Per Anger (1913-2002)
Per Anger was a Swedish attaché in Budapest between 1944 and 1945. He was a close colleague of Raoul Wallenberg at the Swedish Legation. He personally intervened for the Jews deported to Nazi death camps. On other occasions he saved Jews from death marches departing from Budapest. Consul Anger saved thousands of Jews from spring 1944 to the end of the war in May 1945. He died in 2002.
Lars Berg (1901-1969)
Lars Berg was Swedish Consul in Budapest between 1944 and 1945. He was also a member of the Swedish Legation in Budapest. Together with his fellow diplomats he saved Jews from Nazi and Arrow Cross deportations. His acts earned him a Righteous among the Nations recognition by Yad Vashem.
Franz Bischof was Vice-Consul in Charge of Swiss Interests in Budapest between 1937 and 1945. In 1944 and 1945 he was actively involved in rescuing Jews along with Carl Lutz in the Swiss Embassy in Budapest. He personally hid more than 30 Jews from Nazi deportation and murder.
Friedrich Born (1903-1963)
Friedrich Born was Chief Delegate of the International Committee of the Red Cross of Switzerland in Budapest between 1944 and 1945. In close cooperation with Raoul Wallenberg and Carl Lutz, Born issued thousands of Red Cross letters of protection in Budapest until January 1945. He is credited with retrieving thousands of Jews from deportation camps and death marches in and around Budapest, and played a particularly active role in rescuing thousands of Jews from death marches at Hegyeshalom. He provided an additional 4,000 Jews with employment papers, preventing their deportation. He put over 60 Jewish institutions under Red Cross protection and housed over 7,000 Jewish children and orphans. Twenty-four years after his death, in 1987, Jerusalem-based Yad Vashem Institute recognised his activity with the title “Righteous among the Nations”.
Carlos de Liz-Texeira Branquinho (1902- ?)
Carlos de Liz-Texeira Branquinho was the Portuguese Chargé d’Affaires in Budapest in 1944 and obtained permission from the Portuguese government to issue safe conducts to all persons who had relatives in Portugal, Brazil, or the Portuguese colonies. Each safe conduct was signed by Branquinho. Branquinho was authorized to issue 500 safe conducts, but in actual fact issued more than 800. Soon, the Portuguese established several safe houses to shelter the 800 protected Jews. Despite constant raids by the Arrow Cross, the Portuguese houses remained relatively safe throughout the war. He also established an office of the Portuguese Red Cross at the Portuguese legation to care for Jewish refugees.
Angel Sans Briz (1910-1980)
Angel Sans Briz was Spanish Chargé d’Affaires in Budapest in 1944. In the summer of 1944 he appealed to Madrid for permission to provide protective papers for Jewish Spanish citizens residing in Budapest. Eventually, Sanz-Briz issued between 500 and 700 Spanish protective passes. In addition, he authorized the establishment and protection of dozens of safe houses in Budapest. By the end of the war, more than 3,000 Jews were saved by receiving protection from the Spanish Legation.
Carl Ivan Danielsson (1880-1963)
Carl Ivan Danielsson was Sweden’s Ambassador in Hungary between 1944 and 1945. As a legal graduate he went to do Foreign Service. He was ambassador in several countries. In 1923 and 1924 he also served as envoy in Hungary from his post in Vienna. In 1942 he was appointed to serve as permanent envoy of the Kingdom of Sweden in Budapest. Though personally not participating in the actions, his organisation work and perseverance helped the Swedish Legation organise and maintain its rescue activity during the Holocaust. Together with his colleagues, including Wallenberg and Anger, he stayed in the Hungarian capital and continued to work during the siege. Soon after the war he retired and died in his home in Italy in 1963. His work was honoured by Israel with the decoration “Righteous among the Nations”.
Dr. Harald Feller (1914-?)
Harald Feller was Swiss Minister (Ambassador) in Budapest between 1944 and 1945. Dr. Feller replaced Maximilian Jaeger as head of the Swiss legation in Budapest, Hungary, in 1944. From the beginning of his appointment, Dr. Feller was tireless in his efforts to support Consul Charles Lutz and the rescue of Jews under Swiss protection. Feller worked closely with the other neutral legations in constantly pressuring the Sztójay puppet governments to end the persecution and deportations of Jews. Feller protected members of the Swedish legation, who were targeted by the Arrow Cross, by giving them false Swiss passports and providing shelter. Toward the end of the war, Feller hid dozens of Jews in the basement of his consular residence in Budapest. In February 1945, the Soviets arrested Feller and sent him to Moscow, along with other Swiss nationals. He was returned to Switzerland in February 1946.
