Item #2308 [Letter of Protection]
Official Swedish Letter Of Protection For A Hungarian Holocaust Endangered Jew

[Letter of Protection]

On official paper with the printed header of the Royal Swedish Legation, with the oval ink stamp of the Legation, dated in Budapest, October 22, 1944. Size: 210 × 295 mm. Text and stamp clean, folded twice, two tiny closed tears at edges. 1 page, typed, in Hungarian.

An exceedingly rare life-saving document, a Letter of Protection of the Swedish Legation, issued for a Hungarian Jew during the Holocaust.

Rare original official Letter of Protection, issued in Budapest, dated October 22, 1944, with the ink stamp of the Royal Swedish Legation, stating in Hungarian that — according to the agreement between the Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg and the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs Gábor Kemény on October 21 — Pál Aschner, and his family, as an employee of the Swedish Embassy, are exempted from wearing the yellow badge, serving in labor service, residing in “yellow-star houses” designated for Jews, and observing the curfew otherwise applied to the Hungarian Jewry. Pál Aschner (1908–1998) was a Hungarian sportsman, ice-hockey player, and representative of the Hungarian Davis Cup team. He was the son of the wealthy Lipót Aschner (1872–1952), the MD of Tungsram Co., one of the world's greatest light bulb and radio tubes factory in the 1930s. Both survived the Holocaust. On October 15, 1944, the radical anti-Semite Nyilaskeresztes Párt (Arrow Cross Party) came into power in Hungary, led by Ferenc Szálasi. With the new politics, the exemptions from the anti-Jewish laws granted by the previous government were strictly overruled, the formerly issued protective letters and passes were virtually neglected, and the new race-based restrictions were broadened and more generalized.

To protect the Jews and their families working for the Legation (giving work for them — at least on paper — was also part of the rescue efforts), the Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg initiated a meeting with the new Minister of Foreign Affairs Gábor Kemény on October 21 to persuaded him granting the above-mentioned exemptions. Wallenberg was successful and by this agreement, he saved the lives of those families working for the Embassy, gave hope for many others, and weakened the Arrow Cross Party’s aim of the Hungarian Endlösung, the total elimination of the Hungarian Jewry.

During the short period of the Arrow Cross-ruling, between October 1944 and February 1945, 8–10,000 of the remaining Jews of Budapest were killed by death squads, and approximately 50,000 were deported, many on foot in death marches. After the War, Ferenc Szálasi and Gábor Kemény together with many other Arrow Cross Party leaders were convicted as war criminals and they were executed in March 1946.

Price: €5,000.00

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