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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Exhibition in Los Angeles sheds light on how Polish diplomats helped Jews in WWII

12.10.2021 15:30
A new exhibition at the Holocaust Museum in Los Angeles sheds light on how Polish World War II diplomats based in Switzerland undertook an extensive operation to save thousands of Jews from extermination by the Nazis.
Audio
Pictures of Jews saved by the Bern-based group of Polish diplomats during World War II.
Pictures of Jews saved by the Bern-based group of Polish diplomats during World War II.Photo: Karol Darmoros/IAR

The brave effort was orchestrated by a group of diplomats led by Aleksander Ładoś, the Polish government-in-exile’s de facto ambassador to Switzerland.

Poland’s Pilecki Institute at the end of 2019 released a list of names of more than 3,000 Jews who were provided with fake passports by Polish diplomats based in Switzerland during the war.

The Bern-based group, led by Ładoś and including Jewish activists, is credited with helping potentially thousands of Jews escape from Poland at a time when the country was under Nazi German occupation.

“Undoubtedly, the case of the Ładoś group is a prime example of efforts to rescue the Jewish population, which should resound especially loudly in the United States, where this story remains unknown,” said Wojciech Kozłowski, the head of Poland’s Pilecki Institute.

“Let’s not forget that there is a large Jewish diaspora there and that the country hosts several key Holocaust museums,” he added.

Radio Poland's Michał Owczarek has the story.

Click on the audio player above to listen.