The English edition of “The Ładoś List” - Instytut Pileckiego
The English edition of “The Ładoś List”
Polish wartime diplomats in Switzerland in cooperation with Jewish organizations attempted to rescue between 8,000 and 10,000 Jews from Holocaust by providing them with fake Latin American documents, a new research study published by Warsaw-based Pilecki Institute reveals. The English-language version of the book was released in February under the patronage of the World Jewish Congress.
“This little-known story of rescue deserves to be better known and I welcome this English translation. It should be read by all those interested in the Holocaust and in Polish-Jewish relations during the Second World War”, said Antony Polonsky, Emeritus Professor of Holocaust Studies at the Brandeis University and Chief Historian at the Museum of Polish Jews in Warsaw.
A list of 3,253 names of Jews who were in possession of so called ‘Ładoś passports’, named after the Polish ambassador to Switzerland in 1940–45, has been published by the Institute, after a two-year research study conducted together with the Jewish Historical Institute, Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum and the Polish Institute of National Remembrance.
“The Ładoś List” is one of the largest Holocaust research projects conducted during recent years. The study was conducted in many archives, including Bad Arolsen, Yad Vashem, the Polish Central Archives of Modern Records and many others”, Pilecki Institute’s director Dr. Wojciech Kozłowski said.
The paper reveals that between 24 and 45% of Jews who were in possession of Polish-forged documents of Paraguay, Honduras, Haiti and Peru, managed to survive the Holocaust. Several dozen of them are still alive.
“The real number of the survivors is much larger. We estimate that the Ładoś group contributed to the rescue of between 2,000 and 3,000 people”, the study’s editor Dr. Jakub Kumoch said.
Research conducted has shown that the Ładoś Group helped Jews from various European countries, however the majority of the identified passports were used by people from occupied Poland and the Netherlands. “As regards the documented group of survivors, the majority were Jews from Poland, the Netherlands and Germany”, explained Monika Maniewska, an archivist from the Pilecki Institute and one of the co-authors of “The Ładoś List”.
“The Ładoś List” was originally published in December 2019 and since its premiere in Poland, a lot of readers came forward to confirm and complete the data. The English edition, enriched with the life stories of over 50 people, is now being published. The Pilecki Institute will present it during the following events:
24 February – London, The Wiener Holocaust Library
27 February – New York, Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion
28 February – Hartford, Mandell JCC Innovation Center
The published list contains the names of, for example, several famous fighters of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, including Zivia Lubetkin and Yitzchak Zuckerman, as well as leaders of Jewish resistance from Slovakia, France and Italy. One of the thousands of people who had Ładoś passports was also Mirjam Finkelstein, mother of Lord Daniel Finkelstein – British politician and associate editor of “The Times” (Lord Finkelstein will tell his family story during the event in London). Another documented case is that of Anne Frank’s best friend Hannah “Hanneli” Goslar.
Ambassador Ładoś, who during the German occupation of Poland represented the London-based Polish government in exile, authorized his diplomats to fabricate documents of third countries in an attempt to help rescue at least part of the country’s 3,500,000-strong Jewish community.
Ładoś passports were meant to protect their holders from being sent to the German Nazi death camps. The passports were sent to citizens of a dozen European states who were interred in concentration camps and ghettoes in occupied Poland and the Netherlands.
Almost half of the passports and citizenship certificates of Paraguay were forged by Ładoś’s vice-consul Konstanty Rokicki and a minor part by his deputy Stefan Ryniewicz and in both instances, with noticeable help of the Embassy’s Jewish employee Juliusz Kühl.
Other documents, passports and certificates of Honduras, Haiti and Peru, were purchased, with authorization by Ładoś, by two Jewish members of the Ładoś Group – Abraham Silberschein and Chaim Eiss. In 1943, the whole operation received the support of the Government of Poland which pressured Latin American states to recognize these fake documents for humanitarian reasons.
Director Kozłowski said that although 3,253 names have been established, some 5,000–7,000 are still missing. “We sincerely hope to receive the help of Jewish communities worldwide to find out the identities of these additional people. We believe that there is no further possibility to identity any other names by archival research. During the last two years the authors have done really very much. Now it’s time for the families of survivors and victims to tell their story”, he said.
The list has been uploaded at Pilecki Institute’s website. For more inquiries call:
Pilecki Institute Press Office
+48 539 537 646
- Virtus et Franternitas Medals presented
Virtus et Franternitas Medals presented
The third edition of the Virtus et Fraternitas Medal Gala took place on 15 June 2022. This time, at the request of the Director of the Pilecki Institute, the President of the Republic of Poland bestowed medals on a total of 23 people.
- Information concerning the 6th issue of the "Totalitarian and 20th Century Studies" yearbook
Information concerning the 6th issue of the "Totalitarian and 20th Century Studies" yearbook
The editors of the “Totalitarian and 20th Century Studies” yearbook invite you to submit articles in Polish or English. The deadline for applications is 31 July 2022.
- Totalitarianism Across History and Disciplines | conference
Totalitarianism Across History and Disciplines | conference
We invite graduate students and postdoctoral scholars from all disciplines to submit proposals for papers regarding any aspect of totalitarianism, from a broad theoretical and historical perspective. The deadline for applications is 15.09.2022.
- Lemkin Center | University of Warsaw declares cooperation with the Pilecki Institute
Lemkin Center | University of Warsaw declares cooperation with the Pilecki Institute
In connection with the establishment of the Lemkin Center, the Pilecki Institute and the University of Warsaw have signed a framework agreement for cooperation.
- You can help by gathering testimonies from Ukrainian refugees!
You can help by gathering testimonies from Ukrainian refugees!
We are appealing to volunteers for support in collecting the accounts of the Ukrainian people.
- Raphael Lemkin Center for Documenting Russian Crimes in Ukraine
Raphael Lemkin Center for Documenting Russian Crimes in Ukraine
In response to the Russian attack on Ukraine and reports of Russian military actions against civilians, the Pilecki Institute has established the Raphael Lemkin Center for Documenting Russian Crimes in Ukraine.
- Jan Maletka Deserves Commemoration. A Response to Adam Leszczyński
Jan Maletka Deserves Commemoration. A Response to Adam Leszczyński
- Christina Lamb | „Our Bodies, Their Battlefield. What War Does to Women"
Christina Lamb | „Our Bodies, Their Battlefield. What War Does to Women"
- "Conscience cannot be delegalized". On the closure of Memorial International
"Conscience cannot be delegalized". On the closure of Memorial International
On 28 December, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation endorsed the request from the Prosecutor General’s Office of Russia and ordered the closure of Memorial International.
- The Witold Pilecki International Book Award | an open letter
The Witold Pilecki International Book Award | an open letter
An open letter from Wojciech Kozłowski, Director of the Pilecki Institute, to Eliyana Adler, the prizewinner of the Witold Pilecki International Book Award in the "Academic history book" category.
- The Witold Pilecki International Book Award | an official statement
The Witold Pilecki International Book Award | an official statement
The statement of the Jury of the Witold Pilecki International Book Award and the Pilecki Institute.
- Competition for the Post of Adjunct in the Humanities or Social Sciences
Competition for the Post of Adjunct in the Humanities or Social Sciences
Competition for the Post of Adjunct in the Humanities or Social Sciences at the Witold Pilecki Institute of Solidarity and Valor.