They saved 200,000 Jews

January 31, 2020 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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A unique exhibition will open at NSW Parliament House next Monday when 34 diplomats from 21 countries will be honoured for collectively saving 200,000 Jews from the Nazis.

Titled Beyond Duty, the exhibition comprises a collection of photographs of the diplomats, whose courage and humanitarianism in saving Jews from the Holocaust has earned them the recognition of being declared Righteous Among The Nations by Israel’s world-renowned Holocaust authority, Yad Vashem. It will be held in the Fountain Court at Parliament House as a combined project of NSW Parliamentary Friends of Israel, the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies and the Embassy of Israel.

The exhibition will be opened on Monday evening February 3 at a cocktail launch hosted by Natalie Ward MLC, chair of NSW Parliamentary Friends of Israel.

Natalie Ward

Israel’s Ambassador to Australia Mark Sofer will address the event followed by NSW Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Vic Alhadeff, who will offer a personal perspective, as one of the diplomats being honoured – the wartime Turkish consul-general on Rhodes Island, saved five members of Alhadeff’s family.

Among the diplomats being recognised are Sempo Sugihara, who served as Japan’s consul in Kovno, Lithuania, and defied his government to issue life-saving visas to 6000 Jews before most of the Jews in Lithuania were murdered; and Raoul Wallenberg, a secretary in the Swedish Embassy in Budapest who is credited with saving tens of thousands of Jews by placing them in buildings under the protection of a Swedish flag.

Vic Alhadeff said: “While most countries and most world leaders looked the other way, there were individuals who had the courage and humanitarianism to defy the Nazis, to confront their evil and to do what they could to save innocent lives. This exhibition is unique in that it recognises the tiny handful of diplomats who were willing to take a stand, who refused to be party to the genocide they were witnessing.”

Natalie Ward MLC added: “During this dark time in our history, the world saw the murder of more than six million Jewish men, women and children. The heroic acts of those who risked their lives and the lives of their families to save innocent people will be remembered for generations to come. Beyond Duty is an important exhibition that will recognise the diplomats who saved Jewish lives and it is imperative that their stories are remembered. The NSW Parliamentary Friends of Israel is honoured to bring the stories of their heroism into the NSW Parliament.”

The exhibition will run from February 3-28.


2 Responses to “They saved 200,000 Jews”
  1. Bella Ceruza says:

    The NSW exhibition sounds interesting. Congratulations to those who have participated in making it happen.

    Will it travel to Melbourne?

    Does it have a website / Facebook page showing details of each of the 34 diplomats?

    Is there a catalogue / printed or printable guide available?

  2. Rabbi Cohen says:

    Is this an adaptation of the exhibition Visas for Life which tells exactly the same story?

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