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An Outstandingly Courageous and Humane Man

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Sebastián de Romero Radigales

Life: 1884-1970

Why you should know him: Sebastián de Romero Radigales was a Spanish diplomat whose actions during World War II saved countless Jews.

As World War II wore on, the Nazi regime furthered its murderous plot against the Jews of Europe. In early 1943, the Nazis began to deport the Jews of Greece to concentration camps, deporting 48,000 in only five months. This same year, Radigales was named Spain's head diplomat in Athens.

Because of a loophole that allowed Jews of Spanish origin to return to their country, Radigales offered Spanish nationality to Greece's Sephardic Jews. Despite resistance from both his own government, as well as by the Nazis, this saved the lives of hundreds of Greek Jews. His tireless work was seen again when 367 Jews arrived at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp and Radigales fought for their release to Spanish Morocco.

This last feat was remembered last year when Sebastián de Romero Radigales was named Righteous Among the Nations. At the ceremony, Isaac Revah, a young child released from Bergen-Belsen because of Radigales' actions, remembered his rescuer: "Being released from a Nazi camp is an extraordinary event. It all happened thanks to an outstandingly courageous and humane man."

Tags: Stories , Partnerships and People , Advocacy , IFCJ

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