‘Ładoś List’ premieres in Germany

A list of 407 German and Austrian Jews rescued by a group of WWII Jewish activists and Polish diplomats under Polish Ambassador to Bern Aleksander Ładoś, known as the Ładoś Group, was presented for the first time in Berlin during Sunday's German premiere of the "Ładoś List” which contains around 3,250 names of people saved by the group and numerous accounts from the survivors’ relatives.

Published by the Pilecki Institute (IP), the Ładoś List relates accounts of people who were saved by the Ładoś Group’s operation that consisted of handing out thousands of fabricated Latin-American passports to Jews in order to save them from death in the Holocaust.

According to German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, at least 214 German and Austrian Jews who received the Latin-American passports fabricated by the Ładoś Group survived the Holocaust.

The German premiere of the Ładoś List, co-authored by Polish Ambassador Jakub Kumoch, the 1st Secretary of the Polish Embassy in Bern Jędrzej Uszyński, Monika Maniewska and Bartłomiej Zygmunt of the Pilecki Institute, took place at the Berlin office of the IP on Sunday.

“Historians usually say Poles and Jews forged Latin American passports in Berne to rescue Polish Jewish citizens. We have shown that most of the identified rescued people were Germans, Austrians and Dutch. Our predecessors acted far beyond their diplomatic duty,” tweeted Ambassador Kumoch.

The diplomat stressed that the Polish Government in Exile was aware of the dire need for the salvation of the German Jews. That is why it supported the Ładoś Group's activities.

For her part, Ms Maniewska, one of the co-authors of “the Ładoś List”, said that “the Polish government [in exile] knew that among the recipients of Ładoś passports were German citizens. The humanitarian concerns prevailed over bureaucracy which dictated that the operation should be limited to Polish citizens.”

The historical HQ of the Ładoś Group gets permanent exhibition about its activities

“Deputy FM Szymon Szynkowski vel Sęk and Poland’s Ambassador to Berne Jakub Kumoch inaugurated a permanent exhibition to commemorate Aleksander Ładoś and the Ładoś Group in the historical location of the Polish Legation in Bern,” the Polish Embassy in Switzerland tweeted on Tuesday, adding that the exhibition had been designed by the IP.

Also on Tuesday, a new building housing the Polish Embassy to Switzerland was officially opened by Deputy FM Szynkowski vel Sęk and the departing Ambassador Jakub Kumoch.

Sebastian Ładoś, who is both the author of a biography of Aleksander Ładoś entitled “Before God Looks Away” and relative of the courageous ambassador, said during the ceremony that “this moment is very special to me. I remember when I asked my father why everyone was so impressed with the story of Oskar Schindler, but nobody took interest in Aleksander Ładoś. I remember his reply: This is not the right time for it."