Chaim Michael Dov Weissmandl
Rabbi, Deceased Person
1903 – 1957
Who was Chaim Michael Dov Weissmandl?
Chaim Michael Dov Weissmandl was a rabbi and shtadlan who became known for his efforts to save the Jews of Slovakia from extermination at the hands of the Nazis during the Holocaust. Thanks to the efforts of his "Working Group", which bribed German and Slovakian officials, the mass deportation of Slovakian Jews was delayed for two years, from 1942 to 1944.
Largely by bribing diplomats, Weissmandl was able to smuggle letters or telegrams to people he hoped would help save the Jews of Europe, alerting them to the progressive Nazi destruction of European Jewry. It is known that he managed to send letters to Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt, and he entrusted a diplomat to deliver a letter to the Vatican for Pope Pius XII.
He also begged the Allies to bomb the rails leading to Auschwitz, but to no avail. He believed that if the Hungarian Jews would resist, then only a small number of them would be deported, as the Germans in 1944 couldn't garner enough soldiers to leave the front and deal with the Jews simultaneously. Of around 900,000 Hungarian-speaking Jews, close to 600,000 were murdered.
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