The “Pope of the Jews”

Angelo Donati, a Jewish businessman and diplomat from the tiny Republic of San Marino who saved several thousand Jews in the Italian occupation zone in France and became known as the “Pope of the Jews,” died at 75 on this date in 1960. Donati, who hailed from Modena, was general consul of San Marino from 19235 to […]

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Escaping from the Vilna Ghetto: An Authentic Memoir

by Shmerke Kaczerginski translated from the Yiddish, with notes, by Rachel Field   SHMERKE KACZERGINSKI  was a Yiddish poet, ethnomusicologist, activist, and cultural leader, who survived the Holocaust in a partisan unit. Born in Vilna in 1908, Kaczerginski was educated in the city’s Talmud Torah, a community-sponsored school for orphans, and became active in the banned […]

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The Bund at 120

A CONFERENCE REPORT by Bennett Muraskin Illustration by Aharon Varady TWENTY YEARS AGO, in honor of the centennial of the Jewish Labor Bund, a day-long conference took place in New York City. Among the speakers were a surviving Bundist leader, Motl Zelmanowicz, and a prominent historian of European Jewry and the left, Abraham Brumberg. Other speakers […]

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The Anti-Hitler Youth Movement

Gustav Bermel, a member of an anti-Nazi group centered in Ehrenfeld, Cologne, was born on this date in 1927. Known as the Ehrenfelder Group and, alternately, as the Steinbrück Group, after their 23-year-old leader, Hans Steinbrück, a concentration-camp escapee, the group consisted of scores of anti-Nazi resisters, Jews, escapees, deserters, artists, and refugees who lived in a bombed-out district […]

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Georges Mandel, Resisting the Nazis in Vichy France

Georges Mandel (Jeroboam Rothschild), a journalist with Emile Zola’s L’Aurore, an advisor to Georges Clemenceau, a government minister, and a sharp and prescient opponent of Nazism, was arrested in Bordeaux on this date in 1940. He was released by Petain a few days later after protests were made on his behalf by the presidents of […]

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Saving Jews with Salvadoran Papers

George Mandel-Mantello (1901-1992), a Jewish businessman from Bucharest who was appointed honorary consul for El Salvador in 1939 and used his status to save thousands of Hungarian Jews from the Nazis, sent another diplomat and friend, Dr. Florian Manoliu, from Switzerland to Hungary to deliver papers for safe passage to Mandel-Mantello’s family on this date in 1944. Their effort came too […]

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Partisans in the Brody Ghetto

Liquidation of the ghetto of Brody, Poland (now Ukraine) was completed on this date in 1943. Some 3,000 Jews of a pre-war population of 9,000 (nearly 70 percent of the town’s total population) were deported to their deaths in Madjanek. In the preceding months, a resistance group of young people led by Samuel Weiler had […]

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Resistance in Skalat, Ukraine

Following the Nazi murder of some 750 Jews from the town of Skalat in the Tarnapol district of Ukraine on this date in 1943, a resistance group was organized under the leadership of a young man named Michael Glanz. The group collected weapons but was still unprepared for the next Nazi Aktion, on May 9, […]

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March 27: Blowing Up Nazi Records to Save Lives

Frieda Belinfante helped to blow up Amsterdam’s population registry in the city’s City Hall on this date in 1943 in order to prevent Nazi efforts to expose false documents and capture more of Amsterdam’s Jews, many of whom were in hiding. Belinfante, a cellist, was the daughter, on her father’s side, of a musical Sephardic […]

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