Churchill, Roosevelt and the Holocaust
8. Epilogue 279
Chapter 8: Epilogue Among those who played critically important positive roles in the otherwise tragic history of the Holocaust were, above all, private persons who helped Hitler’s Jewish victims. One such man was the marvelous American, Varian Fry. There were people who altruistically risked their lives and often the lives of their families to hide or assist Jews in Europe during the years of the Holocaust. Many of these, like Jan Karski, were inhabitants of the countries occupied or controlled by the Nazis, some, like Raoul Wallenberg or Japa- nese consul Chiune Sugihara, or Oskar Schindler, were citizens or officials of neutral or even Axis countries who, acting out of sympathy and compas- sion, helped Jews to escape and survive. Many of these people have been given public recognition by the State of Israel at Yad Vashem. In the nature of things, it is likely that many such heroic persons have remained unknown and unrecognized after the War. It is virtually common knowledge that in some European countries, given very high levels of popular anti-Semitism, heroic rescuers did not wish to be publicly recognized for what they had done during the 1940’s. Recognition, they reasonably feared, would bring them not praise but hostility and reprisals from their fellow citizens and neighbors. A second important category of persons whose courage and sacrifice helped save the Jews of the world from Hitler’s predation were all those who, at the risk and cost of life and limb, fought the Nazis and their allies...
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