Safe used to store fake passports for saving Jews found

The neo-baroque villa on Elfenstrasse 20, Bern, that belongs to the Polish Embassy in Switzerland, conceals many a historical milestone, including the safe used by former Polish ambassador Aleksander Ładoś. During the WWII period it supposedly stored false Latin-American passports that would later be distributed among Jews to help them escape imminent death in the Holocaust.

“Incredible find!” tweeted the current Polish Ambassador to Switzerland Jakub Kumoch on Thursday, adding that, “this is the original safe which was used by Aleksander Ładoś and his Polish diplomats during their Holocaust rescue operation in Bern.”

Ambassador Kumoch tweeted that the safe’s manufacturer Kassen&Tresorbau Wiedemar and the staff of the Jewish Museum in Basel confirmed its authenticity.

Aleksander Ładoś was the Polish ambassador to Bern during WWII and the leader of the Ładoś Group that forged Latin-American passports for Jews endangered by the Holocaust.

Other members of the Group were Consul Konstanty Rokicki and Aleksander Ładoś’s deputy Stefan Ryniewicz. The group forged passports for over 2,000 people out of which at least 800 were saved.

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