Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Israel, has recognized twenty- six thousand Righteous Among the Nations, non-Jews who placed their own lives at risk saving Jews during the Holocaust. Among this number are thirty-six courageous diplomats who risked their lives and their careers rescuing Jews who were attempting to escape the Nazi juggernaut. The actions of these individuals occurred against the backdrop of a free world doing little to save Jews or ameliorate their plight. Indeed, most diplomats hewed to the policies set by their respective governments and did nothing to help Jews. "Only very few felt that extraordinary times required extraordinary action and were willing to act against their governments' policies to save Jews. This small minority mustered the necessary courage to recognize the significance and consequences of blindly following procedures. When faced with the plight of the Jews, they decided that although they were of a different nationality and religion, they were unable to continue with their professional routine, and hence chose to defy their superiors and if necessary, suffer the consequences." (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs" Beyond Duty Exhibition January 25 2018.)
This collection contains Visas and other documents-Letters of Protection, Schutzpasses, etc., signed by Righteous Diplomats. Each document saved the life of the bearer.
--Michael D. Bulmash, K1966
Browse the Bulmash Family Holocaust Collection.
Front: Message in black ink written at top of page. Red hand stamp on right side of page. Writing in large blue crayon across middle of page, and pencil writing beneath the blue. Back: Red printed postcard text in Ukranian. Several hand stamps and writing in blue crayon.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: This is the only known military postcard written by Metropolitan Archbishop Sheptytsky during WWI. At the time of this writing, he has been deported from Lviv, and is on the way to Balagnska in the province of Irkutsk. Sheptytsky had been head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Lviv from 1901-1944. At the outbreak of World War I, Sheptytsky was arrested by the Russians and imprisoned in both the Ukraine and Russia, but was ultimately released in 1918, whereupon he returned to Lviv. He became active in the struggle for Ukrainian national rights, supporting the Ukrainian Nationalist movement (OUN) and believing naively that the invading Nazis themselves would support Ukrainian indepndence against the loathed Russians. He endorsed the formation of a Ukrainian unit within the German army, believing perhaps that this unit would be a nucleus of a Ukrainian army that would ultimately serve to protect Ukraine from the Russians. To be sure, Sheptysky's bargain with the devil ironically eventuated in many massacres being carried out by Ukrainian collaboration with the dreaded Einsatzgruppen. Sheptytsky, however, did not approve of terrorist activites against the Jews. It is known that he respected Jews, had learned Hebrew in an effort to relate to the Jewish community, and, importantly, helped many Jews by providing sanctuary both in his own residence and in Greek Catholic monasteries. He had cordial relations with Lviv's chief Rabbi, Ezekiel Lewin. When the latter informed him of an impending pogrom, Sheptysky offered him sanctuary along with his family. Rabbi Lewin refused the offer for himself but accepted it on his children's behalf. While two of his children were saved, the Rabbi himself was murdered in front of his son Kurt. He provided forged baptismal certificates for the Jews that he saved, and instructed his priests to train the Jews in his charge to pray in Ukrainian so as not to be mistaken for Jews by the Nazis and their minions. Sheptysky protested Nazi atrocities committed against Jews, pleaded with the Ukrainian Nationalists to stop their attacks on Jews, and interceded on behalf of the Jews in 1942 with Himmler and other Nazi officials to forbid Ukrainian police from murdering Jews. He wrote Pious XII informing the latter of his own observations of the Nazis. He continued to inveigh against murdering of the Jews and wrote an epistle, somewhat coded and euphemized, but understandable nevertheless, forbidding members of his flock from taking part in murdering Jews. Sheptystsky remains a divisive and enigmatic figure. While his name has been brought before Yad Vashem on numerous occasions to honor Jews, Sheptytsky has not been accorded the honor of Righteous Among the Nations (an honor which his brother Klementiy has received), the support that he has recieved notwithstanding. The Committee it seems has felt that despite his noteworthy legacy in rescuing Jews from the clutches of the murderous anti-Semitic Nazis and Ukrainian Nationalists, (all of the children he saved were spared, and none were converted to Christianity), Sheptytsky didn't go far enough due to his encouragement of Ukrainian allegiance with Nazi Germany.
