The Man Who Stopped the Trains to Auschwitz George Mantello, El Salvador, and Switzerland’s Finest Hour
(Posted to this site on 6/12 /2001)
By David Kranzler
Printed with Permission of Syracuse University Press
Winner of the 1998 Egit Prize (Histadrut) for the Best Manuscript on the Holocaust.
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This book reveals the previously unknown story of the greatest single rescue effort during the Holocaust — the rescue of more than 140,000 Jews of Budapest. This rescue was led by George Mantello, a Jewish diplomat in the Salvadorian Consulate in Geneva, Switzerland. Mantello, who had provided thousands of Jews with valuable protective Salvador citizenship papers, initiated and orchestrated an extraordinary Swiss press and church campaign that finally revealed to the world the horrors of Auschwitz and the Hungarian deportations. These public expressions evoked warnings by Roosevelt, Churchill, the Pope, and the King of Sweden, who then dispatched Raoul Wallenberg. Under worldwide pressure, the Regent of Hungary halted deportations on July 7, 1944. The neutral diplomats in Budapest finally fought to save embattled Jews from Eichmann’s ceaseless efforts to complete the Final Solution.