Lord Daniel Finkelstein told the story of how his family had been saved from going to the Belsen concentration camp on social media. When it was pointed out to him that the passports his family used may have been the work of Polish diplomats forging Paraguayan passports he asked the Polish ambassador to Switzerland if this could be true. Ambassador Jakub Kumoch confirmed that the Finkelstein family was indeed on the list of people helped by the Ładoś group.
The Ładoś group was a group of Polish diplomats who organized forgeries of Latin American passports to help Jews escape the Holocaust. The actions were taken in secret but with the tacit knowledge and acceptance of the Polish government in Exile.
Lord Daniel Finkelstein is Associate Editor of the Times and a peer. He is highly prominent in the Jewish community in the UK and has worked in senior positions for the British Conservative Party. His father Ludwik was a distinguished professor of Engineering. HIs brother Anthony is a software engineer and his sister Tamara is a senior civil servant.
Lord Finkestein’s grandmother along with her three daughters, including his mother Miriam, were able to get on a train to Switzerland in January 1945 thanks to forged Paraguayan passports. His grandmother died soon after, but his mother along with her sisters went to the USA where she met his father who had survived being deported to Siberia.
All that Lord Finkelstein knew up to now about the source of the passports is that they came from a friend of his grandfather who lived in Berne. On learning about the existence of the Łados group Lord Finkelstein contacted the Polish Ambassador to Switzerland, Jakub Kumoch to seek confirmation of where the passports had come from.
Ambassador Kumoch confirmed that all the persons from Lord Finkelstein’s family were on the Ładoś list. They were all issued with forged Paraguayan passports.
The Ładoś list is still a matter of thorough research by historians. It was revealed recently that 3,262 persons received the passports out of whom at least 741 survived the Holocaust. Estimates show that the overall number of the Jews that have been given the passports was as high as 10,000 which could triple the number of survivors.