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.
Orange and yellow postage stamp with white border and ridged edges, photo of Carl Lutz, "90" printed in white in bottom right corner.
[Related items: 2019.2.22 and 2019.2.24]
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: 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.
White envelope with a photograph of a fenced-off buildling and a stamp with a black and white photograph of Chiune Sugihara.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Commemorative Lithuanian First Day Cover for Chiune Sugihara, who was the Japanese consul in Kaunas, Lithuania in 1940.He issued Japanese visas to Polish Jews against the orders of his government as a consequence of which Jewish refugees were able to escape to Japan and other countries.
Front: Illustration of Gino Bartali in yellow shirt titled, "Sport Kings Gum."Back: Information printed in green.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Gino Bartali was a much beloved champion cyclist who had won the Giro d'Italia three times and the Tour de France on two occasions. A devout Catholic with strong moral convictions, he risked his life to help Jews living in Italy. A messenger in the military, he transported identity documents for Jews, as well as distributed money from a Swiss bank account to Jews in hiding in Florence. He hid his friend Giacomo Goldenberg and his family in his own apartment, and then in a nearby basement. For his selfless heroism he was declared Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem in Israel in 2010.
Black and white photograph of a dower-looking man in glasses, with his dark hair slicked back, wearing a three-piece suit and tie. The tie has a pearl pin in it, and is askew. Back: Pasted sticker naming Duckwitz a West German personality. Beneath a black handstamp giving copyright to Camera Press.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Press photograph of George F. Duckwitz (1904-1973). Duckwitz had been a German businessman who joined the Nazi Party in 1932. He was eventually assigned to the German embassy in Copenhagen, Denmark, as an attaché. After 1942 Duckwitz worked with Werner Best, the Gestapo leader in Copenhagen. The latter informed Duckwitz about an intended roundup of Danish Jews to occur on October 1, 1943. After a failed attempt to stop the deportations through official channels in Berlin, Duckwtiz flew to Sweden and prevailed upon the Prime Minister in Stockholm to receive Danish Jewish refugees. Back in Denmark Duckwtiz was able to inform--through an intermediary--the chief Rabbi of the Danish Jewish community about the intended deportations. Word spread and resulted in sympathetic Danes organizing the escape of over 7000 Jews in boats to Sweden under the nose of the Nazis. At great personal risk to himself, in giving advance warning to the Jewish community of Denmark about the planned deportaitons of Jews, Duckwitz enabled the people of Denmark to help most of its Jews escape in boats to Sweden. He was named Righteous Among Nations by Yad Vashem in 1971 for his efforts on behalf of Jews.
Signed Photograph of Nickolas Winton, savior of 669 Jewish children in the Czechoslovakian Kindertransport, Holding a Child
Matted black and white photograph of Nicky Winton holding a child with his signature beneath.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Nicholas Winton had personally saved 669 Czechoslovakian children from the Nazi scourge by finding homes for them in England. Many of their parents were to be murdered at Auschwitz.For his extraordinary work on the Czechoslovakian Kindertransport he received numerous honors, including a knighthood.
Front: A sheet of blue and grey Raoul Wallenberg stamps surrounded by information about Raoul Wallenberg.Back: Reproductions of a Schutz-Pass.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Australian stamps commemorating the heroism of Raoul Wallenberg with a timeline of Wallenberg's life and honors.
Woman in white, man in suit looking straight at camera
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Second generation press photograph of Oskar Schindler, the German businessman who saved the lives of more than a thousand Polish-Jewish refugees during the Holocaust by employing them in his factories.