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The French Boy Whose Forged Papers Saved 14,000 Jews

Each week we bring you stories of Advocates and Allies of the Jewish people. Many of these stories are set during the Holocaust, and many of them find Gentiles standing up for what is right in order to save Jewish people from persecution or worse. This week's story, brought to us by our friends at Jewniverse, is of a Jewish boy, Adolfo Kaminsky, whose gift for forgery was put to use by the French resistance, and which ultimately saved more than 14,000 Jews from certain death:

Finding out that your parent has a second life isn’t typically a good thing. But for French author Sarah Kaminsky, learning the full story of her father’s past changed her life for the better. And next month, the English translation of her nail-biting book, Adolfo Kaminsky: A Forger’s Life (DoppleHouse Press) will make the heroism and selflessness of her dear old dad available to millions more readers.

As a teenager during the Nazi occupation of Paris, Adolfo, who was born to a Russian Jewish family in Argentina but raised in France, was recruited by the French Resistance to create false travel documents. Ultimately, using the skills he learned from his job at a dye shop, he became the Resistance’s primary forger, and saved approximately 14,000 Jews.

For the next 25 years, Adolfo worked as a photographer while, unbeknownst to most of those around him, he continued his secret life as what he calls a “humanist forger.” He joined the Haganah, creating papers so homeless survivors could settle in Palestine...

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