Tuesday, June 18, 2013


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giorgio_Perlasca one of the 36 lamed vovniks whom G-d loves and does not destroy the wiorld on their account?One of the heroes of this world for all time and eternity.
note my gallery of heroes below : TRUE SAVIORS OF LIVES WHO RISKED THEIRS
Giorgio Perlasca (Como January 31, 1910 – Padua August 15, 1992) was an Italian who posed as the Spanish consul-general to Hungary in the winter of 1944, and saved 5018 Jews from transportation to Nazi Germany and the Holocaust.

Contents [hide]

1 Early life

2 In World War II

3 Decorations

3.1 Places

3.2 Movies

4 References

5 External links

Early life [edit]
Perlasca was born in Como and grew up in Maserà, province of Padua. During the 1920s, he became a supporter of Fascism, fighting in East Africa during the Second Italo-Abyssinian War, and in the Spanish Civil War (Corpo Truppe Volontari), where he received a gratitude safe conduct for Spanish embassies from Francisco Franco. He grew disillusioned with Fascism, in particular due to the alliance with Nazism and the anti-Semitic laws that came into force in 1938.
In World War II [edit]
During the initial phase of World War II, Perlasca worked at procuring supplies for the Italian Army in the Balkans. He was later appointed as an official delegate of the Italian government with diplomatic status and sent to Eastern Europe with the mission of buying meat for the Italian army fighting on the Russian front. On 8 September 1943, Italy surrendered to the allied forces. Italians then had to choose whether to join Mussolini's newly formed Italian Social Republic or stay loyal to the King and join the Allies' side. Disillusioned with Fascism, Perlasca chose the latter. Whilst in Budapest, he was arrested and confined to a castle reserved for diplomats. After a few months, he used a medical pass that allowed him to travel within Hungary to request political asylum at the Spanish Embassy. He took advantage of his status as a veteran of the Spanish war. Giorgio became "Jorge", and since Spain was neutral in the war he became a free man.[1]http://www.raoulwallenberg.net/?en/saviors/others/perlasca-great-pretender.5011015.htm He worked with the Spanish Chargé d'Affaires, Ángel Sanz Briz, and other diplomats of neutral states in smuggling Jews out of Hungary. The system he devised consisted of furnishing 'protection cards' which placed Jews under the guardianship of various neutral states, and of creating protected houses in mansions governed by extraterrorial conventions, thereby guaranteeing asylum for Jews.

When Sanz Briz was removed from Hungary to Switzerland in November 1944, he invited Perlasca to join him to safety. However, Perlasca chose to remain in Hungary. The Hungarian government ordered the Spanish Embassy building and the extraterritorial houses where the Jews took refuge to be cleared out. Perlasca immediately made the false announcement that Sanz Briz was due to return from a short leave, and that he had been appointed to deputize for him in the mean time. Throughout the winter, Perlasca was active in hiding, shielding and feeding thousands of Jews in Budapest. He arranged for the ussuing of safe conduct passes on the basis of a Spanish law passed in 1924 that granted citizenship to Jews of Sephardi origin.

In December 1944, Perlasca audaciously rescued two boys from being herded onto a freight train in defiance of a German lieutenant colonel on the scene. Swedish diplomat/rescuer Raoul Wallenberg, also present, later informed Perlasca that the officer who had challenged him was none other than Adolf Eichmann. In a period of some 45 days, from 1st December, 1944 to 16th January 1945, Perlasca helped save over five thousand Jews - about four times more than the more famous Oskar Schindler.

After the war, Perlasca returned to Italy, but did not reveal his actions to anyone, including his family, until 1987, when a group of Hungarian Jews he had saved finally found him. A best-selling narrative of his remarkable single-handed valour was written by Enrico Deaglio, entitled, the 'Banality of Goodness',[2] and was turned into a film by the RAI national television corporation.

Giorgio Perlasca died of a heart attack in 1992, having received decorations from the Italian, Hungarian and Spanish governments and is considered by the State of Israel as one of the Righteous Among the Nations. His deeds were the subject of an Italian film, Perlasca, un Eroe Italiano
Katalin Karady 1910-1990

Nationality: Hungarian

Function in Budapest: Singer and actress

Star of stage and screen, Katalin Karady was arrested by the Gestapo on 1944 on suspicion of spying, beaten and tortured for 3 months. After her release from prison, she set about rescuing Jewish families and children from execution at the banks of the River Danube by bribing Arrow Cross guards with her personal belongings and jewellery.

