The Man Who Stopped the Trains to Auschwitz: George Mantello, El Salvador, and Switzerland’s Finest Hour

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Syracuse University Press, Oct 1, 2000 - History - 368 pages
George Mantello, First Secretary of the El Salvador Consulate in Geneva from 1942 to 1945, defied strict censorship to launch a press campaign against the daily deportation of 12,000 Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz. This is the true story of one man’s efforts to bring horrific news of the Nazi genocide to the Swiss public and to the rest of the world. Armed with this information, prominent Swiss church leaders and theologians condemned the unfolding Holocaust from their pulpits, spurring large public demonstrations. In 400 articles appearing in 120 newspapers, Mantello reached opinion makers throughout the world community. International pressure halted the Hungarian deportations, and Mantello distributed thousands of Salvadoran citizenship papers to Jews in Nazi-occupied territories. In addition to Mantello’s role, Kranzler shows how Swiss theologians such as karl barth and paul Vogt mobilized thousands of Christians against the Germans and against the indifference of the Swiss government and the International Red Cross. This fresh look at the intersection of politics and religion also allows for a new assessment of Swiss complicity in the crimes of the Nazi Third Reich.
 

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Contents

Background
1
Switzerland as an Information Center
15
Early Salvadoran Papers
26
Jewish Rescue Efforts in Hungary
43
Mantellos Early Rescue Efforts
59
The Manoliu Mission
82
The Beginning of the Swiss Press Campaign
95
The Press Campaign in Full Swing
122
The Response by the Hungarians the Germans and the IRC
144
Horthy Takes Charge
178
The Nyilas Era
198
Postwar
228
Afterword
253
Notes
269
Bibliography
315
Copyright

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About the author (2000)

David Kranzler, historian and retired professor at the City University of New York, is the author of nine books. He is a contributor to the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust and the forthcoming Yale Encyclopedia of the Holocaust.

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