The circumstances of the noble behavior of the Polish officials abroad, which saved thousands of Jews in World War II through its diplomatic office in Switzerland, have recently come to light. The matter became loud - the largest media wrote about it. But Benjamin Netanyahu disposed of this matter with silence, even though he had a great opportunity to thank Poland. Instead nice words of thanks came towards Paraguay.
Polish consular diplomats representing the Polish Government in Exile had been issuing false passports of Paraguay and other South American countries. Konstanty Rokicki, Aleksander Ładoś, Juliusz Kühl and Stefan Ryniewicz (the so-called Berne group) are silent heroes who saved many Jews from a certain death during WWII. Passports, which were smuggled into ghettos in both occupied Poland and throughout Europe, meant that his owner did not go to a concentration camp, but instead was interned, which in most cases saved such person from certain death.
Interestingly, Netanyahu knew about the whole matter very well. On May 21, 2018, when the Paraguayan Embassy was transferred from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem, the Prime Minister of Israel made a speech in which he mentioned that Paraguay "helped save Jews fleeing Nazi Germany" and that "it was an act of kindness and mercy that it will always remain in our hearts. Israel remembers his friends, and there is no better friend than Paraguay."
There was not a one word that Poles organized the whole operation. Paraguay's participation was marginal in this whole case.
It was necessary to employ and pay honorary consuls located in Paraguay for organizing blank passports, which were then supplemented by Polish diplomats. For this purpose, it was necessary, among others, for the Polish government in exile to transfer money for the so-called "taking care of refugees". It is important to point out that Paraguay did not accept Jews at that time. The transport of Jews across the ocean at that time was practically impossible, as reports the website Niewygodne.info.pl.
For this reason Jews who received such passports did not go to Paraguay. They stayed in Europe, where they were untouchable thanks to the passports fabricated by Polish diplomats. Clearly, the truth is not the best currency in international relations, and the prime minister of Israel knows it best.
According to a report of Abraham Silberschein from January 1944, the operation conducted by the Bern Group saved about 10 thousand Jews from mass deportation to the German extermination camps. According to him, most of these people survived in internment camps in Tittmoning, Liebenau and Bölsenberg in Germany and in the Vittel camp in France. In March 1944, the Germans liquidated the camp at Vittel, murdering from 200 to 300 prisoners, but most of the camps mentioned by Silberschein were not liquidated. One of the documents assessed that in the Bergen-Belsen sub-camp only shortly before the liberation there were over 1,100 holders of such passport. Silberschein also wrote that he met many of them during his visit to Poland in May 1946.
Source: Niezlomni.com, Salon24