Katalin Karady was granted the title of 'Righteous Among The Nations' by Israel's Yad Vashem Institute in 2004.
László Ocskay 1893 - 1966

Nationality: Hungarian

Function in Budapest: Hungarian Army Captain

Responsible for saving the lives of approximately 2,500 Jews.

In his function as Director of the Clothing Collection Labour Service Company, based at the Abonyi Utca Jewish School, Ocskay managed to arrange protection from Arrow Cross militia raids at the building by armed Nazi SS officers. During this time, László Ocskay worked closely with Raoul Wallenberg.

In 2003 he was granted the title of 'Righteous Among The Nations' by Israel's Yad Vashem Institute.

Jane Haining 1897-1944

Nationality: British (Scottish)

Function in Budapest: Missionary at the Scottish Mission

Despite being ordered back to Scotland when the Nazis occupied Hungary, Jane Haining stayed to care for the Jewish orphans who were being sheltered at the Scottish Mission in Budapest. Denounced and arrested, was deported along with some of her Jewish children to the death camp at Auschwitz and was gassed along with a number of Hungarian women. Jane Haining was granted the title of 'Righteous Among The Nations' by Israel's Yad Vashem Institute in 1997.

_____Per Anger 1913 - 2002

Nationality: Swedish

Function in Budapest: Swedish Legation Secretary

Per Anger as second secretary at the Swedish legation in Budapest, suggested the issuing of the protection documents, which helped Hungarian Jews to avoid deportation. In late 1944, Anger helped Raoul Wallenberg to rescue Jews from deportation trains. He also helped Wallenberg distribute food and water to Jews on the death marches from Budapest to the Austrian border in 1945
Dr. Valdemar Langlet 1872 - 1960

Nationality: Swedish

Function in Budapest: Swedish Red Cross Delegate

Valdemar Langlet and his wife Nina distributed 2,000 Swedish Red Cross protective documents to Hungarian Jews, enabling them to escape deportation by the Nazis and Arrow Cross.

The Swedish Red Cross gave medical aid to numerous Budapest hospitals and provided 14 protectedhouses, and organized hiding places for Jews in convents
Pal Szalai 1915 - 1994

Nationality: Hungarian

Function in Budapest: Police Officer

From 1939 to 1942 Szalai was a member of the Arrow Cross Party. Disillusioned with the party's ideology, he resigned and in 1944 became a police officer and set about helping the Budapest Jews. Szalai met Raoul Wallenberg and they arranged deliveries of food and water to the Ghetto. He regularly provided Wallenberg with 'inside information', which helped to prevent the planned liquidation of the ghetto and death of thousands of Jews
Angel Sanz Briz (1910 - 1980)

Angel Sanz Briz, Spanish diplomat under the government of the Spanish fascist leader General Francisco Franco, arrived in Budapest in 1942 and took up his post as Chargé d'Affaires of Spain to Hungary.

Upon seeing the terrible situation and conditions for the Hungarian Jews in Budapest, Sanz Briz decided to use his diplomatic privileges to help, relieve the suffering, prevent deportations and ultimately to save lives. To achieve this, he worked with Raoul Wallenberg, Papal Nuncio Angelo Rotta, Swiss Consul Carl Lutz and several other diplomats were making similar efforts as representatives of their neutral governments.

In January 1945 as the Soviet forces drew closer to Budapest, Sanz Briz was instructed to leave Budapest and relocate to Switzerland. When he eventually left, Giorgio Perlasca, took his place and continued to issue fake documents from the Spanish Embassy.

During his time in Budapest, Angel Sanz Briz was responsible for setting up several safe houses, which were under the official protection of Spain. In January 1945 however the neutrality of these houses was violated by Arrow Cross militia, the occupants were forced out and executed at the banks of the River Danube.

Sanz Briz issued many thousands of protection letters to the Jews of Budapest, claiming that, under Spanish law, the bearers of these letters, supposedly of Sephardic (Spanish Jewish) descent, were recognized as having Spanish nationality. In actual fact, only a small number of the 5200 Jews saved by Sanz Briz were actually of Spanish origin.

In 1991 Angel Sanz Briz was officially recognized Yad Vashem, Israel, and was declared Righteous Among the Nations. In 1994 the Hungarian government awarded him the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary in recognition of his work in Budapest.


