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carl-lutz

Vice-Consul and Chief of Foreign Interests at the Swiss Legation in Budapest and his wife Gertrud Lutz (1911-1995) were recognized separately by Yad Vashem, on March 24, 1964 and February 2, 1978, respectively. In Budapest representing countries who opposed the Hungarian Regime of Admiral Horthy, Lutz began his rescue operations as soon as Germany marched into Budapest in 1944, pressuring the Hungarian government to stop the deportation of Jews. He drew thousands of Jews into Swiss Protection; issued thousands of protective letters to Jews, staving off their deportation; and some 3000 Jews survived in houses he rented out for them. His wife, Gertrud, was a zealous supporter of her husband’s work, arranging food and medical care for thousands of Jews in protective custody. They actively worked to halt the November 1944 death marches and rode behind the prisoners, successfully pulling many out of line with Swiss protective passports. By December 1944 all foreign missions had been ordered to cease operations, yet the Lutzs waived diplomatic immunity in order to continue their work in Budapest at tremendous personal risk.