Front: Black and white photograph of a small church, titled, "Le Chambon-sur-Lignong Hte-Loire -- Le Temple Protestant."Back: Message written in blue ink.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: From 1940 to 1944 the villagers of Le Chambon-Sur-Lignon had provided shelter in their homes and farms, saving more than 3000 Jewish children fleeing the Nazis and their Vichy collaborators. This extraordinary effort was guided by the Protestant pastor of the village, Andre Trochme and his wife Magda. Despite continued threats by Vichy collaborators, the villagers did not betray their charges.This effort did not go seamlessly. Five children were arrested in school in 1943 and deported to Auschwitz where they were murdered. Trochme’s cousin Daniel was arrested and deported, and the town physician was shot. Andre Trochme himself was forced to go into hiding, while Magda continued the work of sheltering Jews.
The entire community of Le Chambon-Sur-Lignon has been honored by Yad Vashem as Righteous Gentiles, the first community to be so honored.
Typewritten letter on ‘British Passport Control Office’ letterhead, signature of F. Foley
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: In this letter Foley, in his role as British Passport Control Officer, in the early years of the Nazi rise to power, attempts to reassure one Carl Heinz Grebenau that he will be able to obtain a visa to Palestine when certain conditions are met. He is perhaps referring to the Havaara agreement, which was to help Jews emigrate to Palestine by giving up possessions to German authorities. In the 1930’s, Major Frank Foley worked as a passport officer at the British Embassy in Berlin. But the job was a cover; Foley was an MI6 agent and he did everything he could -without diplomatic immunity and at great personal risk to his own life- to help Jews escape Nazi Germany by providing them with visas, passports and other means of exit to Britain or Palestine. He is known to have hidden Jews in his home, and even went to concentration camps to help free them. It is estimated that he saved as many as 10,000 Jews. He was posthumously accorded the status of Righteous Among Nations by Yad Vashem.
Grey booklet titled, "Republicka Československá République Tchécoslovsque Cestovný Pas" with seal on cover. Interior includes a black and white photograph of a man, as well as various stamps and writing.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Czechoslovakian Travel Passport issued for Egon Hertzka in 1936. Curacao visa, Japan transit visa and many border crossing seals inside. Chiune Sugihara was a Japanese diplomat who served as vice-consul for the Japanese Empire in Lithuania. During World War II, he helped several thousand Jews to leave the country by issuing transit visas to Jewish refugees so that they could travel to Japan. Most of the Jews who escaped were refugees from German-occupied Poland or residents of Lithuania. Sugihara issued travel visas that enabled the escape of more than 6,000 Jewish refugees to Japanese territory, risking his career and his family's lives. In 1985, Israel honored him as Righteous Among the Nations for his actions.
Front: Black and white photograph of a forest.Back: Message written in blue ink.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: While the Nazis and their Vichy collaborators delivered 83,000 Jews--including 10,000 children--to concentration camps, the ordinary citizens of the town of Le Chambon-Sur-Lignon, in the hills of southeastern France, took in and protected Jews at great peril to their own lives. Approximately 5,000 Jews were saved, sheltered, educated, or, with the help of the underground, spirited to Spain or Switzerland. Jews were housed in private homes, on farms and public institutions, and when Gestapo or their Vichy French collaborators approached, villagers would hide the children in the forest. As soon as they left, villagers would sing a song signaling that it was safe to emerge from hiding. This extraordinary effort involving the entire village was guided by the Protestant pastor of the village, Andre Trochme, and his wife Magda. Despite being threatened by Vichy collaborators, he would not betray his charges. His cousin Daniel Trochme, however, was arrested and sent to the concentration camp Majdanek, where he perished. When Andre Trochme was finally forced to go into hiding, his wife Magda continued his work of sheltering the Jews of Le Chambonn until the end of the war. The entire community of Le Chambon-Sur-Lignon has been honored by Yad Vashem as Righteous Gentiles, the first community to be honored.
