This is the story of an orthodox Jewish rescuer in the south of France who managed to save more than one hundred children during the worst time of persecution – after the German occupation of Vichy France. This rabbi from the Chabad movement was not about to give up his religious principles, his adherence to the letter of the Halakha, his missionary drive of turning his charges into religiously observant and halakha-literate Jews, or his in-your-face Jewishness. He didn’t give up his Hassidic garb, his hat, his beard (red), his side locks, and was not shy of speaking French with a strong Russian accent to those in authority. But he did, in order to finance the rescue of the children from Hell, go into debt the collateral of which was his Paris apartment and other possessions, after the war. Employing these unorthodox means, barely acceptable by related organizations, the rabbi and his family themselves survived the war, immigrating to New York where his children and grandchildren now live.
Judith Cohen, USHMM
Thank you for allowing me to address you. I would like to talk today about a remarkable man and the rescue effort he led – the Romanian/Hungarian Jewish businessman Gyorgy Mandl, aka George Mandel-Mantello. The main parts of the story have been known for sometime, largely owing to David Kranzler’s important work The Man who Stopped the Trains to Auschwitz. However over the past year, since receiving a significant collection of documents from his son Enrico (himself a survivor born in Cluj in 1930), The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is discovering previously unknown aspects to this history. Let me preface my remarks by stating explicitly that our work is still ongoing, and there is much that needs further research and explication.
To read the entire presentation, click here for the PDF file: George Mandel, Presented by Judith Cohen
TWO STORIES OF YOUNG JEWISH RESCUERS WHO OPERATED IN THE DUTCH WESTERWEEL UNDERGROUND GROUP WHICH INCLUDED JEWS AND NON-JEWS
JERUSALEM JRJ COMMITTEE
To read the full presentation, please click here to download the PDF: JRJ Presentation Boston 2009, Chana Arnon