Maximilian Jaeger (1915-1999)
Maximilian Jaeger was Switzerland’s Minister (Ambassador) in Budapest between 1936 and 1944. In 1936, he was transferred to Budapest, where Switzerland had set up a legation that same year. He was head of the Swiss mission, and was Carl Lutz’s direct supervisor. Jaeger played an active role in opposing the deportation of Jews to Auschwits, and tried to persuade the Nazis from deporting Jews to Auschwitz and to respect the neutrality of the Swiss safe houses. The activities of Minister Jaeger were instrumental in providing Lutz with the necessary conditions for the rescue of Jews in Budapest. Beginning early in the war, Jaeger sent regular reports to the Ministry in Bern regarding the fate of the Jews in Hungary.
Dr. Valdemar Langlet (1872-1960)
Valdemar Langlet was Swedish Red Cross Delegate in Hungary between 1944 and 1945. On 11 June 1944, Carl Danielsson, Swedish Minister in Budapest, requested the Hungarian government allow the Swedish Red Cross to join the Hungarian Red Cross in feeding and housing thousands of orphaned Jewish children. Dr. Langlet launched a humanitarian campaign immediately, working with the Hungarian Red Cross. Langlet and his wife issued and distributed Swedish protective passes to Hungarian Jews, which prevented them from being deported or murdered by the Arrow Cross or Nazis.
Carl Lutz (1895-1975)
Carl Lutz was Swiss Consul in 1944 and 1945, Chief of the Swiss Legation’s Department of Foreign Interests in Budapest. He was closely linked to Zionists and established particularly good relations with representatives of the Jewish Agency in Budapest, primarily with Miklós (Móse) Krausz, Chargé d’Affaires of the Budapest organisation of the Palestine Office. He supported the immigration actions and it was his idea to issue the Schutzbrief (also known as Schutzpass), i.e. a protective letter or passport to Jewish refugees in Budapest. With these protective passports he saved thousands of Jewish children and sent them to Palestine. He issued more than 50 thousand protective passports in total. In addition, he participated in organising a system of safe houses under the Swiss Government’s patronage in Budapest. His wife Gertrud helped him save Jews from the holding camps of deportees and from death marches. In close cooperation with Born, Wallenberg and Rotta, he supported the Jews at successive negotiations with Arrow Cross leaders, whom he primarily persuaded by promising them a potential official recognition by the Arrow Cross regime. Back to Switzerland after the war, his superiors did not appreciate his activity to save Jews, and gave him relatively insignificant diplomatic posts until he was finally discharged with a pension. In 1963 a street was name after him in the city of Haifa, and in 1964 his activity was recognised by the Jerusalem-based Yad Vashem Institute with the title “Righteous among the Nations”. In 1991 his monument was inaugurated in Budapest and in 2005 a memorial room was set up in his honour in Vadász utca, the former “headquarters” of his rescue activity.
George Mandel-Mantello (1901-1992)
George Mandel-Mantello was Honorary First Secretary of El Salvador in Geneva between 1942 and 1945. He was born into an orthodox Jewish family in Romania in 1903. Because of his business contacts, he was appointed honorary consul of El Salvador and Hungary in Geneva in 1939. As early as 1942, George Mandel-Mantello began issuing Salvadoran citizenship papers and documents to Jews in Nazi occupied Europe from his offices in Geneva. Mantello worked closely with Jewish organizations and neutral legations to develop an elaborate network to distribute these life-saving papers, especially in Hungary. Many of these were blank forms that could be filled out by the recipients. Mantello spent thousands of dollars of his own money covering the costs of issuing these life-saving documents. For these activities, Mantello was arrested twice by Swiss authorities. Mantello also was largely responsible for the widespread dissemination of the Auschwitz Protocols in Europe.