Sara Salkahazi (1899-1944), sheltered hundreds of Jews in a building belonging to the Sisters of Social Service in Budapest during 1944. Eventually she was denounced to the authorities by a woman who worked in the building, which was then raided by the Hungarian Arrow Cross. The Jews sheltering there were arrested. When Sarah Salkahazi heard of this raid, she returned to the building and was also arrested.

During the trial of former Arrow Cross members in 1967, it was learned that Sara Salkahazi, along with the Jews who were arrested, was executed by the Arrow Cross at the banks of the River Danube on 27. December 1944.

Sara Salkahazi was responsible for saving several hundred lives and accordingly was recognized by Yad Vashem and awarded the title of Righteous Among the Nations by the State of Israel in 1972.

In September 2006, during a Mass outside St. Stephens Basilica in Budapest, Sara Salkahazi was beatified in a proclamation by Pope Benedict XVI, read by Cardinal Peter Erdo, where it was said, "She was willing to assume risks for the persecuted in days of great fear. Her martyrdom is still topical and presents the foundations of our humanity."

Also attending the ceremony, Rabbi Jozsef Schweitzer said, "I know from personal experience how dangerous and heroic it was in those times to help Jews and save them from death. Originating in her faith, she kept the commandment of love until death."


Carlos de Liz-Texeira Branquinho 1902-1973

Nationality: Portuguese

Function in Budapest: Portuguese Chargé d'Affaires

Carlos de Liz-Texeira Branquinho was the Portuguese Chargé d'Affaires in Budapest in 1944. He issued safe conduct passes to all Jews with relatives in Portugal, Brazil, or the Portuguese colonies. Branquinho was authorized by the authorities to issue 500 safe conduct passes, but issued more than 800 and opened safe houses, which were raided several times by Arrow Cross militia. He also established a Portuguese Red Cross office to care for Jewish refugees.

_____Coronel José Arturo Castellanos 1893- 1977

Nationality: Salvadoran

Function: Salvadoran Consul General

As El Salvador’s Consul General in Geneva, José Arturo Castellanos helped to save up to 40,000 Jews by issuing them with pre-signed Salvadoran citizenship documents, produced in Geneva and delivered to various Easter European countries by a network of couriers. The Salvadoran authorities requested the assistance of the Swiss legation in Budapest to 'protect these Salvadoran citizens.'

Monsignor Angelo Rotta (1872-1965), was assigned as papal nuncio (ambassador) to Budapest, later to become the Dean of the diplomatic corps in Budapest. At the time of his assignment in Budapest in 1944, Monsignor Rotta was 72 years old.

Angelo Rotta actively protested the deportation and murder of Hungarian Jews and appealed to the authorities "not to continue this war against the Jews beyond the limits prescribed by the laws of nature and the commandments of God." Rotta also put pressure on the Catholic primate of Hungary, Cardinal Seredi, to issue a pastoral letter denouncing the deportations, which he did on June 29, 1944. Rotta issued hundreds of safe conduct certificates to Jews held in labor camps, at deportation centres and during death marches, often distributing these personally before the very eyes of the SS.

During his time in Budapest, Rotta and his assistant, Father Gennaro Verolino, issued more than 15,000 safe conduct certificates to the Jews of Budapest, putting them under the direct protection of the Vatican neutrality. They also set up numerous safe houses throughout Budapest.

Monsignor Angelo Rotta was responsible for saving several thousand lives and was recognized by Yad Vashem and awarded the title of Righteous Among the Nations by the State of Israel in 1997 and in 2010, a school in Budapest's 12th. district was named after Gennaro Verolino.


Friedrich Born 1903-1963

Nationality: Swiss

Function in Budapest: Delegate of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

Friedrich Born, delegate of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Budapest until January 1945, recruited up to 3,000 Jews to work in his offices and established several ICRC safe houses.

Born issued 15,000 ICRC protection documents, which helped to prevent the deportation of thousands of Hungarian Jews.

___Gabor Sztehlo (1909– 1974) was a Hungarian Lutheran pastor, and in 1944 was appointed to represent the Lutheran church in a Calvinist-led Protestant organization (Good Shepherd), responsible for providing food and clothing to Jews. In co-ordination with the International Red Cross and the Swiss Red Cross he established 32 homes in Budapest for Jewish children, and provided documents, stating that the children were Gentiles and thereby saving them from deportation or execution.

According to official information, Gabor Sztehlo was responsible for saving the lives of 2,000 Jewish persons - 1,600 children and 400 adults.

