NEW YORK (Apr. 27)
George Mandel-Mantello, a Jew who as a Salvadoran diplomat during World War II saved 200,000 Jews and non-Jews from the Nazis, died Saturday at the age of 90 at his home in Rome, Yeshiva University announced.
No cause of death was given.
Mandel-Mantello, a Romanian-born Jew who obtained Salvadoran citizenship in 1939, was long regarded as one of the unsung heros of the Holocaust.
It was not until 1989 that he was first commended for his wartime deeds, by being presented with the Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award. In 1990, he was honored by Yeshiva University.
As first secretary of the Salvadoran Consulate in Geneva from 1942 to 1945, he mass-produced and distributed some 15,000 Salvadoran citizenship papers to Jews and non-Jews throughout Nazi-occupied Europe. It is believed that 95 percent of the holders of these papers survived the Holocaust.
During the summer of 1944, when the Nazis and their Hungarian collaborators began deporting 100,000 Jews a day to the Auschwitz death camp, Mandel-Mantello obtained firsthand reports from two escapees.
He then circulated to the international media his “Auschwitz Protocol,” a 30-page description of the camp, complete with statistical data and descriptions of the killings.
This report led to international calls by world leaders to halt the deportations.
Following the war, Mandel-Mantello helped church and political figures escape from Communist Hungary through Switzerland.
Funeral services for Mandel-Mantello were scheduled for Tuesday morning in Jerusalem.