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Hiram_Bingham_IV

Was the Vice Consul in the visa section at the American Consulate in Marseilles. As thousands of refugees, particularly Jews, streamed into France, Bingham took it upon himself to visit them and record conditions in the Gurs camp where they were interned by the French government. The camp fell under German control after the fall of France and the establishment of the collaborationist Vichy government. Bingham insisted on going to Gurs and other camps to handle immigration issues, and established contacts with the Jewish relief agency HIAS-HICEM while setting up a screening system for potential entry to the US. As the war progressed his actions became bolder, and he was involved with the rescue of many prominent Jews. By the end of 1940 he was removed from his position and transferred to the Lisbon Consulate in 1941. On March 7, 2005 Yad Vashem commended his work, which allowed some 2500 Jews to escape to freedom.