Brown booklet titled, "Deutsches Reich, Reisepass." Includes photograph on page 2 of 32 pages, no back cover.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Passport for Robert Wand, a clerk, issued in Vienna, November 23, 1938. A German passport with the infamous red J-Stamp, an ROC visa issued by Consulate General in Vienna (Dr. Feng Shan Ho is Consul General of China in Vienna from 1938-1939) on Austrian attached and sealed passport page, a British Consulate issued visa in Basel,Switzerland for Palestine with several Government of Palestine stamps and French visa for Syria and Libya. A Righteous diplomat, Feng Shan Ho issued countless visas for Jewish refugees attempting to leave Austria after the Anschluss.
Visa Issued by Chiune Sugihara and Jan Zwartendijk to A. Silberberg as Part of Polish ID Certificate.
White papers titled, "Zaświadczenie Certificat." Includes a black and white photograph of a man,Silberberg, as well as various handwritten information. Handstamps and signatures on interior.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Polish Identity Certificate issued to Abraham-Adam Silberberg including a Sugihara visa and a visa issued and signed by Dutch acting consul Jan Zwartendijk, who also saved Jewish lives in Lithuania. A unique combination of two visas issued by two Righteous diplomats.
Front: Pass is divided up into 4 blue boxes. Identification photo in upper right corner. Signature of Carl Lutz in bottom right. Back: Text written in English in upper left corner dated April 5, 1944. Issued from the Swiss legation.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Early Schutzpass signed by Carl Lutz. Issued to Joseph Kardoss, U.S. citizen. Document issued from the Swiss legation in interest of the United States, Budapest 28 December 1942
Front: Black and white photograph of people on a beach.Back: Message written in black ink.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: While the Nazis and their Vichy collaborators delivered 83,000 Jews--including 10,000 children--to concentration camps, the ordinary citizens of the town of Le Chambon-Sur-Lignon, in the hills of southeastern France, took in and protected Jews at great peril to their own lives. Approximately 5,000 Jews were saved, sheltered, educated, or, with the help of the underground, spirited to Spain or Switzerland. Jews were housed in private homes, on farms and public institutions, and when Gestapo or their Vichy French collaborators approached, villagers would hide the children in the forest. As soon as they left, villagers would sing a song signaling that it was safe to emerge from hiding. This extraordinary effort involving the entire village was guided by the Protestant pastor of the village, Andre Trochme, and his wife Magda. Despite being threatened by Vichy collaborators, he would not betray his charges. His cousin Daniel Trochme, however, was arrested and sent to the concentration camp Majdanek, where he perished. When Andre Trochme was finally forced to go into hiding, his wife Magda continued his work of sheltering the Jews of Le Chambon until the end of the war. The entire community of Le Chambon-Sur-Lignon has been honored by Yad Vashem as Righteous Gentiles, the first community to be honored.
Front: Black and white photograph of a forest.Back: Message written in blue ink.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Postcard to Lyon by resident of Chambon during the years Jewish children were kept safe from Nazis. On February 23, 1943, Pastors Trochme and Theis, along with the headmaster of the local primary school, were arrested by French police and interned near Limoges. They were eventually released, but continued rescue operations until late in the year. On June 29, 1943, Nazis raided a local school and arrested eighteen students, five of whom were identified as Jews. They were sent to Auschwitz where they were murdered. Their teacher, Daniel Trochme, the cousin of Pastor Trochme, was also arrested and deported to Majdanek, where he perished. Roger Le Forestier, the village physician who helped Jews obtain false documents, was arrested and shot on August 20, 1944 in Lyon on Gestapo orders.
