Jerry P. Shinley Archive:Subject: George Mandel Mantello
George Mandel Mantello
Date: 2/23/99 7:51 AM Eastern Standard Time
The folks at the Holocaust Memorial Center, West Bloomfield, Michigan, were kind enough to send me a few clips about their 1989 Righteousness Award to Permindex figure George Mandel Mantello:
[Detroit?] News; Nov 13, 1989, p 1B
Blanchard Honors 'Unsung Heroes' of the Holocaust
by Linda Jones, News Staff Writer
"Unsung heroes" of the Holocaust were honored by Gov. James J. Blanchard and others Sunday evening at the Holocaust Memorial Center's fifth annual dinner in Westin Hotel in downtown Detroit.
Dr. Rudolf Vrba, one of the few Jews who escaped the Auschwitz death camp, received the Holocaust center's Righteousness Award for documenting the bizarre inner workings of the death camp and exposing the Nazi's plans for the mass deportation of Hungarian Jews.
George Mandel Mantello, a former first secretary of the general consulate of El Salvador, who was posted in Geneva during WWII, also received the award for disseminating Vrba's report to the international news media.
Mantello was futher recognized for issuing nearly 15,000 Salvadoran citizenship papers [to] Jews in German-occupied countries.
"We have two authentic heroes here in our midsts," said Blanchard, referring to Vrba and Mantello. He praised the two men as "heroes of humanity" for their efforts at exposing the atrocities of the Holocaust.
"Who knows how many thousands of lives were spared because of their work," he said to more than 1,100 people attending the dinner. Vrba, a Slovak Jew, was sent to the Auschwitz camp in 1942. While there, he was part of a special "cleaing" crew that had to remove dead bodies from incoming trains full of Jewish deportees.
He later had the responsibility of making reports on the number of Jews selected for work in Auschwitz and those who were sent to the gas ovens. He escaped on April 7, 1944, and went to Czechoslovakia where he compiled an extensive report that he submitted to Hungarian Jewish leaders and to Switzerland. He is now a Pharmacology professor at the University of British Columbia.
Jewish News, September 29, 1989, p43
HMC Will Honor 'An Unsung Hero'
George Mantello, of Italy, one of history's "forgotten" heroes who saved thousands of lives, will be honored by the Holocaust Memorial Center at its dinner November 12, at the Westin Hotel.
Mantello saved thousands of Jews yet remained vitually unnoticed until now, when he will receive the Center's Righteousness Award at the dinner which will be a "Tribute to the Rescuers."
Rabbi Charles H. Rosenzveig, founder and vice-president of the Holocaust Memorial Center, said the 87-year-old Mantello was the first person to "break the official silence on the Holocaust."
As El Salvador's secretary general in Switzerland from 1942 to 1945, he circulated a 30-page description of Auschwitz, after which the deportation of Hungarian Jews to concentration camps was immediately halted.
Additionally, he is credited with producing and distributing 15,000 Salvadoran citizenship documents free-of-charge for Jews and non-Jews throughout Switzerland.
"The actions of George Mantello were truly remarkable," says Rabbi Rosenzveig. "And history has not given this man the credit he deserves."
U.S. Representative Charles E. Schumer recently proposed that Mantello be given the Congressional Gold Medal, Congress' highest award.
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