spring 1939 to save a group of children.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1223719


During one of humanity’s darkest chapters, when millions of Jews, gays, communists and racial minorities were rounded up across Europe, many Albanians put up a fight to save complete strangers.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1223334


Dr. Mohamed Helmy is the first Arab to be honored in the 50-year span of the project, which has recognized 24,911 individuals from 44 countries.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1014608528


Irena Sendler: Polish Woman Who Saved 2,500 Jewish Children Gets Walkway Named For Her

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/15/irena-sendler-poland-jews_n_3280035.html


Feng-Shan Ho was a Chinese diplomat who saved approximately 2,000 Jews during the early years of World War II. Ho was consul-general of the Chinese embassy in Vienna during the Austrian annexation.


Also: Hugh O'Flaherty, Giorgio Perlasca, Georg Ferdinand Duckwitz, and Frank Foley

From the UK, Nicholas Winton.

Bright lights in a sea of darkness!
They are The Righteous Among The Nations!
.

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Arrow 15 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Lesser Known "Schindlers": Heroes of the Holocaust (Original post)
Behind the Aegis Jan 2015 OP
Enthusiast Jan 2015 #1
COLGATE4 Jan 2015 #4
Cha Jan 2015 #2
betsuni Jan 2015 #3
Behind the Aegis Jan 2015 #5
Ex Lurker Jan 2015 #6
jwirr Jan 2015 #7
Behind the Aegis Jan 2015 #9
jwirr Jan 2015 #15
FLPanhandle Jan 2015 #11
Kingofalldems Jan 2015 #8
appalachiablue Jan 2015 #10
octoberlib Jan 2015 #12
appalachiablue Jan 2015 #13
aint_no_life_nowhere Jan 2015 #14

Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Tue Jan 27, 2015, 08:55 AM

1. K&R! This post should have hundreds of recommendations!

We must remember the names of these heroes. And we must never forget.

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Response to Enthusiast (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 27, 2015, 09:42 AM

4. K&R

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Tue Jan 27, 2015, 08:57 AM

2. ..

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Tue Jan 27, 2015, 08:58 AM

3. I've visited the Chiune Sugihara museum in Yaotsu, Gifu prefecture.


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Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Tue Jan 27, 2015, 12:41 PM

6. Witold Pilecki

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witold_Pilecki|

Witold Pilecki (13 May 1901 – 25 May 1948; Polish pronunciation: [ˈvitɔlt piˈlɛt͡skʲi]; codenames Roman Jezierski, Tomasz Serafiński, Druh, Witold) was a Polish soldier, a rittmeister of the Polish Cavalry during the Second Polish Republic, the founder of the Secret Polish Army (Tajna Armia Polska) resistance group in German-occupied Poland in November 1939, and a member of the underground Home Army (Armia Krajowa), which was formed in February 1942. As the author of Witold's Report, the first intelligence report on Auschwitz concentration camp, Pilecki enabled the Polish government-in-exile to convince the Allies that the Holocaust was taking place.

During World War II, he volunteered for a Polish resistance operation to get imprisoned in the Auschwitz concentration camp in order to gather intelligence and escape. While in the camp, Pilecki organized a resistance movement and as early as 1941, informed the Western Allies of Nazi Germany's Auschwitz atrocities. He escaped from the camp in 1943 after nearly 2 and a half years of imprisonment. Pilecki took part in the Warsaw Uprising in August 1944.[1] He remained loyal to the London-based Polish government-in-exile and was executed in 1948 by the Stalinist secret police Urząd Bezpieczeństwa on charges of working for "foreign imperialism", thought to be a euphemism for MI6.[2] Until 1989, information on his exploits and fate was suppressed by the Polish communist regime.[2][3]

As a result of his deeds, he is considered as "one of the greatest wartime heroes".[1][4][5] In the foreword to the book The Auschwitz Volunteer: Beyond Bravery[6] Michael Schudrich, the Chief Rabbi of Poland, wrote as follows: "When God created the human being, God had in mind that we should all be like Captain Witold Pilecki, of blessed memory."[7] In the introduction to that book Norman Davies, a British historian, wrote: "If there was an Allied hero who deserved to be remembered and celebrated, this was a person with few peers".[7] At the commemoration event of International Holocaust Remembrance Day held in the US Holocaust Memorial Museum on 27 January 2013 Ryszard Schnepf, the Polish Ambassador to the US, described Pilecki as a "diamond among Poland’s heroes" and "the highest example of Polish patriotism".[5][8]

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Tue Jan 27, 2015, 01:34 PM

7. I met Raoul Wallenberg when he spoke at our school. But the one that surprises me the most is

the man from Japan. Germany and Japan were allies.

Never forget.

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Response to jwirr (Reply #7)

Tue Jan 27, 2015, 06:22 PM

9. That must have been very interesting.

It is amazing that Nazi allies (and even a few within the ranks) risked their lives to get Jews and others out of the occupied areas and avoid the death camps.

