New research by a University of Victoria historian shares 36 testimonies of Holocaust survivors and the heroic efforts of a Swiss diplomat.
The findings by Charlotte Schallié from UVic’s Faculty of Humanities will be published this month in a new book, “Under Swiss Protection: Jewish Eyewitness Accounts from Wartime Budapest”.
The survival stories retrace to the efforts of diplomat Carl Lutz of Switzerland, whose stepdaughter Agnes Hirschi co-edited the book with Schallié.
Lutz, who was the Swiss vice-consul in Budapest during the last three years of World War II, is credited with saving 60,000 Hungarians in the largest civilian rescue operation of Jews during the war.
Schallié learned about Lutz when she came across a monument to him during a trip to Budapest three years ago.
Schallié was researching about her grandmother who had been killed in Auschwitz.
With Hirschi’s help, Schallié collected testimonies from survivors in Switzerland, the United States, Canada and Israel.
“My hope is these survivor accounts will make Carl Lutz’s story much more well-known,” Schallié says.
“He was a deeply religious and principled man who undertook these efforts at great personal risk.”
Schallié will present her research at the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance November 27 in Bern, Switzerland.