In 1973, Gabor Sztehlo was the first Hungarian to be receive an award from the Yad Vashem Institute, naming him a Righteous Among the Nations and the following year he was nominated by the Swiss authorities for the Nobel Peace Prize.

After the war had ended, he continued to care for the children whose families had perished.

He also established a school and provided facilities for teaching trades to these children.

In 1951 this home was taken over by the communist regime.

Carl Lutz 1895 - 1975

Nationality: Swiss

Function in Budapest: Swiss Vice-Consul

Carl Lutz was responsible for saving tens of thousands of Jews from deportation or death, by issuing and distributing protective passes (Schutzpass), which made it possible for thousands of Jews to emigrate to Palestine and setting up more than 70 safe houses, including the legendary Glass House (Üvegház___________________________________________________________________________
Perlasca, the great pretender

Baruch Tenembaum

The stories of the Holocaust Saviors had two important things in common. They all resisted to get into the terror band, by risking what they were and had. None, in any way, was exempted from the high price that the noblest actions carry in certain periods.

What was really passionate of this stories of solidarity and courage is to find and know the paths that each of these heroes followed and the details of each deed.

Let us take the case of Giorgio Perlasca ( Como , 1910), Spanish “Consul” to Budapest between December 1944 and January 1945.

Loyal to his condition of sympathizer of Gabriele D’ Annnzio’s nationalistic ideas, he offered as a volunteer to fight on Francisco Franco’s side on the Spanish Civil War. At the end of the conflict he came back to Italy where he was caught by the beginning of the Second World War and the alliance between Mussolini and Hitler. That was the moment when Perlasca leaves fascism and decides to stay loyal only to King Victor Emmanuel III . The old resentment towards Germany , country against which Italy had fought during the First World War and 1935 German racial laws set a limit to an exacerbated patriotism. “I was not fascist or anti-fascist; I was anti Nazi”, he would say some time later.
The 1943 autumn surprises him as official delegate of the Italian government with diplomatic status. He had been sent to the Eastern Europe countries with the mission of buying meat for the Italian army. On October 8, the American general Dwight Eisenhower announces the unconditional surrender of Italy to the allied forces. Then, Perlasca makes public his oath to the Italian monarch that costs him his freedom. The Hungarian government, threatened by Germany , takes him as prisoner and confines him in a castle reserved for diplomats. After a few months he took advantage of a medical pass that allowed him to travel within Bulgaria to get away and request political asylum at the Spanish Embassy, the country of his juvenile adventures. Suddenly Giorgio became “Jorge” with the same rights than a Spanish citizen.

At short he started to collaborate with the rescue actions of Jews that carried out Angel Sanz Briz, the consul in charge of the legation, in close collaboration with other diplomatic legations such as Switzerland , Sweden , Portugal and the Vatican .

When Sanz Briz was forced to leave Hungary at the end of 1944 not to recognize the new pro-Nazi government of Ferenc Szalasi, the authorities had the chance to advance over the Spanish houses of protection. Immediately, and to avoid the worst, Perlasca made the Ministry of the Interior believe that Sanz Briz had appointed his successor.

He appointed himself as Spanish Ambassador and on a piece of paper with official letterhead he wrote his designation as representative of Franco’s government. He gave this document to the authorities of the Hungarian State Department and they took it as legal. Immediately after, he put under his custody thousands of refugees hidden in Spanish houses and, like Raoul Wallenberg, he negotiated with the Nazi bloodhounds to lower the greatest amount of people condemned to death in the extermination camps.

” The relatives of the Spanish people in Hungary request your presence in Spain . Until communications are reestablished and the journey is possible, you will stay here under the protection of the Spanish government,” said the letters of protection based on a 1924 law by which Spanish citizenship was given to all Sephardi Jews.

With the Red Army in Budapest and the certainty that about 5,200 Jews were safe, Perlasca initiated a long return to Italy .

“Jorge” kept in secret his incredible adventure for more than 30 years, until a group of women of the Jewish community in Hungary started to track the Spanish diplomat who had saved their lives.

Before he died on August 15, 1992 in Padova, where he had gown up, Perlasca gave his valuable testimony to the memory of the nations.

Thanks to the film “Perlasca, an Italian Hero”, and to the books such as the one belonging to the journalist Enrico Deaglio, “La Banalita del Bene. Storia di Giorgio Perlasca”, the world knows today the story of this Holocaust savior.

* Baruch Tenembaum is Founder of The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation

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