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Germans Who Saved Jews from Nazis Honored in Ceremony in Bonn

Germans who rescued Jews, the “unsung heroes” of the Nazi era in Germany, were honored by West German Christians and Jews at a gathering in Beethoven Hall here yesterday. Israel’s Ambassador Asher Ben Natan, United States Ambassador George McGee, West German Minister Carlo Schmidt and Kurt R. Grossman, an American active in the reparations program, were among those present.

The observance was sponsored by the West German Society for Christian-Jewish Cooperation and the Medical Research Foundation of Philadelphia as a reminder that some Germans had “obeyed their conscience” and risked their lives to save Jewish fellow-citizens. One speaker noted that although the Gestapo pronounced Germany “Judenfrei” rid of Jews–In 1943, several thousand German Jews survived, mainly through the efforts of their non-Jewish friends and neighbors who hid them out, supplied them with food and even with identity papers.

One of the Germans who had helped Jews survive, an elderly Bavarian farmwife, Frau Diensinger, was introduced by Ambassador Ben Natan who presented her with a scroll. She and her husband sheltered dozens of Jews who had managed to escape from trains bound for the Auschwitz and Treblinka death camps.

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