Poland saved hundreds of Jews during WWII: researchers
PR dla Zagranicy
A list of Jews saved during the Holocaust thanks to Polish efforts is being compiled by the Polish embassy in Bern and the Pilecki Institute for Totalitarian studies, Polish Radio’s journalist Karol Darmoros has reported.
A request from the prime minister, dated August 8, 1944, requesting a South American passport for Ernst Bergauer.
The Pilecki Institute’s research into efforts by Polish diplomatic posts and the Polish government-in-exile has led to correspondence from Paraguay that documented attempts to save 115 people.
Three-hundred-and-thirty people were previously known to have been saved thanks to Polish efforts, taking the total to 445.
The number is likely to grow as researchers trace the fates of other people who were helped.
Among those saved were rabbis, religious students, and merchants.
A number of Jews in Poland were issued fake passports and provided with aid during the war, thanks to funds sent via Polish diplomatic posts at a time when international money transfers could take a long time or even fail to go through.
The fake passports increased a person’s chance of survival but was no guarantee, said Wojciech Kozłowski, the Pilecki Institute’s director.
The institute’s researchers are also trying to calculate how much money was involved in the rescue attempts, but they have uncovered a document from 1945 instructing that all ciphertexts be destroyed. The number is estimated at millions of Swiss francs.
“But we hope that we are able to uncover those documents at other institutions because not everything was always destroyed,” one of the Pilecki institute’s analysts said.
Some 8,000 ciphertexts have so far been uncovered in the archives of many Polish diplomatic posts that are now being probed by the Pilecki Institute, proving that Polish authorities working closely with Jewish organisations working to rescue people from the Holocaust. (vb)