Budapest: Issued by the Swedish Red Cross, 1945. With the stamps of the Swedish Red Cross. With the bearers' photographs. Filled in brown ink. The red cross on the front panel partly rubbed. Minor abrasions to the extremities of cover. Otherwise in fine condition. Signed by the Righteous Among the Nations Valdemar Langlet. 8 p.
A life-saving document during the Holocaust, a ”protection certificate" indicating that the bearers are under the protection of the Swedish Red Cross, signed by Valdemar Langlet. Rare original, official Schutzbrief (letter of protection) signed by Valdemar Langlet, issued in Budapest, dated October 7, 1944, with the inkstamp and embossing stamp of the Swedish Red Cross, stating in Hungarian, German and Russian (on a mounted official, stamped vignette) that the bearer and his wife are under the protection of the Swedish Red Cross. Issued for Dr. András Nagy and his wife Ilona Szobolya. An exceptional document with the handwritten signature of the Righteous among the Nations Valdemar Langlet. Valdemar Langlet (1872–1960) was a Swedish journalist who lived in Hungary since the early 1930s, taught Swedish at the Budapest University, and served as a delegate of the Swedish Red Cross and an unpaid cultural attaché at the Swedish Legation. During the Holocaust, Langlet and his wife Nina Borovko saved thousands of Hungarian Jews by providing ‘letters of protection’ and other life-saving documents, which allowed Jews to avoid deportation and death. “It was now, some time in May 1944, that Langlet started producing his famous ‘letters of protection’, or Schutzbrife. These letters contained text in Swedish, Hungarian and German. They constituted a kind of identity card, imitating normal passports with a photograph, personal data and a Swedish Red Cross (SRK) stamp. They were signed ‘Langlet Valdemar delegiert’, although at that time he was not formally a delegate of the Red Cross.” (Persson, 2012) The passes were issued without the knowledge of the SRK, hence the leadership tried to dismiss Langet which was precluded by the Swedish Ambassador, Carl Ivan Danielsson, who deeply appreciated his enormous efforts and achievements. It is not known who “invented the famous ‘letters of protection’. […]. Whatever the case, they were issued from May 1944, long before Wallenberg arrived in Budapest on 9 July.” (Persson, 2012) It is estimated that 2,000 up to 25,000 of such passes were issued, and although they had no real legal status, in many occasions they did work and saved the life of the owners. For their rescue actions, Valdemar Langlet (posthumously) and his widow Nina, were awarded the Righteous Among the Nations medal by the State of Israel in 1965. Literature: Person, S.: Introduction. In: Reign of Terror: The Budapest Memoir of Valdemar Langlet. (N.p.): Skyhorse Publishing, 2013.