The Holocaust Documentation & Education Center is pleased to share the following program from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum:

“Diplomats Who Risked It All to Save Lives”

This program was offered as part of the USHMM’s Facebook Live Series.

Children aboard the President Harding pull into New York Harbor in 1939. They were brought to the United States by Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus with the help of American diplomat, Raymond Geist, who secured visas for hundreds of unaccompanied children. US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Steven Pressman

While posted in Berlin, American diplomat Raymond Geist worked within a restrictive immigration system to help save as many victims of Nazi persecution he could, including Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud. Another diplomat, Jose Arturo Castellanos of El Salvador and his first secretary, Jewish businessman George Mandel-Mantello, defied government instructions by providing citizenship certificates to thousands of European Jews who had no connection to El Salvador – most didn’t even speak Spanish.

Join us as we commemorate World Refugee Day and honor diplomats who dared to take great risks to offer refuge and save lives.

Dr. Lisa Leff, Director of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Dr. Edna Friedberg, Historian, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

The program can be viewed by clicking here.