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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Conference honours Polish diplomats who saved Jews in WWII

20.10.2021 09:45
An international academic conference entitled “The Choice to Save Lives: Diplomatic Rescue During the Holocaust” is under way in Warsaw as part of efforts to honour Polish diplomats who helped Jews in World War II.
Audio
Aleksander Ładoś (1891-1963).
Aleksander Ładoś (1891-1963).Image: Wikimedia Commons [Public domain]

Organized by Poland's Pilecki Institute, the conference is part of events to mark the Year of Aleksander Ładoś.

Ładoś, who served as Poland’s envoy to Switzerland during WWII, led an unofficial group of Polish diplomats who worked together with members of Jewish organizations to rescue European Jews from the Holocaust.

The group's members illegally purchased and issued passports and citizenship certificates of four South and Central American states: Paraguay, Honduras, Haiti and Peru.

The documents were delivered to people facing the threat of death to protect them from being taken to Nazi German death camps. 

It is estimated that the Ładoś group issued 4,000 to 5,000 such documents.

The conference is discussing the results of research on rescue operations undertaken during the Holocaust by diplomatic missions and the governments that stood behind them.

The participants include academics from Poland, Israel, Germany, the United States, Lithuania, Austria and the Czech Republic.

(mk/gs)

Click on the audio player above to listen to an interview in which Polish Radio reporter Klaudiusz Madeja discusses the legacy of the Ładoś group with the Pilecki Institute's Tomasz Stefanek.