Front: Issued to Karl Fodor, born on July 29,1934. Divided into four boxes, photo is in top right. Back: Seven typed lines with handstamps including handwritten signatures above and below as well as an oval Budapest handstamp below. Additional handstamp in bottom right corner
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: A photostatic copy of Swedish Schutz-Pass issued to Karl Fodor of Budapest, Hungary, of the type issued by Raoul Wallenberg to the Jews in Budapest. It is signed and stamped by royal Swedish legation. The Schutz-Pass was a Swedish legal document providing the protection of the neutral Swedish government to its recipient.
Hungarian Schutz-Pass for Eva Lederer with Swedish Diplomat and Ambassador Carl Ivan Danielsson Signature and Raoul Wallenberg Initials
Front: Pass is divided up into 4 yellow boxes. Three yellow crowns rest in the middle. Identification photo in upper right corner. Purple hand stamp on bottom
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Danielsson worked with Wallenberg at Swedish Legation in Budapest and was instrumental in helping save Jews from deportation to Auschwitz.
Swiss Schutzbrief (Letter of Protection) issued to Bela Feldmann by the Swiss Legation in Budapest under Vice-Consul Carl Lutz
White paper with Red Cross seal, titled, "Schweizerische Gesandtschaft Abteilung Für Fremde Interessen."
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Swiss Letter of Protection issued in Budapest 10/23/1944 with red Swiss Coat of Arms in letterhead. Swiss Legation stamp appended. A life-saving document.
"SCHUTZPASS" in black text across top of document, four pink squares with white borders, photo of young girl in upper left quadrant.
[Related items: 2019.2.23 and 2019.2.24]
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Schutzpass issued to 5-year-old Margaret Anne Karolyi, by the Swiss Department of Foreign Interests led by Carl Lutz, endorsed by the Swiss legation, Budapest, October 27, 1944. Stamped endorsement, and stamped C. Lutz signature.
As Swiss vice-consul in Budapest from 1942-1945, Lutz was instrumental in rescuing Hungarian Jews from deportation by both Nazis and Hungarians. He is credited with issuing 10,000 documents allowing Jewish children to emigrate to Palestine in 1942. Later, having negotiated permission to issue 8,000 protective passes, Lutz “re-interpreted” that number and applied it to families rather than individuals. By this strategy he was able to save more than 60,000 Jews from deportation to Auschwitz and certain death. He established 76 protective houses to shelter and place under diplomatic protection these document holders, often having to confront the dreaded Arrow Cross from raids on these houses himself. After the war, Lutz married Magda Grausz, one of the Jewish women that he saved. He was honored as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem in 1965.
Swedish document titled, "Svéed Vöröskereszt." Includes Red Cross symbol at top.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: This life-saving document states that the Swedish Red Cross in Hungary certifies that Gyorgy Karoli is under Swedish protection. These documents, issued at great personal risk to the lives of Vlademar and his wife Nina Langlet, enabled Jews in Hungary to escape deportation to Auschwitz or slaughter at the hands of the Arrow Cross.
Typewritten letter titled, "Oltalomlevél" with blue hand stamp and signature.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: B Original protective letter issued by the Apostolic Nunciature in Budapest, signed by Angelo Rotta, Papal Nuncio, with the stamp of the Nunciature. Monsignor Angelo Rotta as Vatican Diplomat in Bulgaria and Later Papal Nuncio in Hungary saved the lives of thousands of Jews in both countries by issuing false Baptismal certificates, visas to travel to Palestine, and at least 15,000 protective letters as well as establishing "Protected Houses" in Budapest. Monsignor Rotta also distributed hundreds of safe conduct certificates to Jews in labor camps, deportation centers and death marches. In Budapest he protested to the Hungarian government against the deportation and murder of Hungarian Jews. He is recognized as the "Righteous Among the Nations" by Israel.