Giorgio “Jorge” Perlasca (1910-1992)
Giorgio “Jorge” Perlasca was “Acting Chargé d’Affaires” of the Spanish Legation in Budapest between 1944 and 1945. He is credited with saving thousands of Jewish refugees in Budapest. He was granted Spanish citizenship for fighting with Franco in the Spanish Civil War. Perlasca volunteered to work with the Spanish legation’s efforts to rescue Jews in Budapest. In the fall of 1944, under Perlasca’s supervision, the number of Jews under the protection of Spanish safe houses in Budapest grew from 300 to about 3,000. In November 1944, the Spanish Ambassador left Budapest and Perlasca began acting on his own authority. Perlasca soon appointed himself ”Spanish Ambassador” and continued to issue thousands of protective passes stamped with the legation’s seal. His bluff worked, and Nazi officials accepted his authority. Perlasca also protected the Spanish safe houses in Budapest from Nazi and Arrow Cross raids.
Angelo Rotta (1872-1965)
Monsignor Angelo Rotta was Papal Nuncio in Budapest from 1930, and Dean of the diplomatic corps in Budapest during World War II. After Hungary’s invasion by the Germans, he became a leader of diplomatic actions to protect the Jews. He actively protested the stigmatization, confinement in ghettos and deportation of Hungarian Jews. In his reports he gave the Vatican detailed information about the events in Hungary and persuaded Pope Pius XII to intercede with Horthy to stop deportations. After the Arrow Cross takeover, Rotta set up an office at the Nunciature with the help of the Hungarian Holy Cross Association to issue protective passports. He eventually issued more than 15,000 safe conduct certificates to Jews who were protected by the Vatican neutrality. Three thousand persecuted people found refuge in 16 houses under the protection of the Nunciature. The colleagues of Rotta saved several persecuted people from the death marches between Budapest and Hegyeshalom. After the war Angelo Rotta was expelled from the country by the Soviet authorities.
Dr. Carlos Almeira Afonseca de Sampaio Garrido (1883-1960)
Dr. Carlos Almeira Afonseca de Sampaio Garrido was Plenipotentiary for Portugal in Budapest in 1944. He helped large numbers of Hungarian Jews who came to the Portuguese diplomatic mission in 1944 seeking Portuguese protection. Along with Branquinho, his successor, he rented houses and apartments to shelter and protect refugees from deportation and murder. He was instrumental in establishing the policy for the protection of Portuguese Jews in Hungary. In May 1944, he was reposted to Switzerland and on several occasions intervened on behalf of Jews from his post in Switzerland.
Henryk Slawik (1894-1944)
Henryk Slawik was the Polish Chargé d’Affaires in Budapest in 1944. He issued thousands of documents certifying that Polish Jewish refugees in Budapest were Christians. One hundred of these were children, and were put in a Catholic orphanage. Slawik was caught and deported to Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria, where he was murdered.
Gennaro Verolino (1906-2005)
Gennaro Verolino was Secretary to the Papal Nuncio between 1944 and 1945. He served in Hungary from 1942 to April 1945 as the secretary of the Nunciature in Budapest. In World War II he risked his life by trying to save persecuted people. He protested the Hungarian Government against the deportation of Jews via the diplomatic corps in Budapest and official notes. He worked tirelessly in the flats maintained for the Papal Nunciature to issue protective passes and to establish protected areas. When the building of the Apostolic Nunciature was hit by a bomb, he managed to rescue the Jews hiding inside. In 2004 he was awarded the Per Anger Prize and in 2007 he posthumously received the decoration Righteous among the Nations from the Jerusalem-based Yad Vashem Institute. In 2010 a school was named after him in Budapest. He died at the age of 99 in 2005.
Peter Zürcher (1914-1975)
Peter Zürcher was Acting Representative of Swiss Interests in Budapest in 1945.
In December 1945, Consul Lutz appointed a Swiss lawyer, Dr. Peter Zürcher, to be his temporary representative in Pest. The nomination of this energetic man was a stroke of extraordinary luck. A few days before the Soviets occupied Pest, Zürcher heard of a plan be the SS to murder the 70,000 inhabitants of the ghetto in a last minute act of genocide. Zürcher threatened the SS commander with bringing him to trial for war crimes if he carried out this horrific plan. Zürcher’s threat worked, and the SS general ordered his troops not to enter the ghetto and even to protect Jews from the fascist Arrow Cross. Because of this heroic action by Zürcher, most of the Jews of the Pest ghetto survived. In addition, Zürcher intervened on behalf of the Jews living in Swiss safe houses in the international ghetto to prevent their murder by the Arrow Cross.