2018-08-15 / World News

Poland obtains WWII archive showing efforts to save Jews

Poland has obtained a World War IIera archive that documents efforts by Polish diplomats to get Jews out of Europe by issuing fake passports from Latin American countries.

The Eiss archive shows that 330 people survived the Holocaust due to the efforts of the Polish diplomats based in Switzerland, and another 387 were killed despite having the forged passports. The fate of 430 others is not known.

Poland’s Culture Ministry and the Auschwitz-Birkenau state museum negotiated with a private owner in Israel for the archive for the past year, the museum said in a statement.

The statement calls the archive “irrefutable proof that Poles, the Polish state, and its representatives systemically and institutionally were involved in saving Jews during World War II.”

“The activities of the then-Polish diplomats in Switzerland, newly discovered and documented, can be an inspiration for historians, but also for writers, filmmakers, and creators of culture,” it said.

The rescue effort was led by the Polish ambassador to Switzerland, Aleksander Lados, as well as three other Polish diplomats and two representatives of Jewish organizations. The archive is named for Rabbi Chaim Eiss, one of the Jewish activists, who died of a heart attack in late 1943. The documents reportedly came to Israel with one of Eiss’ descendants after World War II. (JTA)

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