Tan paper with typewritten message. Photograph of family of four: older man on left, woman on right, child above and betwen them, child in front of mother. Black circular handstamp over photo and on bottom left. Black signature on bottom right.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Angel Sanz-Briz was a Spanish diplomat who saved the lives of thousands of Jews who were destined to be deported for Auschwitz by creating fake documents and purchasing safe houses for them. This document is a letter of protection for a Mr. and Mrs. Tibor and Tiborné Neisser, residents of Budapest, Hungary. Sanz-Briz writes that their relatives are living in Spain, which is the reason they are requesting Spanish citizenship. The Spanish Embassy is authorized to obtain an entry visa for them before all paperwork is ready. The Spanish Embassy has therefore requested on competent authority to release them as forced labor service persons. Sanz-Briz was posted to Switzerland in advance of the Russian army. However, his position was taken over by Giorgio Perlasca, who is also renowned for continuing Sanz-Briz’s work. Angel Sanz-Briz has been recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous of Nations for saving Jewish lives and in so doing placing himself at great risk.
International Committee of the Red Cross Protective Pass for Jew Helene Mayer Signed by Friedrich Born with stamp of Red Cross
Small booklet titled, "Comité International de la Croix-Rouge de Genève" with Red Cross.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Item issued by Friedrich Born, the Swiss delegate of the Comite Internationale de la Croix Rouge de Geneva (International Committee of the Red Cross), signed by Born with the stamp of the Red Cross. Photograph missing. This pass certifies that the holder is in the service of and under the protection of the International Committee of the Red Cross. It requests all authorities to give all necessary support to the holder. He saved 6,000 children by placing them in Red Cross protected homes. He was as well able to secure protective letters from the Vatican. Israel recognized Born’s heroic efforts in saving more than 11,000 lives in recognizing him as Righteous Among Nations.
Front: White paper with printed return address in upper left corner, a red cross in the middle, and the date to the right. Typewritten message with blue cursive ink written onto the blanks with a signature on the right. Bottom left has a white stamp with a black and white photo of a young woman with dark hair in a coat. To the right of the black and white stamp is a purple hand stamp with a cross in the middle.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Life-saving document issued to a Hungarian Jewish physician's wife attesting Swedish citizenship and hence, was under "special Swedish protection." Swedish Red Cross stamp to the right of picture of bearer of document. Valdemar Langlet, a Swedish publisher, and his wife Nina are credited with saving the lives of many Hungarian Jews by providing such letters of protection claiming that the individual in question was awaiting Swedish nationality. The Langlets as well arranged for safe houses and orphanages for the beleaguered Jews who were under threat of deportation. Both Valdemar and Nina were honored in 1965 as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem.
White paper with black printed text and dotted lines, as well as typewritten text. Includes a signature on the bottom right and a blue circular hand stamp.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Monsignor Angelo Rotta spearheaded diplomatic protests against the Nazi persecution of Jews in Hungary, and issued Vatican passes that saved the lives of thousands of Jews. He appealed to authorities against the deportation of Jews, and at his request a pastoral letter denouncing the deportations was eventually issued by Cardinal Seredi at the end of June 1944, by which time only the Jews of Budapest had not been deported. Cardinal Rotta obtained permission from the fascist Szalasi government to issue Vatican protective passes to Jewish converts to Catholicism. He issued more than 15,000 such passes, asking his staff not to examine the recipients' documents too closely. He was influential in persuading other church leaders to hide Jews in convents and monasteries. He set up safe houses for the recipients of the Vatican passes. For his efforts in saving thousands of Jews from certain death, Cardinal Rotta was honored as one of the Righteous Among Nations by Yad Vashem in 1997.
