Here are some stories of the brave and inspiring people that risked their lives to save others whose legacy should be remembered and have been given the honour of Righteous Among The Nations.
Oskar Schindler: immortalised in the Spielberg’s movie ‘Schindler’s List’ and novel by Thomas Keneally, Schindler is now a household name. Through insisting he needed Jewish prisoners to work in his factory and having his assistant draw up what is now known as Schindler’s List, he and his wife Emelie managed to save 1,200 people from the concentration camps, who now have an estimated 7,000 descendants. Read more about their incredible story here.
Irena Sendler: Irena managed to gain access to the Warsaw ghetto as a social worker under the guise of inspecting sanitary conditions in order to help smuggle Jews out of the ghetto and hide them and in particular children, which she would hide in orphanages and religious institutions. She falsified documents for the approximated 2,500 Jews she saved but buried the lists of their names and locations in jars in the hope of reuniting them with their families after the war. Read about her amazing work here.
Sir Nicholas Winton: born to Jewish parents, Winton was a British stockbroker and travelled to Prague on behalf of the British Committee for Refugees from Czechoslovakia. Upon seeing the overcrowded refugee camps and the suffering, he was determined to evacuate young refugees and children to England. He and his team obtained or forged British paperwork to transport 669 children through Nazi Germany to safety and placed each refugee with a foster family. Read about his remarkable story here.
Varian Fry: Fry was an American journalist and had travelled to Nazi Germany as a reporter and founded the Emergency Rescue Committee after Germany invaded France, and volunteered as the representative to stay in France and guide the rescue efforts. Fry and his committee used legal and illegal methods to help around 2,000 people escape to the United States, including some well-known writers and artists, through using an escape route across the mountains into Spain. Read about his life here.
Charles Fawcett: mostly known as a film star, Fawcett was a member of the French resistance and worked with Varian Fry by marrying six Jewish women in order to obtain them an exit visa and American citizenship. He flew in the RAF and fought with the French Foreign Legion after having to flee France due to the Gestapo. Watch an interview with him here.
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