dr Juliusz Kühl (1913—1985) - Instytut Pileckiego

The medal / Recipients

dr Juliusz Kühl (1913—1985)

Awarded in 2019.

As a member of the Ładoś Group, he was responsible for acquiring Latin American passports in blanco and for contacting Jewish organizations.

Juliusz Kühl was from a family of Orthodox Jews. Born in Sanok, he went to Switzerland in 1929 in order to study at the University of Bern. He began cooperating with the Polish embassy in Bern while working on his doctorate on Polish-Swiss trade relations, thanks to which he became employed there as a consular official after the outbreak of the Second World War.

Eiss Archive collection / Pilecki Institute
As a member of the Ładoś Group, he was responsible for acquiring Latin
American passports in blanco and for contacting Jewish organizations.
Switzerland did not recognize his diplomatic status until the end of the war and he was twice interrogated by the Swiss police in charge of the investigation into the illegal passports. He remained in Switzerland after the war. He left for Canada in 1949 and moved to the USA in 1980, where he died in 1985.


The Ładoś Group, also called the Bernese Group, comprised Polish diplomats, employees of the Polish embassy in Bern, and representatives of Jewish organizations cooperating with them. The group was led by the Polish embassy’s chargé d’affaires Aleksander Ładoś. In addition to him, three other Polish diplomats at the embassy were also members of the group: Stefan Ryniewicz, Konstanty Rokicki and Juliusz Kühl, as well as two activists from Jewish organizations in Switzerland: Abraham Silberschein and Chaim Eiss.

Eiss Archive collection / Pilecki Institute

During the Second World War, the group illegally issued Latin American (mainly Paraguayan) passports. The operation was initially intended for Jews in the ghettos of occupied Poland, but over time the passports were sent to other countries such as the Netherlands. Issuing these passports to Jews greatly increased their chances of survival — the documents meant their bearers might be sent for internment instead of extermination. It is estimated that the group issued passports for up to 10,000 people.

See also

  • Petro Hrudzewycz (ur. 1939)


    Petro Hrudzewycz (ur. 1939)

    When local Soviet functionaries told him to remove the cross from the grave of soldiers of the Polish Army, he refused. However Petro was punished for his resistance, each year he attends the commemoration of the battle known as the Polish Thermopylae.

  • Władysława Nagórka z d. Lech (1895—1981)


    Władysława Nagórka z d. Lech (1895—1981)

    Antoni and Władysława Nagórka lived at the edge of the town. Before the war, Antoni worked for the railways, and Władysława was a housewife. During the war they saved five Jews from the Holocaust.

  • Žofia Lachová (1907–1979)


    Žofia Lachová (1907–1979)

    The courage and selflessness of Žofia and Jozef Lach helped save many Poles and ensured that the transit route to Poland was in use until almost the end of the war.