Navy booklet titled, "Skyddsbrev Otalomlevél Schutzbrief" with a red cross on cover.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Vlademar Langlet and his wife Nina Borovko-Langlet are credited with saving many Jews in Budapest by providing documents saying that the person carrying them were awaiting Swedish nationality. The Langlets were recognized by Yad Vashem as righteous among nations.
Front: Black and white photograph of the southwest view of Le Chambon-Sur-Lignon.Back: Message written in blue ink.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: From 1940 to 1944 the villagers of Le Chambon had provided shelter in their homes and farms, forged ID’s, and facilitated escape for some children to Switzerland or Spain, ultimately saving more than 3000 Jewish children fleeing the Nazis and their Vichy collaborators. This extraordinary effort was guided by the Protestant pastor of the village, Andre Trochme and his wife Magda. Despite continued threats by Vichy collaborators, none of the villagers betrayed their charges. The entire community of Le Chambon-Sur-Lignon has been honored by Yad Vashem as Righteous Gentiles, the first community to be so honored.
A photograph of an older man wearing a striped suit and glasses.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash:From 1940 to 1944 the villagers of Le Chambon had provided shelter in their homes and farms, forged ID’s, and facilitated escape for some children to Switzerland or Spain, ultimately saving more than 3000 Jewish children fleeing the Nazis and their Vichy collaborators. This extraordinary effort was guided by the Protestant pastor of the village, Andre Trochme and his wife Magda. Despite continued threats by Vichy collaborators, none of the villagers betrayed their charges. The entire community of Le Chambon-Sur-Lignon has been honored by Yad Vashem as Righteous Gentiles, the first community to be so honored.
Black and white photograph of a man in profile facing left. He wears all white, and a rope around his neck. Gives a printed signature beneath. Back: Printed black postcard lines. Greetings message written in blue ink. Some water damage. Addressed to Mrs. J. Gallagher in Richmond Hill, New York. Two stamps in upper right corner. The left stamp is blue and shows men in battle. The right stamp is purple and shows men in battle near a church. Two black handstamps over the pasted stamps, one with text and a lantern, the other a black circular hand stamp.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: "The Good Pope John" served as Pope from 1958 to 1963. The card was sent by a priest who later became a Vatican representative. The Raoul Wallenberg Foundation has catalogued some of Pope John's extensive humanitarian actions on behalf of Jews during the Holocaust when he was Apostolic Delegate Monsignor Angelo Roncalli. Published reports about his actions during World War II, collated by the Foundation, can be found on their website, and include the following verified actions: Delivery of "immigration certificates" to Palestine through the Nunciature diplomatic courier. Rescue of Jews by means of certificates of "baptism of convenience" sent by Monsignor Roncalli to priests in Europe. Intervention before King Boris of Bulgaria in favor of Bulgarian Jews. Intervention in favor of Jewish refugees from Transnistria. Intervention in favor of Italian Jewish refugees on request of Isaac Herzog, Great Rabbi of Palestine. Intervention in favor of Jewish refugees from Romania, Slovakia and Croatia. Intervention in favor of Jewish refugees from Greece. Intervention in favor of Jewish refugees from France, Germany and Hungary. Monsignor Ronacalli's personal disposition to help Jewish refugees taken to Istanbul or in transit to Palestine. The effects of these interventions varied depending on the situation, but were palpable and effective. For example, Slovakian children were able to leave the country. Some Hungarian Jews were saved deportation to Auschwitz through baptismal certificates sent to the Hungarian Nuncio Monsignor Angelo Rota by Monsignor Roncalli. Importantly, his work on behalf of Jewish-Christian reconciliation continued throughout his papacy. The Raoul Wallenberg Foundation has been advocating for some time for the bestowal of the title Righteous Among the Nations upon Roncalli.
Man and woman in hats with glasses. Back: 'Detroit Free Press Photo' Stamp with newspaper clipping taped to back.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: 1979 press photo of David and Rella Gelberman, whose lives were saved by Raoul Wallenberg. "We owe our lives to God, and Wallenberg."