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Reply #9)

Tue Jan 27, 2015, 11:39 PM

15. Does kind of restore ones faith in mankind. Even surrounded by evil it is possible to find good.

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Response to jwirr (Reply #7)

Tue Jan 27, 2015, 10:23 PM

11. One of the heros during the "Rape of Nanking" was a German

He saved many Chinese from murder and rape from the Japanese.

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Tue Jan 27, 2015, 01:39 PM

8. Pope Pius XII

Some people have been lying about him being a sympathizer. The speech he made in 1935 says it all.

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Tue Jan 27, 2015, 10:22 PM

10. Thanks, this is so important & most are new to me. I knew about Wallenberg and the

courageous efforts of the Phila. Kraus family- wish HBO would have run that program longer. Just read an article in the Telegraph UK featuring three elderly women survivors who were children during the Holocaust, incredible what they went through, their strength and courage. One was saved by mentioning that she played the cello to the German woman registrar when she arrived at camp; that permitted her to serve in the band there and saved her life. Another woman and a sibling were aided by French Resistance workers who arranged for their secret, but dangerous travel out of France to safe houses in Switzerland.

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Tue Jan 27, 2015, 10:29 PM

12. K&R!

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Tue Jan 27, 2015, 10:32 PM

13. Other resisters to be honored are members of The White Rose, German university students

based in Munich who tried to fight Nazi ideology by spreading pamphlets and information. Some of them were killed even beheaded for their brave dissidence to Hitler's fascism. There are memorials to them in Munich.

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Tue Jan 27, 2015, 10:40 PM

14. Father Pierre-Marie Benoit is credited with saving thousands of Jews at the risk of his own life

and is recognized as a righteous gentile by Yad Vashem. And my own Aunt was a small holocaust heroine. She was the personal secretary to the boss of Renault in the south of France in the city of Marseille. Her boss was a Jew and one day the Gestapo came for him. My aunt had her boss sit at the desk of a clerk outside of his office. The Gestapo asked her right in front of him to tell them where her boss was. She said he wasn't at work and had probably fled. Had she been betrayed by another employee or if the Gestapo had verified that her boss was there, she most likely would have been taken into the street and shot in the head. Her boss got out of dodge after that and survived the war, with his family.


https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/Benoit.html

Pierre-Marie Benoît

Father Pierre-Marie Benoît was a French national who until 1940 lived in the Capuchin monastery in Rome. When war between France and Italy was clearly inevitable, he returned to his homeland and moved into the Capuchin monastery in Marseilles. The Jewish laws enacted by the Vichy government set in motion a tumultuous and active chapter in Father Benoît's life. Out of a profound commitment to humanitarian values, Father Benoît pledged himself to protecting Jewish refugees.

Utilizing his ties with passeurs (border guides), the French underground, and other religious organizations-Protestant, Greek Orthodox, and Jewish-Father Benoît procured false papers and hiding places and smuggled some refugees into Spain or Switzerland. His reputation as a man who spared no effort to save Jews spread far and wide. The waiting room in his monastery teemed with people at all times, and the printing press in the monastery's basement printed thousands of false baptismal certificates for distribution to Jews.

When, in November 1942, southern France was occupied and the Swiss and Spanish borders became harder to cross, Father Benoît began to organize the transfer of Jews to the Italian occupation zone. He met in Nice with Guido Lospinoso, the Italian commissioner of Jewish affairs, whom Mussolini had sent at the Germans' insistence. Father Benoît persuaded Lospinoso to refrain from action against the 30,000 Jews who lived in Nice and the vicinity (the original purpose of his trip).

In April 1943, he met with Pope Pius XII and presented a plan to transfer Jews in Nice to North Africa via Italy. This plan was foiled when the Germans occupied northern Italy and the Italian-occupied zone of France. When the Gestapo discovered Father Benoît's activities, he was forced to move to Rome.

Although he himself was now a refugee, he persevered in his rescue efforts with even greater fervor. Father Benoît was elected to the board of Delasem (Delegazione Assistenza Emigranti Ebrei), the main Jewish welfare organization in Italy and when the Jewish president was arrested, Father Benoît was named the acting president. The organization's meetings were held at the Capuchin college in Rome. Father Benoît contacted the Swiss, Romanian, Hungarian, and Spanish embassies, and obtained important asylum documents which enabled Jews to circulate freely under false names. Father Benoît also extracted numerous ration cards from the police on the pretext that they were meant for non-Jewish refugees.

Very many Jews owe their lives to Father Benoît and regard him as the man who saved them from the crematoria. When Rome was liberated in June 1944, the Jewish community held an official synagogue ceremony in honor of Father Benoît and showered him with praise. Years later, U. S. President Lyndon Johnson delivered a moving speech in which he said that Father Benoît's wonderful actions should inspire the American people in the protection and preservation of the rights of citizens, irrespective of race, color or religion.

On April 26, 1966, Yad Vashem recognized Father Pierre-Marie Benoît as Righteous among the Nations.

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