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All Our Brothers and Sisters

Jews Saving Jews during the Holocaust

Edited By Judith Tydor Baumel-Schwartz and Alan Schneider

The book focuses on the heroism of Jews throughout Europe who risked their lives to save their coreligionists under Nazi rule. The contributors discuss and analyze the actions of Jews who rescued other Jews from the hands of the Nazis. These actions took place, to different degrees, in Germany, in Axis states and all across Nazi-occupied Europe, from the early stages of persecution until the war’s end, in the framework of collaborative efforts and individual initiatives. The Jews who rescued other Jews during the Holocaust came like their non-Jewish counterparts from different backgrounds: men and women, old and young, religious and secular, wealthy and poor, educated and uneducated. The rescue missions took place in ghettos, areas without ghettos, jails, camps, hospitals, children’s homes, schools, monasteries, in hiding. This book focuses on these rescue missions and the people behind them, reminding us of their courage and willingness to act, even when it put their own lives in danger.

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The Work of DELASEM for the Rescue of Italian and Foreign Jews (1939–1945)


By: Silvia Guetta

This contribution represents an introductory note to the rescue, help, escape and hiding activity carried out by DELASEM (Delegazione per l’Assistenza degli Emigranti Ebrei – Delegation for the Assistance of Jewish Emigrants), between 1939 and 1945. DELASEM was the Jewish network that worked in the most extensive way among all the rescue organisations established in Italy at that time; each of them carried out their activities either locally or targeting specific groups of people. Among them, there was “La Mensa dei Bambini” organisation [“The children’s canteen”], founded and coordinated by Israel Kalk and based in Milan.1 It was established on 15th October 19392 with the purpose of guaranteeing a meal to foreign Jewish children all over the city. Israel Kalk endeavoured to bring aid, culture and education to all “free internment” camps, such as Ferramonti di Tarsia3 ←185 | 186→camp. Due to space restrictions, we can’t discuss in greater detail the many activities carried out by these important rescue and help networks.

In this contribution, however, we will try to give a general overview of the work of DELASEM, by outlining some significant figures which acted with courage, initiative, and deep human values.

The following contribution is the result of an historical research made possible by the availability and accessibility of the virtual archive of CDEC4 “Centro di Documentazione Ebraica di Milano” [“Jewish Documentation Centre of Milan”] resources. Due to contingent reasons, we couldn’t access the “Archivio dell’Unione delle Comunità Ebraiche” [“Union...

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